LETTERS: Hidalgo ‘Jungle’ conditions persist in industry - Brownsville Herald: Letters To The Editor

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LETTERS: Hidalgo ‘Jungle’ conditions persist in industry

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Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 10:51 am

The book “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair was meant to focus on immigrants facing wage gaps that ever last for decades, immigrants being more likely to get more dangerous jobs and undocumented immigrants often being victimized by other employees or even their bosses. In other words, Sinclair said he was aiming to describe immigrant workers’ experience.

People who read the book

didn’t focus on the immigrants as much as they focused on the sanitation of their meat. The book did repeatedly show dangerous work content, alcoholism, violence and systemic corruption as well as a family in poverty, yet almost every aspect of society comes and attacks them in any way, shape or form.

For example, Ona, the wife of Jurgis, got raped by her boss, repeatedly, and kept it a secret in order to keep her job and provide for her family. Once Jurgis found out he went to beat up the boss, but unfortunately he got thrown in jail because the boss lied, saying he was the innocent man instead of Jurgis.

It’s not just immigrants who also go through this; however, because they were a poor family no one believed them.

Immigrants still make up much of the Midwestern meat packing industry work force; that’s how little has changed since Sinclair published his book. Those jobs are still dangerous and poorly paid, with very little security for them.

As Sinclair said after seeing everyone only focus on their food, “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”

Christopher De La Torre, Pharr

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