White Mountain

Hitch your horse to this manservantWhite Mountain met its match last night, at their homecoming football game. The idea usually is to pick an opponent to beat at your homecoming festivities. Later you might visit a fellow school on their homecoming weekend and lose to them in return. But “South,” the underprivileged shoe-in with half the athletic department and budget, would not play ball. And that was the good news.

There was a distinct home advantage, the bigger, better lit bleachers, the multiple cheerleading squads, the band, the fireworks, everything uphill and upwind from the diminutive visitors stands. But the Indians got whooped by the visiting Pueblo South Colts, and maybe expected it. It felt like a surprise to most, and it was pretty dark out there. Add to that the anonymity of shiny football helmets under high school stadium lights, but if you looked closely you could tell it was darker on the south side of the field. The Pueblo South High School players were black and hispanic.

White Mountain gets its name because there are no children of color there. Well, there are the occasional adopted black children, and the whitish black children of privilege, but few others. Cheyenne Mountain is very very white. Nothing wrong with that, it’s an affluent neighborhood and welcomes all who can afford to be there.

But at the base of Cheyenne Mountain is a racism more overt and the children of White Mountain pass it everyday. Cheyenne Mountain Resort is a terribly exclusive country club with amazingly expensive membership fees and golf tee fees. And all the attendants there are black. It’s the Pullman porter valet concept with plantation era uniforms. They look like lawn jockey figurines. Thin black people in pure white clothes. Smiling black faces, happy to be there. Nothing illegal about the hiring standard, here’s how it works:

Cheyenne Mountain Resorts applies for an immigration waiver to hire international workers. They claim the jobs which resorts offer cannot be filled by the local labor force. The pay’s not enough, the career prospects are not enough, and true enough, the local populace is not enough either. Too fat maybe, poor work ethic, have social problems perhaps, and locals have their own transport to bring or fetch complications for the resort. Locals bring too much financial baggage to the table.

On the other hand, imported laborers are housed at company apartments. They’re shuttled to and from work. When they’ve finished their three month stint they are sent home. Deliriously uncomplicated and cheap. Cheyenne Mountain Resorts does its hiring in Jamaica. Know any white people in Jamaica? Well, they don’t appear to sign up to work across the sea, away from their home and family, on a rich man’s plantation.

The Broadmoor takes advantage of the same immigrant labor waiver to staff its hotel and restaurant, except they hire exclusively in Eastern Europe. I’m not sure that’s not racist to another extreme. The slavic labor force is the least expensive in the world, in the world of white people. There are no colored peoples there.

The immigrant labor waiver is an unfair means for local employers to escape contributing to a sustainable and healthy local community. It’s a foreign aid program of sorts, but at the expense of what could be local jobs. And when it’s racially segregated, it’s ugly. I plan to ask around if White Mountain prefers its golf jockeys all black. If they can’t say it with a straight face, they should stop it.

This isn’t about racism, it’s about economic justice. If we want to believe in the notion that the American dream is available to people of all shades and heritage, we must not teach our children that racial differences dictate social status.

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