Written by DOUGLASS ADAIR, and published July 10th in the Los Angeles Times: read the full story here.
Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers of America, appeared on “The Colbert Report” on Thursday to invite Americans of all races and backgrounds to participate in the farm labor that feeds our nation. The UFW, Rodriguez said, only partly tongue in cheek, is ready to welcome folks who want to put an end to the need for foreign nationals to pick our crops.
Colbert volunteered; the audience chortled. But it shouldn’t have been all that funny. The truth is, if the very thought of doing farm work didn’t make so many Americans laugh, we’d all be better off.
(…) Of course, farm labor will never be for everyone. But neither should it be a laughable prospect. It should be honored work, with decent wages and working conditions. Our civilization is possible because someone plants the seeds, prunes the vines and picks and packs the fruit and vegetables that feed the nation. The legacy of David Freedman Co. under the UFW contract is one all Americans can be proud of. It is proof that American agriculture does not have to be based on the labor of an underclass denied the rights and benefits of other workers.