By Cindy Casares | 24 Mar 2011 | 20:51
D Magazine in Dallas just printed a must-do list featuring “52 Things Every Dallasite Must Do” to be “a true local.” On it, between the local restaurant recommendations and the State Fair, is the item “Hire a day laborer”. Yes, really.
We took a good look at the list to see if, perhaps, this was a list about getting to know real Dallasites, some of whom are poor and don’t have big hair or drive Cadillacs with longhorns strapped to the hood. It’s not. Amongst D’s exclusive, insidery, locals-only list items are things like “Ride a mechancial bull at Gilley’s.” (Their cover item, actually.) Really, John Travolta circa 1980? Next you’ll be telling us to a Cowboys jersey. Another item on the list is “Get a boob job.” So, in other words, this is a list of things a certain group of people in Dallas might choose to do if they were Lucy Ewing. Fine. But then why would you add to that list “Hire a day laborer” unless what you’re trying to say is you’re not a real Dallasite until you exploit a Mexican?
We emailed D Magazine executive editor Tim Rogers to ask him just that question. He emailed us back this article from D Magazine, published in 2008, by a writer who worked for his buddy’s construction company for ten years to make ends meet, using the services of day laborers all that time.
“Are you saying people SHOULDN’T hire day laborers?” Rogers asked us. “I thought the we offered was very helpful.”
It’s not our place to say whether or not people should hire day laborers. We’re sure day laborers wouldn’t want us to deter you from hiring them. They need the money. What bothers us about D’s list item is its flippant of a very sad and complicated social and economic situation in this country and Latin America. To commodify human beings who are risking their lives to send their families their last dime is, frankly, sickening and more than a little insulting to the Dallasites who read their magazine.
When you place “Hire a Day Laborer” next to “State Fair of Texas” and the “Audobon Center”, like rolling up to the vacant lot on Carroll Avenue is just another diversion for you and your family, you pretty much take the humanity out of your magazine. Get a load of these pointers D Magazine offers:
Hopefully, you have a truck. Anything less makes for an uncomfortable ride to the jobsite. Especially if you’re hiring multiple guys. We once endured an awkward trip in a Miata with one laborer straddling our lap, facing us, and telling us he loved us.
And, on bidding too low:
Be prepared to pay $10–$14 an hour. A few years ago, we offered $7 an hour and dudes scattered as if our vehicle read “INS.”
Oh, ha ha. Why not just say they scattered like cockroaches? What, all of a sudden you’re sensitive?