The following op-ed is by Bradley Faskowitz, a senior at Capistrano Valley High School in California. Bradley participated in Or Tzedek’s Activism and Community Organizing program in summer 2012. The following was originally posted on Bradley’s Facebook page.
Today I saw something that makes me livid. There was a bumper sticker that said “Don’t share my money, share my work ethic.” This is obviously a Republican bumper sticker, and although I lean left, I am not offended by the republican rhetoric. The right has valid reasoning for its policies. What I am offended by is the inaccurate presumption that others do not work as hard as you.
Although you can perhaps be one of the hardest workers out there, do NOT call out another’s work ethic. This past summer, I met DREAMers in Chicago who were some of the hardest working teens, and people for that matter, that I have ever seen in my life.
All they want is a chance to provide for America and give to the country that most of them have lived in for the majority of their lives. (Opposite to contrary belief, undocumented immigrants do pay full taxes, yet they don’t get any benefits; thus, in essence, contributing heavily to our taxes.) Also, don’t call people working 12-16 hour jobs, the same people who bust their asses everyday with little to no take-back to provide for America, as not having a “work-ethic.”
I understand that there are people abusing the system, but at the same time, there are so many who work so hard and get little in return. In an economic system in which there is de facto limited social mobility, hard work does not always get you to being the CEO of a company. Republican or Democrat, I truly hope that as humans, we can have the audacity to not call people out for not working hard because this is simply not true.
Many who read my [post] are privileged, and I hope that we can acknowledge the fact that with being privileged comes an understanding, an empathy, for those who aren’t. If you are the person whose car I saw, please reconsider your outlook and just spend an hour outside of your own distorted bubble.