Friday, October 22, 2021

CoVID-19: ACIP Encourages Boosters | Delta Plus Detected In US | Petito Alleged Murderer's Remains Identified | Millete Pleads Not Guilty | Mother Road at SD Repertory Theatre |

The Stage of Mother Road at San Diego Rep (Taken 10.22.21)

My grandpa was a farmer. He was born in 1907 and came to the US when he was 14 with an uncle claiming him as a son. He worked on other people's farms for decades and eventually owned several properties of his own in South Bay, where he grew seasonal fruits and vegetables. Later in life, they would be illegally seized from him over some false accusations, taken advantage of because of his broken English and limited literacy. In my lifetime, he had one farm property left and grew the best corn and watermelon that you could ever imagine. I've still never tasted anything close to it. After his death in 1993, we were forced to sell the property which was landlocked by two other properties and today there are dozens of condos where he farmed. 

In the backyard of my grandparents house was an old Studebaker school bus that me and my siblings used to climb around and scare each other by saying that there were dead bodies in the back and dare each other to go all the way in. In actuality it was mostly full of spiders, boxes of wicks from old oil lamps, old tools from the farm. We would learn that the bus was used to transport migrant workers during the Bracero program

I'm not a politician, but to me it seems that with the "crisis" of the border migration and supply-chain issues paired with the labor shortage, why haven't we brought this program back? You could require vaccination, properly vet migrant workers, and give two year work permits with the possibility for long-term residency or citizenship. Government agencies could make sure labor laws are observed and that there's humane treatment and fare wages for the workers. Because if we're being honest, we know that our service industry, our agricultural industry, and our manufacturing industries have long relied on a migrant workforce, legal or not.  

Federal immigration agents detained 1.7 million migrants at the border during the fiscal year that ended in September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data reveals. It’s the highest level of arrests since 1986. - The Washington Post

It's funny because I wrote all of the above earlier this afternoon, enraged by the nonsense on the news. And now it's late night and I got home from seeing Mother Road at the Lyceum/San Diego Repertory Theatre. My mom acquired the tickets and I promised I'd go even though the thought of being in a room with an unknown amount of strangers was terrifying to me. She needs to get out into the world more than just life between home and the hospital. Fortunately I wasn't having a panic attack the whole time. The theatre audience was maybe at 30% capacity, everyone was required to be fully vaccinated and wear a mask the entire time inside the building.

I didn't know anything about the show going in, so it was kinda funny after what I'd written earlier that it was a take on Grapes of Wrath: the cousin of Tom Joad finds the only living descendent of the Joads in modern times to make sure their remaining Oklahoma farm stays in the family. Except it turns out the only Joad left is an American-born Mexican campesino. Through the 2 hour play, we learn how a Mexican got into the Joad lineage, the secrets families keep, the scars we carry from our past. It was intense, emotional, and inspiring with just an 9 person cast, and seasoned with enough racism to be cringey and think about what people like my grandpa endured, what people of color today still endure, that the color of my skin is so much lighter than my own sister that the world treats us differently. It's really good and worth a see if you're a person who enjoys theatre. In the lobby, there was information about farmworkers' struggles, which you can find at and this list of organizations that work for criminal justice reform and mental health resources. 

A funny thing: after the play, Darren was waiting to pick us up and heard an older white lady ask her white male companion, "do you know what an ese is?" Maybe they should include a glossary in the program for the Spanish words the gringos couldn't understand. Ha! 

Stay safe out there. 

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