Cleaner says she won’t work on ‘Day without an Immigrant’ but she didn’t expect the homeowner’s response

Cleaner says she won’t work on ‘Day without an Immigrant’ but she didn’t expect the homeowner’s response February 15, 2017

A woman has been using the same talented housecleaner for five years.  That’s why she was surprised to get a text, which said she was going to skip her regular house cleaning this week due to “Day without an Immigrant.”

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“Day without an Immigrant” is scheduled for February 16th and is supposed to send a message to America: immigrants are vital to this nation.   One flier in Washington DC read, “Mr. President, without us and without our contribution this country is paralyzed.”  The strike, which has largely spread through social media and word of mouth, apparently has spread all the way to rural Tennessee.

My friend, whose regular job is emotionally and physically taxing, was taken aback.  She’s never been a supporter of Donald Trump, she’s treated her cleaner well for years, and has never indicated that she had anything but respect and admiration for her work.

Her response, I believe was beautiful and important:

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Then, just to make sure her housecleaner could see her heart on the matter, she added one more offer.

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Together, we can be better, a political statement all Americans – immigrants or not — should be able to rally behind.  It’s hardly a new concept.  Mark 3:25 reads “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” The ancient Greek storyteller Aesop incorporated the united we stand, divided we fall theme into two of his fables.  Patrick Henry, in his last public speech, said “United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”  The saying is also on the flag of the state of Kentucky.

My friend’s response had echoes of both  a Biblical and patriotic admonition against divisiveness. It was powerful, because it wasn’t delivered on the steps of a state building or even on a blog.  It was a friend-to-friend exchange, after years of mutual respect. If you ever feel like politics is out of control and you can’t ever do anything to influence the culture, please take a moment to re-read my friend’s texts.

How did the housecleaner respond to my friend’s offer to roll up her sleeves and work together?

She insists on staying home.

“I don’t want my home to be swept into a misguided political statement,” the disheartened homeowner said, “I’m sad she’ll need to go.  I show up for my job every single day even though if I’m not treated well or I don’t concur with my boss.  I receive my pay to do my job.”

And it’s that simple.  America’s immigrant population has a right to strike.  America’s employers have a right to run their homes and businesses without those who would purposefully sabotage them with the politics of divisiveness.

Hopefully on Thursday, immigrants will understand that respect and appreciation should flow both ways in a fully functioning society.


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