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Am I being Racist?

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posted on May, 17 2005 @ 06:03 PM
This article was in New York magazine last week. Perhaps the illegals in California are living high on the hog, but it is quite a different and sad story in New York... though still better than where they come from.

Making less than $10,000 a year, living in firetraps with 20 other people, and most not even knowing how to take advantage of benefits available to them, their existence is not one to be envied.

According to a recent City Planning Department study, two-thirds of all Mexicans in New York live in overcrowded conditions, the highest percentage of any immigrant group in the city. Twenty people in a Staten Island house built for six, eight in a Queens studio apartment, five in four narrow beds on Broadway just south of Columbia University. Clothes squeezed into liquor-store boxes, the toilet always occupied, the air rank with the smell of too many bodies in one place.

To get to his home, David walks past a phalanx of grand old Washington Heights high-rises full of classic sixes with Hudson River views and turns down a stairway that’s practically hidden from the street. He crosses a reeking courtyard strewn with waterlogged cardboard boxes, rotting chicken bones, and junked toilets and comes to a greasy window guarded by a Yosemite Sam doll holding a sign that reads BACK OFF, VARMINT. Next to the warning is a locked door, and past that, the dank, dark basement bowels of a pre–World War I apartment building. He passes the ancient and rumbling boiler and proceeds down a moldy hall not much wider than the corridor of a Pullman sleeper. To the right is the bathroom, whose ceiling opens to a maw of boards, with water and roaches seeping in. Farther on are several tiny rooms whose rickety doors are bolted with padlocks. One is David’s.

“Welcome to mi casa,” he says, opening the door to an eight-by-ten-foot space jammed with a children’s bunk bed, a refrigerator salvaged from the trash, and an outsize, cast-off TV. He shares the tiny room with a construction worker named José, who rehabs bathrooms and baby nurseries on the Upper West Side. For $100 each, they get 40 square feet apiece—half the 80 square feet required by law for each person in a household. It’s hard to turn around and impossible to walk anywhere but to the leaking bathroom down the claustrophobic hall, or to the small living room with the scavenged sofa and the saint-and-candle-clotted shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Twelve of the 27 people in the basement live in this 750-square-foot section. In addition to David and José, there’s Leo, Giovanny, and Paco, who work at Citarella. Mateo, Jacobo, and their roommate work at Fairway. Another guy works in a bar on 24th Street; his roommate does odd jobs in Washington Heights. Arianna boxes crayons at a factory in New Jersey. And Francisca trucks through the neighborhood with an old shopping cart, collecting soda cans for recycling. Individually, they’re poor. Collectively, they earn over $150,000 a year and pay $1,200 a month in rent.

Their decrepit basement apartment is illegal, of course. It was converted by a rotund Mexican affectionately known to the housemates as El Gato (the Cat). First he cleared out a half-dozen tiny toolrooms and wired them for electricity. Then he jerry-rigged a toilet and shower near the coin-operated washer-dryers used by residents of the 40-plus legal units upstairs. The building's landlord collects almost $3,000 in monthly rent from the two sides of the basement. Half he kicks back to the super, a Cuban. The super lets Gato live in the basement for free and funnels him some of the kickback in exchange for keeping up the apartments and recruiting a continuing supply of Mexicans. Gato has been here twelve years and has a rep for helping newcomer compatriots. He rounds up used clothing for them and organizes Sunday pickup basketball games so they won’t feel homesick.

But Gato’s efforts don’t help much. David and the others are “lonely boys,” men who come by themselves from Mexico to support the families they’ve left behind. Inside their crowded dwellings, they lead strangely isolated lives. “You feel like a ghost,” says David. “A ghost in a basement.”

David comes from a slum just south of Mexico City. His father used to work in construction, but he had an accident a few years ago that left him paralyzed. Now his mother sells fruit and vegetables on the street and makes the peso equivalent of $10 a day—which sounds impossible but is still twice the Mexican minimum daily wage. There are eight children in the family. Though all are now adults, the younger ones attend junior and business colleges and still have to be supported on that $10. David, 35, is the oldest and has always felt responsible for his sisters and brothers. At the same time, he harbors a certain irresponsibility, a yen for what he calls aventura.

posted on May, 17 2005 @ 06:18 PM
YOu know, it is the same way here. Mexican families here will share a one room house with 15 people. I know that they live this way, and I do feel bad for them, however, this does not justify the illegal immigration into the United States.

In my city, I see more Meixcans than I do any other race. There are whole sections of town that are full of illegal immigrants, and everything is geared towards them, stores, phone directories, the operators for all companies in southern california it seems.

I have a lot of mexican friends, i go to school with them, hang out with them, I have nothing against these people. However, I do not want them to keep flowing into southern califonira unchecked.

posted on May, 17 2005 @ 09:52 PM
They should pull military recuiters out of US high schools and place them on the border anybody is willing to die for America has earned citzenship. Illegals aliens as americans call them should be detained humain conditions.
Perhaps politicans value the mexicon vote more then border sercuity.

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 01:39 AM

Originally posted by xpert11
Perhaps politicans value the mexicon vote more then border sercuity.

LOL, i agree with that!! politicans NEED the vote of the illiterate people, and maybe that is why illegal immigration is tolerated.
it seems like mexicans get all the benefits in healthcare, education....aids. it makes me angry.
lol, but it seems like they are very useful for being a "horde" easily led by a certain political party (ehm), which is greatful for their vote.

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 02:58 PM
We have similar probems to a lot of this here in the UK. When I'm not at Uni I'm living in London, and some areas are >50% non-UK origins. I've nothing against these people on the whole, but in some cases it's clear they bring crime and drugs and the like. We hear so much about black-on-black shootings and similar. And of course, the government can't be bothered to train up our own young people to become doctors, so they hire foreigners who hardly have a grasp of English. We don;t have the same problem with houses built in a day as you do, instead we have the huge tower blocks which promote drug-taking as well as other crimes.

Now at University, there's a similar problem. Walking around I see so many students of oriental origin its unreal, and many of them hardly know English. They are taking valuable University places away from British youngsters and taking their skills back to China or Japan, yet can't understand what the lecturers are saying.

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 03:14 PM
I agree that illigal alines should be sent back...specially when i had to wait hours in a row at the INS and spend hundreds of dollars to pay for my green card ... so ..if the rules aply to me they should aply to all other "aliens"...

posted on May, 20 2005 @ 11:06 PM
That's not being racist, it's being patriotic!

It doesn't matter what country the illegals are from, or their skin color. The issue is, they're here illegally and the taxpayers are footing the bill. Just so happens that we primarily have a problem with Mexicans. Kinda hard to skulk across the oceans, know what I mean?

posted on May, 22 2005 @ 09:25 AM

I agree. Many illegals go into roofing and other contract labor jobs and will underbid americans. They have ruined alot of jobs for the locals here. They steal IDs and documents to appear legal, don't pay taxes and use health care to the fullest.....they are not contributing. Others will argue they are good for this country because they accept jobs americans won't work....but they will, and do, get good paying jobs. If they do contribute.....I believe they cost more to all americans than what they contribute. No you are not a racist.
....Let's remember all the politicians who are supporting amnesty for these illegals and VOTE THEM OUT of office. They are traders!
Write your congressman.

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