The subject line said: “Tis the Season for Criminals”; then the body of the email, written in large threatening capital letters, said, “REMEMBER, DESPERATE PEOPLE DO DESPERATE THINGS, SO BE VERY WARY WHEN YOU ARE OUT IN PUBLIC……” What follows is my response, because I had this incredible experience this morning.
A young repairman of Filipino, Mexican, Apache and Cherokee heritage just came here to my home to fix my furnace which has been unuseable for nearly a week, and even though I live in the Southwest desert, night times get below freezing. That aside, when the repairman got here he introduced himself as Julian with the “J” pronounced, as Caucasian people would pronounce it. I noticed his teardrop tattoos below both eyes and saw the tattooes on his fingers that are both indicative of gang membership and possibly time spent in jail.
The furnace is located in a closet on the outside of the house, and it’s in the 40’s and damp here now. I offered to make him a cup of tea and he politely refused, wanting to get to work. After a little while I went back outside and we started talking because I was asking him questions. The problem was simple and he fixed it in less than a half hour. I asked him how long it took him to learn his trade. He went to school for 2 years to learn his skill.
While we were talking he said, “us middle class people have to work really hard for us to make ends meet these days.” I agreed. I took note of the fact of both of the incidences I mentioned because I felt he was trying to make ME feel more comfortable by saying his name in Anglo pronunciation and also making the assumption that I was middle class because of the house I live in and that I’m Caucasian.
After I signed some papers for the repair I went back into the house and felt uncomfortable because he seemed like a very sweet man. It hurt me to understand why he said the things he did to make me comfortable by denying who HE is. I went back outside, and since he was still there, I thought there’s a reason for me to not miss this opportunity to build a bridge between us.
I learned that he was indeed an ex gang member. I learned that people will not let him do repairs in their houses because of his tattoos. That he had been turned away on a regular basis and that his boss had to send someone else in. I learned that he had great shame for his past, and that he felt he had to deny his heritage and background so that he could earn a living. He has a 3 yr old son and has turned his life around, and he credits his wife with that. I told him, ‘yes, she helped you, but you were the one that made the changes.” I also told him to be proud of being working class because WE built this country. I also told him to be proud of his heritage because his land was stolen from him. I couldn’t go on because there is so much to say, I just couldn’t emotionally spit it all out. We both had tears in our eyes. He thanked me and I smiled back. There was a very strong connection to one another. I also told him that I am Jewish and that not all Jews are rich. We both smiled at the acknowledgement of stereotypes.
I also learned that the company he works for charged my landlord $224 for this repair. The labor cost $90 and $120 for travel plus taxes. I also learned that out of all that money, and with 2 years of schooling, the repairman “J” made $13.50. No parts were replaced. Essentially, two stickers in the furnace had come loose and got trapped in the fan and caused a horrendous and scary noise and I couldn’t find it myself . He had to move things around to find it.
So when I got the above email today, actually right after he left, that said “be wary” of being in public because “desperate people do desperate things,” yes, that is certainly true. It is also true that GREEDY PEOPLE WILL STEAL YOUR HOUSE FROM UNDER YOU (by pretending you can afford it knowing full well that you can’t afford it as soon as they raise the interest rates and giving poor and working class people purposeful and wrong information), THAT GREEDY PEOPLE WILL POISON THE AIR, WATER and FOOD WE NEED FOR SURVIVAL FOR THEIR OWN PROFIT AND WILL NOT PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF TAXES.
BEWARE CEO’S OF LARGE CORPORATIONS, BEWARE THE GOVERNMENT because they are sociopaths with no consciences and no caring for anything other than their own off-shore bank accounts.
Two days ago my mother, sister and I were sitting in a restaurant having lunch. Before we were finished, our waiter pointed to a family just leaving and said “They paid your bill.” Be aware of strangers doing random acts of kindness.
Beware of the occupy movement being sidetracked by a classist focus and conveniently diverting fixation of rich people. I never gave a flying skunk about rich people and this whole “we are the world” bull uniting under the hate of them is getting annoying. The biggest problem myself and my friends had growing up as lower income kids (not a dollar to spare at the end of the month and no vacations or a car or future or social capitol, drug abuse everywhere, desperate acts over crumbs) was with pretentious misinformed middle class people. Enough already with the zeitgeist-whatever-garbage “oooooh they have power and they owned slaves”……NO SHT! Really? Wow, i had no clue(i’m being really sarcastic). If you’re rich, great good for you, now enough of you already we have class divides to become aware of, we never got anywhere growing up by whining and moaning about what somebody else had-you can’t get blood out of stone no matter how much bitching you do because when you’re poor there’s nothing to get in the first place. Enough already.