At the intersection of White Privilege and The Lives of People of Color, some ambulatory trash fires contemplate the effects of tRump’s virulent xenophobia and whine What about me, what about my needs??
Phil Doornink represents the fifth generation of his dad’s family to grow tree fruit. He and his wife, Karen, call themselves professional gamblers. They worry about the weather, the bills, the fruit. They worry about getting enough workers and paying everyone fairly. They wonder where the next new regulation will come from and how much it will cost. Or which of their neighbors will be next to pack it in and sell their land.
And now they wonder about Donald Trump.
Like many farmers in the state, the Doorninks voted for Trump. While Trump didn’t talk about ag policy during his campaign, farmers liked his broad promises to cut federal regulations.
But Trump’s ideas about immigration seem out of touch with the demands of the nation’s agriculture industry. Orchards up and down Central Washington, from Okanogan to Benton County, rely on Latino workers whose documentation status covers the spectrum. Trump’s promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and crack down on immigration broadly, could shake the industry to its core.
Farmers and orchardists heard the message about reducing federal regulation of businesses, but when Punkinhead gabbled about increasing federal regulation of human beings who aren’t U.S. citizens, they were stricken with a brief bout of deafness. Or they were too busy shoving their heads even closer to their splenic flexures.
This isn’t even a case of the stereotypical tRumpists who only know immigrants as scary FauxNewsian stereotypes. These are voters who readily admit that without immigrants, they’re fucked. So they know immigrants, they rely on immigrants, but apparently the Anti-immigrant shouting dot is too far from the Threat to the viability of my business dot for some people to make the connection.
And now they’re concerned that the person they wanted in the White House will do something that will shut down the business that’s been in the family for generations. Even if I weren’t worried about the men and women and children who are being harassed and harmed because the Terrible Tangelo has made Xenophobic Frenzy a policy goal, I would still have a major dearth of fucks to give about tRump-supporting orchardists and their fruit.
But to be scrupulously fair, it isn’t just Napoleorange’s voters who are stupid. Johnson-voting jackasses are also clapping their hands and thinking magically in hopes that will make things better.
Jabin Green, who grows pears and cherries at an orchard down the hill from the Doornink ranch, says Trump will face too much opposition to follow through on any drastic plan regarding migrant workers.
“I’m apprehensive about what’s next, but have trouble believing we’ll start rounding people up,” Green says. He voted Libertarian in the election. “I don’t know if I’d recognize that America, but I have a hard time believing that’s where we’re headed. I hope it’s not where we end up.”
Apparently this person is too busy getting on his freak with a copy of Atlas Shrugged to hear about ICE raids. More likely, he doesn’t care who is rounded up, provided it doesn’t interfere with his profit margin.
Any “deportation scheme” that targets agricultural workers would devastate the tree fruit industry, says Christian Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, which lobbies at the federal level on behalf of growers and shippers in Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
It would be unadulterated hell for the people targeted by such a scheme, which would be everyone who doesn’t look American enough to the law enforcement officer or wannabe tough guy out to spread a little MAGA. But even if that specific nightmare doesn’t come true, growers and lobbyists should worry that the people who are essential to their business will be mistreated if they come here.
If seeing humans as anything but labor units is too difficult, they could try being concerned that the workers they rely on will decide that the risks of coming to this country outweigh any benefits.