Home > Ground Zero, reflections on race > Where is the justice?

Where is the justice?

To borrow from my fellow blogger Barb.…

So the thing is…. there’s a lot that I haven’t had time to blog about for the last six plus months, but if we’re Facebook friends  you know I’m taking a six week class called “Spanish for Social Justice Summer Intensive.” I’ll tell you more about that later, but for now…. just know that it’s awesome and you should find one in your community. If you can’t find one, beg and plead and campaign until you can get one started.  But more on all that later.

But that’s something we’ll have to talk about later, because I only have a quick minute and something(s) on my mind.

Earlier in the week I received a letter from the Maricopa County prosecutor’s office, informing me that the man who attempted to steal Tyler’s bike and an empty propane tank is being charged with a class 4 felony. According to the officers at the scene, it was obvious the man was mentally disabled (though lucid enough to know he shouldn’t be stealing).

I asked myself, when am I going to stop thinking like a white girl when it comes to law enforcement? But more on this too, another time.

Last night I attended a Spanish-En​glish Language Exchange at the Worker’s Rights Center with fellow classmates who are learning Spanish and workers that have either sought services for a workplace violation or joined a leadership course for their personal interest in social justice issues (mainly worker and immigrant rights). WRC has been preparing for a “wage theft” campaign, and this was an opportunity for Spanish learners and English learners to help each other practice speaking and listening skills.

I was familiar with the wage theft issue from a macro level, but not some of the details…. like how Arizona state law only allows wage claims up to $2500 for wages not paid in a year. In the last three years, the helped manage cases consisting of nearly a million dollars in wage theft. They’ve been able to get back less than 20% of el robo de sueldos. Or how wage theft is not even a misdemeanor in Arizona… if I remember correctly, it’s a civil offense. I didn’t know there was a surge in wage theft in our state after the passing of SB1070. Once again, our broken policies have created a perfect storm for exploitation.

So you might be thinking this is a random update on what I’ve been up to lately, and I guess it is. But this is my point….

It’s surreal to me that a mentally disabled man can be charged with a felony for stealing property that probably is valued at less than $100, but there are no consequences worth speaking of when you intentionally steal someone’s wages.

I wonder again, what kind of people we have become.

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  1. July 14, 2011 at 10:50 PM

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