Monday, July 21, 2008

Pretty Sure This Isn't Montgomery, Alabama

Or, 1964.

And a hint for anyone seeking domestic work - don't live in the home with your employers. I'm sure it looks like phone on TV; but historically, it has only led to sexual assualt and harrassment and even rape, being "on-call" 24/7, losing a sense of control over one's destiny, etc, etc.

Shared Struggle Led Women to Political Action
Domestic Workers Spurred Montgomery Protections

By Katherine ShaverWashington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 21, 2008; A01

Most Sundays for the past six years, about 25 live-in nannies and housekeepers from across the Washington area have gathered in Silver Spring to share stories of mandatory six-day workweeks, 14-hour days and salaries that amount to as little as $1 an hour.

Calling themselves the Committee of Women Seeking Justice, they gather in a circle and commiserate in English, Spanish, Hindi and French. Among the topics: no sick days, little overtime pay, feeling "on call" at all hours and sleeping on basement floors. Several have shared stories of having been kept as modern-day slaves, organizers said, rarely allowed out of the house and never seeing a cent.

Some are so worried their bosses will find out about the meetings that organizers use code -- "Come to my nephew's christening" or "Come to my niece's birthday party" -- when calling their employers' homes.

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis