Saturday, April 30, 2011

Celebration of Communism in San Jose on Sunday

And no, we're not referring to the Soviet Red Army hockey team, who will be in town Sunday to play Game 2 against the Sharks (just kidding, Wings fans). According to this story in the San Jose Mercury News, a local immigrant-rights group called the San Jose May 1 Coalition plans to hold its fifth-annual May Day march from East San Jose to downtown. The rally's purpose is to raise awareness of the treatment of immigrant workers, and to support unions in some way.

Guess who else celebrated May 1?
A few things are confusing us here. For one, are these folks aware that May Day (also known as International Worker's Day) is an explicitly communist holiday? Without turning this into the Glenn Beck Show, if the organizers are communists, what's the connection to immigrant rights? People immigrate to the United States for a lot of reasons, but its socialist economy is generally not one of them. And what's the connection between immigrants and unions? Unions have traditionally detested immigrants for eroding their wages, and antipathy toward immigrants is gripping Europe these days as state employees face the new austerity.

Our guess is that the rally's intentions are only loosely socialist. That is, they're hoping for a show of numbers to signify their solidarity with public employees in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and elsewhere, who may lose some collective bargaining rights to the current budget turmoil. And they're trying to show California's immigrants that they care about their cause, partly as a way of pandering to a large group of not-yet-union workers, and partly out of distaste for new anti-immigrant government policies (they'll complain about Arizona, but leave it to the Obamatons to fail to mention Secure Communities). Which doesn't, by itself, bother us much; these folks can spend their Sunday afternoons however they like. But nostalgia for 20th-century communism is not something we understand, and we can't stand May Day. We would be appalled by marches and rallies celebrating the legacy of Nazi Germany, and we guess most other people would be too. So why is it okay to celebrate the legacy of a movement that led directly to the murder, torture, and imprisonment of far more innocent people than the Nazis ever touched?


Post a Comment