Donald Trump’s unfortunate remarks about Mexicans took us back a few months to a very unsettling piece in the Westchester daily newspaper about some dedicated, hard-working employees of the American Yacht Club in Rye who were let go following a surprise visit to the club by Homeland Security. Most of them were Mexicans who have been in this country for a good, long time.
I know many of these foreign born and their sad story really set me to thinking about all the essential contributions immigrants – “legal” or otherwise – make in our lives.
But it must first be here noted that Barack H. Obama, the particular individual who is the current president of the United States of America has deported more aliens than any previous inhabitant of the White House. And be advised as well that in certain rarified parts of Westchester and in our better neighborhoods they are referred to as “those people.”
Here is what “those people” do for us just to earn a living. They cook our meals, set our tables, wash our dishes, scrub our floors, haul away our trash and garbage, weed our gardens, plant our flowers, cut our grass in the spring, rake our leaves in the fall, shovel our sidewalks and plow our driveways in the winter, iron our shirts, wash our laundry, clean our toilets, style our hair, cut our toenails and buff our fingernails, baby-sit and pick up after our kids (and our pets), walk our dogs, fumigate our houses, tote our bales, shine our shoes, sell us Lottery tickets, drive our school buses, sow and harvest our fields, grow our vegetables, muck our stalls, cobble our shoes, tend our vineyards, sweep our streets, paint our fences, pick up our litter, gas up, wash and fix our cars, repair our roofs, shoe our horses, carry our heavy, leather golf bags across hot Westchester fairways, manicure the greens at our fancy country clubs, haul boats at our yacht clubs, hoist our banners and club burgees, move our furniture, play in our orchestras, mend our clothes, sew our buttons, empty our bedpans, push our wheelchairs, dig our graves, flip our pizzas, butter and schmear our bagels, stir our cocktails and pour our drinks, make our beds, park our cars, stack our plates and bus our tables …
In addition to the above-mentioned “services” which they daily provide, “those people” also enrich our culture and our lives.
All of which brings a stunning flash of Déjà vu.
Because we’ve been there.
And done that … when it was the Irish and Italians who attended to all these most necessary things.
It was not … too … long … ago.
This is a WVOX and WVIP commentary.
This is Bill O’Shaughnessy.