Talk of ‘illegals’ in Beverly Hills
Single-mother to a 19-year old daughter, she looked not much older than my 31 years. A life spent doing small acting parts, bussing tables in Los Angeles and before that Las Vegas; hers was the life of many. Itâ€™s hard to remember where the conversation started, but before I knew it she was off on what was clearly one of her hobby horses: â€˜illegalsâ€™.
â€˜If my kid wants to get a summer job in McDonalds she can forget it because there is a Mexican working there for less,â€™ she said.
â€˜Iâ€™m sorry, but this is my country and theyâ€™re not legal. Why donâ€™t they get papers like everybody else?â€™
â€˜Well, many of them doâ€¦â€™ I began.
â€˜And that old argument about California formally being Mexico? Well, TOUGH. Iâ€™m sorry, but deal with it.â€™
â€˜I am so sick of Mexicans here complaining about America and how we treat them. If they hate it so much here, then why donâ€™t they just go back home?â€™ she asked, incredulous.
â€˜Well, I thinkâ€¦.â€™
â€˜Mexicanâ€™s have really got to start getting a better government and standing up for their rights,â€™ she went on.
â€˜Thatâ€™s why theyâ€™re in such a mess, because they donâ€™t stand up for their rights down there.â€™
â€˜Iâ€™m sorry, I donâ€™t want to be rude, but youâ€™re simply wrong about that,â€™ I managed to interject.
She viewed me through narrowed eyes.
â€˜Well, isnâ€™t it good that we can have this conversation without falling out and screaming with each other?â€™ she said, smiling sweetly and cocking her head to the side.
â€˜Yeah!â€™ I said. â€˜Isnâ€™t it just?â€™
This article is based on one conversation in Los Angeles. It is not representative of anything in particular but I felt it was at least of anecdotal interest.