For years, certain political leaders have vilified Hispanic immigrants as being drug dealers, murderers and rapists. Although Latinos are no more likely than any other group of people to engage in criminal activity, these comments have stoked feelings of fear, anger and hatred.
If you have harbored these feelings, I hope that the past few months have changed your perception.
Thousands of local buildings were damaged during last spring’s hail storm and ever since, construction crews have been working in our communities. The vast majority of roofers are Hispanic. They have worked from sunrise to sunset six days a week, through the blistering summer heat into these frigid November days.
The work is grueling — climbing ladders, balancing on uneven surfaces, ripping up filthy shingles and pounding new ones into place.
It is doubtful that these men are able to negotiate their wages, and they probably don’t receive benefits for their hard work.
We owe them a debt of gratitude. When we are snug in our homes this winter, remember those who helped make that possible and treat Hispanic people with respect and kindness.