Thursday, August 29, 2019

All in on brown.

I see brown people.

Perhaps because I live in Los Angeles, approximately 150 miles from the Mexican border, I see brown people every day.

For the last two months, I saw brown people in my house. Owing in large part to the bathroom remodeling we just completed.

We had brown people of two varieties traipsing up and down my stairs. Israeli contractors. And their Hispanic subcontractors.

For every Schmuley there was a Paco.
For every Alon there was a Pedro.
For every Moshe there get the point.

To be honest it was quite fascinating to see the men conversing in broken Hebrew and broken Spanish. It seemed like every conversation ended in English, "That's gonna cost you about a thousand bucks."

I know this will sound like heresy to those in the Red Hat Brigade, but I love brown people. And unlike the supporters of Captain Ouchie Foot, I see the immigrant culture as being additive to ours. In fact as I look back on my journey from upstate New York to Southern California, I see how I owe so much to brown people.

My first job here was as a Line Cook/Caterer/Kitchen Manager at a hugely successful restaurant. I would have been tossed out on my ass if it were not for Fernando, the huskier-than-me back of the house assistant chef who had literally written the menu for the place. He brought his grandmother's recipes from Guatemala and taught me how to bake bread, tenderize pork ribs, and make beans, all from scratch.

He also provided me with a refresher course in Kitchen Spanish so that I could supervise the entire crew including Abel, Miguel, Jorge, Carlos, and so many more. Not one of them spoke a word of English but took great delight that their Jeffe Gordo (me) could curse at will in their native tongue.

After every shift, we drank lots of beer and had lots of laughs.

Later in life, we had the opportunity to hire Husta, the nanny who worked across the street from us. She too barely spoke English. But she was well versed in the language of Mother. And cared for our girls as if they were her own. My wife will tell you Husta changed more diapers than I did. To which I could only weakly respond with, "Yeah, but I paid for those diapers."

Because of the language barrier, Husta did not watch TV. And so, on nights that we would go out and escape from the kids, we would come back and find our house had been cleaned from ceiling to baseboard. Thus taking the edge off any shitty movie we had bothered to see.

Tomorrow is Friday. Which means our gardener Freddy will be here. He's about the same age as me, but has the energy of a man half our age -- that would be 22. He mows, he prunes, he digs, he plants, he roots, he does everything 10 gardeners would do. And he does it with a smile on his face and a "God Bless" about every five minutes. I haven't had the heart to tell Freddy I'm an atheist, but I don't think he'd hold it against me.

These are good, hardworking, honest people with warm hearts. They want the best for their families and the best for others. They're not criminals or rapists or drug dealers, as Captain Fucknuckle has ignorantly suggested. In fact even on their worst day, they embody more American ideals than he ever could on his best.

I would gladly, whole-heartedly, take any of these people (and there are many, many more) to be my president. Each and every one of them would be an improvement over the floundering fustilarian flapdragon that now lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

I can hear the naysayers poo-pooing that suggestion out of hand.

"They could not be president. These are uneducated people. They have no background in politics. And know nothing about diplomacy, technology, science, business, and the mechanics of running a country. Plus, they don't speak English."

To which I would say, "Have you been following the news lately?"

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