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Jewish World Review
August 24, 2007
/ 10 Elul 5767
Labor Day is coming up, so you know what that means don't you? Quick what is the first thing that comes to mind? If you think it means you can't wear white anymore then you must be over the age of 60. If you think it means that school is just around the corner, then you must be under the age of 18 or have kids that are. If you think it means having one final 3-day weekend of the summer then you are in the majority of Americans. If you think it means the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon then you're probably a child of the 60's. If you think you have to start preparing for the High Holy Days, then you are Jewish. If you think it means getting a day off from work to honor America's workers, then you know your history.
Labor Day is always the first Monday in September, and is a creation by the labor unions, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. But the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. Events on that first Labor Day included a demonstration and a picnic (some things never change). The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
The following year,1884, the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor unions, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country. And ever since then, American workers have been getting the September day off to engage in two of their favorite activities demonstrating and eating.
Unfortunately, in recent years Labor Day has been hijacked by illegal immigrants, anti-war protesters, gay rights activists and others who use the holiday as an excuse to voice their own political agendas which have nothing to do with the true meaning of Labor Day. Many "professional activists" have turned the September day of rest into a day of unrest. And the pro-illegal immigration crowd has flipped the celebration of Labor Day into a celebration of Day Labor. It's Labor Without Boarders Day now.
Last year illegal aliens and their proponents marched through major US cities demanding their "rights." Demonstrations were held in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco, and virtually every major city in the country. Among those who participated in the protests were groups as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union, National Organization for Women, Council on American-Islamic Relations coalition, A World Beyond Capitalism, Code Pink, Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition, Industrial Workers of the World, National Council of La Raza, Queers for Economic Justice, Student Immigration Movement, Socialist Workers Party/Young Socialists, New York May 1st Coalition, Hispanic Organizations Leadership Alliance, MDI-Movimiento por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes, and National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice. There were plenty more, but I guess you get the idea.
I don't know what is being planned this year, but with the deportation of Elvira Arellano, one of the major stars of the pro-illegal movement, you can bet there will be something going on. Senorita Arellano, you may remember, came into this country from Mexico without papers several years ago, used a false social security card, had her anchor baby (father is unknown) here, got involved as an activist with the illegal immigration movement and took refuge in a church in Chicago for over a year.
She was arrested and deported back to Mexico by ICE when she left Chicago and came to speak at a pro-illegal immigration rally in LA. She left her son behind in America (he is by law an American Citizen because he was born here) but she could certainly have taken him with her, if she really cared to be with her son. She chose not to. I guess her idealistic fight against America's immigration laws trumps all family values for her……that and the fact that she gets government subsidies for her son while he lives here.
Let's get one thing straight. Labor Day was created to acknowledge the achievements of AMERICAN workers. That means honoring workers who are American Citizens, not non-Americans who sneak across the border to work, or sell drugs, or do whatever. Happy Labor Day. Have fun and go barbecue something I'd prefer it not be an American flag, however.
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