Came across an interesting meme today that sparked a bit of controversy and discussion among the UI Family. Many of you ask me my position on the question posed, so I thought it would be great to release my view point.
The Question: Would You Pick Cotton For $100/hr?
If you are interested in joining the Facebook banter on the subject, you can do so here: UI $100 Cotton Picking Question. As I write this, there are over 175 Likes to the post, 125 shares, and over 360 comments and counting….it has only been up for 2 hours.
Now, let’s jump into my reasons I would pick cotton for $100/hr, but first I want you to understand I am well aware of our history, have a strong connection to our culture, and passion for my people. So please, miss me with bullshit because I’m not trying to hear it. Let’s go!
It’s Just a Job
Bottom line, it is a job. It is in the hot sun, but it isn’t the definition of who our people are or even represent the totality of what then endured. It is a back breaking, hard work, high effort job. Period. You have to also realize it is not like our ancestors were here in this country ONLY PICKING COTTON. They were forced to do any and everything under the sun. Cotton picking is just what is shown in your history books. This is why your feelings were hurt when your read the title.
Cotton Picking Isn’t The Devil
Cotton or picking cotton isn’t the devil. The devil lies inside the hearts and minds of those people that would rape our children, beat our mothers, separate families, throw PicNics (Pick A N*gger), hang our ancestors, feast and party around it. Cotton didn’t have anything to do with this. Cotton didn’t make the laws that made your ancestors less than human, create a bogus legal system, empower racist police officers, and uphold industries that made billions of dollars on the backs of our people.
This wasn’t cotton. This was some EVIL, LAZY, DEVILISH PEOPLE, not cotton.
Manual Labor Is An Honorable Living
Most of you saying you wouldn’t pick cotton for $100/hr are probably just afraid of hard, manual labor. There is nothing wrong with manual labor.
Hard work has been part of our experience in this country from the beginning.
Don’t try to run from it.
I Got Bills & Babies To Feed
Bottom line, I got a family and kids to feed. $100/hr would go a LOOOONG way to make sure they are fed well and their future is secure. We are talking about individual savings accounts, college accounts, entrepreneurial funds, everything.
If you slow down and break the numbers down, working an 8 hour day, 40 hours a week yields $4,000/week. I’m not sure what you are doing with your life, business, and job, but there are not very many people earning $16,000/mo. and $192,000/yr.
I can make that work. And all I have to do is some manual labor out in the hot sun. Sign me up today! You can be foolish if you want, but I know I can swing this for a minimum of two years…but can’t imagine why I would quit.
Not Many Opportunities Pay $100/hr.
Not sure where you are from, but there are not many opportunities for people to earn $100/hr. Sure, these opportunities are available to entrepreneurs doing the right thing, doctors, small segments of lawyers, contractors, engineers, scientist, and business executives that have worked their way up the ladder, but for the masses of people these figures are a pipe dream.
Maybe you haven’t noticed minimum wage is $7.75/hr or something like that. Even if you were making $25/hr, you have got to seriously consider a 4 times increase in your wage to sweat in the sun and do some manual labor.
Provides Perspective On What Our Ancestors Endured
I’m the sort of person that like to make the best of any situation and learn something from it. Therefore, if I were to work the cotton fields, I would take it as an opportunity to experience what my ancestors endured on a day to day basis. Obviously, this isn’t the same because I could go home at the end of the day to take a nice shower or bath, eat some great food and enjoy my family. In addition, there would be no threat of whips and death eminent in my everyday existence, but my perspective would be stretched.
As Long As I’m Free, I’m All Good
Straight up, good people, at the end of the day you can go home. What is the big deal? You make a done of money, gain some experience, and go home in a better financial position.
Seriously, are you going condemn everything your ancestors negatively experienced? There were boats involved, will you forever stay off the water. Some were thrown in the ocean? Will you never go swimming again? They were fed scraps of pork, but you eat bacon and ham? Stop it!
The security of your families future should be paramount. If you had an opportunity to make $100/hr for doing something legal and honorable like manual labor, I would hope you leap at the opportunity…..but hey, I could be wrong. What do you say?
Would you pick cotton for $100/hr?
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.