I was forwarded an email with a great story from Raul Bosque, a member of the Miami-Dade Local 1403 Executive Board. His email below illustrates the challenge we are up against as our opponents out there continue to demonize public workers because we’ve stuck up for ourselves over the years and built a great profession.
One disturbing theme that I keep hearing is [about] non-high risk employees complaining about the high-risk pension benefits. We're going to have to make sure that we're all on the same page and not attacking each other; that's why I suggest we form a strong alliance with other public sector unions so that we don't misdirect our energy against each other instead of at our common enemies.
And now I'd like to tell you a story that an older Jamaican lady told me when I was a teen-aged boy. This story is very appropriate to the times. The conversation went something like this:
"You know, Raul. People are just like crabs."
"What do you mean?"
"Have you ever cooked live crabs?"
"No, I haven't."
"Well, if you ever cooked live crabs, you would know how people are. You put all the crabs in a big stock pot and light the stove. At first, none of the crabs realize anything is wrong, so they just scurry around. But after a while, when the water starts to get hot, some of the crabs realize they have to get out, so they start trying to crawl over the rim of the pot. Do you know what happens next?"
"No, I don't."
"The crabs below them grab them with their pinchers and pull them down. In the end, no crab gets out alive."
"Now, if the crabs had any sense, the ones below would push the others up, then the ones that made it to the rim would pull the ones below them out and they'd all pinch the SOB that was trying to cook them. Then, people wouldn't cook live crabs ."
And that's the problem we're facing today in America. Our working class and middle class are so busy pulling each other down that they're just making themselves easier to "cook." We need to make sure that doesn't happen within our ranks. But we also need to make sure that the teachers and other non-high risk employees don't start "pulling down" fire fighters and cops. We need to get the message across to them that united we stand and divided we fall.