It had been three weeks since I met with Juliet about the business marriage. I still did not have an answer to my proposal. I was tempted to follow up with her but did not want to be too aggressive. There was a new immigration debate heating up in Washington. A few Senators were proposing a bill that would provide illegal aliens with amnesty. That bill was also adamantly opposed by some members in Congress and they a proposed a law to counter any amnesty bill. The law would deport all illegal aliens and change the way employment verifications were done by companies. It had the whole country talking about immigration. The debate was also taking place locally as South Florida had many illegal aliens. The first indication of how heated the debate was started for me when I visited the barber shop.
I used to go to a black barber shop in Carol City for 5 years. I loved going to the black barbershop. There were debates between the barbers and patrons. The most heated debate typically was between the barbers. The debates with patrons never seem to get too heated as they don’t want to lose customers.
There were also some very interesting characters that either hung out in the barber shop or were customers. The one interesting character that I will always remember is a guy the barbers called “stealth ninja”. How did he get the name? Here is the story.
He was a big black American man about 6’3 and 240 pounds. He used to be in the military. I used to cut my hair every 2 week and it seemed he was on the same schedule. I saw him every time I went.
It was around the time of a Presidential Election campaign season when “Stealth Ninja” and another Barber got in to heated discussion. The discussion was about the Democratic Presidential candidate. “Stealth Ninja” was a Republican which was very rare as most black Americans I knew were Democrats. He and the barber, who was cutting his hair, got into a heated discussion about the Democrats getting black vote but keeping them on the “plantation”. Soon the other barbers stepped in as most of them were Democrats. Their voices drowned him out. He got really upset. He got out of the barber’s chair while his hair was being cut. He was in fight mode. The barber kept telling him to calm down but he wanted a fight.
“I know ninja and I am going to kick your a **”, said Stealth Ninja. He was in a karate fight stance.
One of the other barbers got up and stood between them. Another barber threatened to call the police. Stealth Ninja left. While leaving he pointed at all the barbers who were debating him and told them he would be back.
They laughed while he left.
I came back to the barber shop 2 weeks later. As I was walking in I heard a skirmish behind. As I looked around I saw Stealth Ninja punch one of the barbers in his head. The barber was walking in the parking lot. Stealth Ninja got into a car and drove off.
At first I was frozen then I went to help the injured barber up. He said he was okay and tried to get up on his own. He fell back to the ground. Some of the others barbers came outside to assist him. One of the barbers took him to the hospital.
When everyone was back inside the barber shop the discussion was focused around who did it. They said it was the “ninja dude” and then they started to call him Stealth Ninja. Apparently he had been driving by the building slowly for a few days. When he drove by he would point and taunt the barbers.
No one saw the Stealth ninja again after that day. Everyone thought it was over. Three years later I was walking in to the barber shop and I heard a skirmish behind me and then a big thud. It was Stealth Ninja again. He knocked out another barber.
The other barbers were laughing about it and saying they would be ready for him in 3 years. I kept thinking how sad it was that Stealth Ninja kept this hate inside for 3 years.
I had stopped going to the barbershop when I bought the townhouse and 1 year before the Stealth ninja was suppose to strike. . Money was tight and I did not have the room rented. I was cutting my own hair to save me money. I was not looking for any particular hair styles so I did not need a barber. I kept my hair close cropped. Doing a “tape” (outline around the hairline) was the most difficult part of cutting my own hair. It was difficult “taping” the sides and the back. I did the best I could.
Now that I was in management at the store I wanted to look well groomed. The immigration debate had people taking.
Well on my first day back to the barber shop I walked into a heated debate on immigration.
I was sitting waiting to get my hair cut when a newscast made reference to new tougher immigration laws.
“Yeah, ship them all back”, mumbled a patron sitting in a barber’s chair getting his haircut.
No one said anything.
“Those d*** illegals are everywhere and destroying our country. They are like cockroaches”, the man said. He was looking for a debate.
It was the first time I had ever heard any resistance to illegal aliens by a black American.
He continued ranting. He was saying that many of the illegals from the Caribbean thought they were better than black Americans. He talked about them taking away jobs.
One of the barbers could not “hold his tongue” any longer. I later learned he was from the Dominican Republic (DR). The debate was now on.
“Immigrants are a necessity to the U.S. economy”
“BS. that’s not true and it is totally ludicrous. They are a bunch of poor, uneducated, unskilled, non-English speaking or bad English speaking foreigners that bring nothing to help the US. Economic necessity you mean burden that suck from law abiding citizens,” the man replied.
The DR barber shot back. “They do the work Americans won’t do.”
“That is also not true. Yes, Americans won’t work for a very low wage but they do want to work. Get rid of the illegals and the people who wanted the work done would have to pay a wage that was attractive enough to get Americans to do the work. It would help with unemployment and the welfare rate. The economy would get helped if there is a larger taxpaying workforce,” the man replied with a smirk on his face. He seemed to be well versed on immigration.
Another barber shot back “but businesses benefit from this cheap labor pool.
“Total nonsense!!! Only unscrupulous people benefit from the cheap labor when they hire the illegal aliens and leave taxpayers holding the bag. We the tax payers pay to support all the Americans who have been put out of work by illegals and must also provide billions of dollars in services and benefits to the illegals themselves,” he replied to the barber.
Another barber chimed in “Yo man, they are just trying to make better lives for themselves and their family.
The man shot back ” Aren’t we all trying to do that?”
“Yeah but they are trying to make a difference for their families back home,” the DR barber replied.
“Here is the difference. We regular folks understand that we DO NOT have rights to acquire by illegal means those things that we find difficult to acquire by legal means. I would love to see us try that in a foreign country,” the man shot back.
Then one of the barbers who had been quiet through the whole discussion spoke up.
“I agree with you man. They should round them all up and send them back to where they came from.”
I was tempted to say something but did not want to draw attention to myself.
“It would be impossible to round up and deport all the illegals in the USA,” said the DR barber
“They don’t have to round them up. All they have to do is remove the incentives that brought them here in the first place. No jobs. No housing. No taxpayer financed services or benefits (including education). Once they remove the incentives that brought these illegals here, they will leave the USA on their own,” he shot back again. The man had a response for every point someone made.
Then one of the barbers tried to appeal to him using race.
“But look at the people they are trying to control. It is black and brown people,” the barber said.
He had a response for that too.
”You need to stop drinking the cool aid and playing the race card. There is nothing racist about our immigration policies. America welcomes legal immigrants of all races and ethnicities from all over the world,” he replied.
“This is a nation of immigrants,” one of the customers now said something.
“If you are talking about 150 years ago yes. But remember it was legal migration,” the man responded.
“But, they are people like you and me. They should be treated humanely” said another barber.
Again the man had a reply.
“Yes I agree but let’s not pretend that these people are victims who were dragged to the USA kicking and screaming against their will. They came here of their own free will and for their own benefit. They broke the law to do it. You never reward anyone for breaking the law or committing crimes. Sending them home is the right thing to do and there is nothing “spirited about that”. Let me explain it another way. If two people go to the movies and only one pays the admission and the other sneaks in, there is a difference. One has the right to be in the theater to watch the movie, while the other should be asked to leave or purchase a ticket. In the case of illegal aliens, it would be like the person who illegally entered the theater, watches the movie for free, then demands free soda & popcorn and that his family is allowed inside to watch the movie too. Then the family demands that subtitles be added to the movie because English is too hard. You see no matter what the cost, those who bought tickets, built the theater, and made the movie through hard work and obeying the laws will end up being the second class citizens with no rights,” he now had a smirk on his face. It seemed winning the debate and shooting everyone’s points down was his goal.
“So you want to break up families” said one of the customers.
“Families are often broken up all the time for different reasons. Hope many brothers we know are not with their families because of criminal activity. Drop by any prison or jail on visiting day and see families who are broken up. You can’t keep families together if some family members choose to participate in criminal activity,” he responded.
“Come on man. They work and contribute to our society like everyone else”
“Well, so do I. If I break the law and commit crimes, I can expect to pay a penalty of some kind. It could be anything from a small fine, to prison, to the death penalty. There is no way I will receive a reward. So why should we treat foreign criminals better than our own citizens? “
There was a silence. I think everyone was tired of debating with him. He was winning on all points.
“Okay fellas, I got to go. When this countries goes to the dogs remember I warned you,” he said with a smile.
Then he left a parting “gift”,
“Anyway, their ass*s will be gone soon. A congress is getting ready to put a bill requiring new social security cards with a picture id on it and a new employee verification program.” He walked out the shop with a smile on his face. He won the debate. He was safe but I was not.
His statement struck fear in me. If this new proposed legislation saw the “light” of day I could be in trouble with the document I had. I needed an answer from Juliet on my “business marriage proposal”.