In the summer of 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act. The act didn't give people much mind you...a minimum wage of .25 cents per hour and a 44 hour work week would be considered full-time, oh, and it abolished child labor.
Even though this wasn't much, people with money fought against it tooth and nail. In one of the President's fireside chats he said, "Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $1,000 a day, tell you that a wage of $11 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry."
I'm not trying to give you a history lesson here because I'm sure you know about all of this or, I'm sure you learned it in school even if you've forgotten the specifics. I know I learned it in school and promptly forgot the details once I'd answered the questions on my final exam.
You know...cuz that's how we generally roll.
On Labor Day, you always hear about the Fair Labor Standards Act and how it was the catalyst for the fair labor laws we have today. As these things go...I generally read something that leads me to something else and something else, yada, yada. And, as these things go...I realize why my father was so damn militant about what they were teaching me at school. See...it normally went something like this:
Dad: Oh...you're learning about the FLSA huh? Well...did they tell you how that only benefited White people?
Me: Um...they didn't really go into it like that I guess.
Dad: Of course not. Because they need folks to always feel like they're the blame for their own shit. Man...them White folks sliced and diced that act up so that they didn't have to pay Black people more. See...Black people mostly worked in the fields or doing domestic work back then cuz that's all they'd let them do. Well...even though they agreed that people couldn't live off what they were paying them...they still found a way to give the White people more and keep the Black people down. They said that if you worked in the fields or cleaned people's homes...you didn't qualify. And the unions? Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit...they didn't let Black folks join so the unions ain't help with shit. You got these White guys who didn't have education now making double what they were making and the Black guys? Same amount of nothing they always parceled out. I bet they didn't teach you that up at that school did they?
And then...after dropping his bit of depressing as hell knowledge which showed why he had such a disdain for the people in power...he'd roll off to let you ponder your place in the world. Or...for a better description...the place in the world you have to fight to get to since it's all set up against you.
My dear old militant daddy. LOL!
I hope by now yall know I'm not a race baiter. I don't excuse things that people do just because they are Black. I'm hard on myself and I'm hard on MY people. I want us to do well in life. But I'll be damned if digging around deeper into the history of stuff just really takes a toll on you from time-to-time. It's like...Black people have always been set up to do the bare minimum of what White people would have the opportunity to do. And...to this day, most White people won't even acknowledge these types of systematic racial prejudices across the board. I mean...if people had more money...they'd have more options. If they'd had more money, they'd have been able to send more of their children to college. If they'd have had more money, they'd have been better able to become homeowners. If they'd have had more money, they'd have been better able to maintain their homes and neighborhoods. If they'd have had more money, they would not have had to find cheap ways to forget that they didn't have more money/options/opportunity/experiences.
Same shit...different day.
If only they'd had more money.
Good morning. How was your Labor Day weekend? Did you go to a cookout?
SIP: How in the hell are you going to drop all that there and then ask somebody if they had barbeque?