Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Gainesville, Ga makes COver Page of Washington Post---Immigration in a small town

(Reason number 456 why I hate this place-The Natives)

I wake up Monday morning at Rachs not on campus. I'm Already late to class so I decided to take it easy and do what I do best. Smoke and read the newspaper, a tradition I haven't done since winter break due to a lack of time. I go to my favorite of favorites washingtonpost.com and on the "front page" it reads "Towns-Eye View of Immigration Debate: In Ga., Influx fills a Gap in Workforce."

"Oh Shit!," I think to myself a native to D.C. I understand the Yankees view of southerners: Rednecks, ignorant, racist. Part of me hoped the article would dispel some of that stereotype. But the better part of me knew it that it would not.

"How many people can this country hold?" Harold Hogsed asked a native to Gainesville, GA and a man bold enough to go on record saying that he "wishes they would all go home." For those who've traveled to Gainesville, you no in doubtingly know who "they" are. For those who have not, "they"= recent hispanic immigrants. I've lived in Gainesville, GA for four years now, and I am happy to say I will not see a fifth. The town prides it self as the poultry capital of the world, the cause, for the large influx of immigrants. But the small town 50 miles outside of Atlanta is more. Until 1990s Gainesville was a town where time stood still, just the way the natives hoped it would. Gainesville is more than a poultry capital of the world; it is the KKK capital of GA, and home of Dale Carver, the Grand Dragon himself. (take a right on Southers Rd off of Ledan, second house on the left). The town is segregated by a set a railroad tracks and a highway. One high school is mixed racist, but the others are clearly Red, White, and Black with little mixing of the races. It is home to one small private university (a bubble within a bubble) a two year school and a technical school. There is a meth and coke problem that the GBI, until recently, had little handle over. And the city is more recently known for its 37 and 15 year old newlyweds. In short, the town is backwards, but people like it, they are content and complacent in their surroundings.

So when Harold Hogsed says that he wishes they would all go home, can you blame him? The towns population stands at approximately 32,000, nearly double what it was in 1990 and according to the article in The Post the number of Hispanics has quadrupled to compose nearly half the registered population,keyword is registered, soo the number does not reflect illegals. City schools are 55 percent Hispanic and at least 1 child of illegal immigrants are registered EVERYDAY. Thats big step from 15 years ago especially for a town that was probably pissed when the Civil Rights act got passed in 1964---the local university did not have its first African American Student until 1974. Naturally Harold is a little pissed.

Nationally George "Dumbass" Bush is working on his solution for immigration..no not a wall with snipers every 10 feet. Bush wants to have some sort of workers permit. He wants to allow immigrants to come to America legally, work, and then go home after a few years. If they want to stay and hang out, become citizens, then cool, just get in line. GA Governor Sonny Perdue (I didnt know immigration was a state issue, I always assumed it was strickly federal) is considering anti-immigration bills, and will receive strong support from a majority of the GA senate.

I don't have a black and white opinion on immigration as a whole but when it comes to Gainesville, Fuck it! why would immigrants come to Gainesville, if they did not have jobs. A lot goes in to becoming the poultry capital of the world, it takes workers and the LEGAL workers get paid, but hey, they get taxed first just like anybody else. On local gov't needs to step up its ESOL program. Im not pro immigration, but I'm not for a totally halt of a group of people just because (fill in whatever stereotype, loose based fact here) This is life, this is America, melting pot for a reason. Many of us are impostors on this Great Land. Who are we to single out (yet another) group of people simple because it makes us uncomfortable?


Town's Eye View of Immigration Debate Original Washington Post Article by Peter Slevin