Thursday, September 4, 2014
Chapter 6: At a Slaughterhouse, Some things never die.
Chapter six hits close to home in many ways. First the chapter is centered around our own state and secondly it talks about one of the largest industries in North Carolina; The Smithfield meat packing industry. Which has been put under scrutiny in many ways; from the way they process their pork and how they treat their workers.
This chapter focuses on on four groups that are "segregated" throughout the meat packing factory and in the Bladen County. Groups or races are groups in descending order; White, Indian, Black, and Mexican.
There is a lot of resentment among the Black community and the Mexican. They are fighting for jobs that pay under minimum wage so that they can try and make a living. At first in the county it was hard to get a good job if you were part of the miniortiy group, but then with a lot of protests and work. Jobs began to give way to the Indians, and Blacks in the community.
The issue we see in this chapter is how there is the resentment of Blacks to Mexicans and then Indians, and then Whites to everyone else. The Mexican community feels that the Black community are "lazy and want to take their money" and the Black community is tired of jobs being given to immigrants because they will "work" for lower wages.
Race is not only being applied to the color of an individuals skin but their cultural background. Where they come from for example the whites, blacks, reds (Indians) and then you have the "Mexicans". The town is being split from who can speak Spanish and those who cannot. Everyone is struggling to make a living and earn money. But when it come to the factory work the easier less labor intensive jobs are given to the white and Indian workers, and then the cut, cleaning, and processing line is split into gender and race. Where if you are black you are placed in a semi higher work status then if you were "Mexican".
When trying to understand where people and their background line up in the workforce of Smithfields you could make a descending chart or tree that separates into branches of race, background, wage, and language. In what other ways have you seen the racial stigma being used as not only to separate the color of ones skin but against them either in religion, skin-color, or cultural background?
Posted by Unknown at 9:30 AM