Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Cindy Lange-Kubick: Lincoln woman makes a difference in Mississippi (illegal alien propaganda)
Journalstar.com ^ | 1-1-=2008 | Cindy Lange-Kubick

Posted on 01/01/2008 8:23:28 AM PST by stan_sipple

Look long enough — look close enough — and you’ll see that Elly Lehnert has one blue eye and one green eye, a quirk of genetics that for all practical purposes means nothing. Except, perhaps, in the context of what follows: an attempt to help you see what Elly sees. What the 25-year-old with Irish ancestry and Lincoln roots sees are front steps without houses and trees without tops and people living 10 to a storage shed in the heat and mire of post-Katrina Mississippi. It’s the people in the sheds she cares about most. People the rest of us don’t look at long enough — or close enough — to really see. Oh, we talk about them all the time. Those illegals. Damn Mexicans. The ruin of our country. But we don’t see them the way Elly does. For the past 2½ years, Elly has been helping rebuild a city of 50,000 in Mississippi. She began in the weeks after Katrina, three months in a space suit with a respirator, stripping the mold-infested homes of Biloxi to the studs as an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps member. After work, she walked the streets of that peninsula ghost town. At first all she saw were other relief workers. Then she started noticing the men with brown skin. Elly had spent a year in Chile — during college at UNL — and spoke fluent Spanish. She studied the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in high school and believed passionately in the words our forefathers left us. She believed those words, the unalienable rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, applied to everyone. She greeted the men on the streets. Buenos dias. Como estan? And because she truly wanted to know, and because she could speak their language, they told her. Told her about answering calls for help rebuilding the casinos and coming in on buses from across the country. Told her about being crammed into storage sheds without bathrooms, rigging up hot plates for meals, left without wages after weeks of work. And yes, many of them were in the United States illegally, without recourse. Maybe this is where you stop reading, stop caring. Not Elly. When she hears those stories, she hears the stories of her own ancestors who came to escape the potato famine so they could feed their children, have a better life. The men in Biloxi would be here legally if they could, she says. And the jobs they are “taking” from Americans? “When people say that I want to say, ‘What jobs?’” Washing hotel and casino laundry for $10 an hour? Roofing houses in 100-degree heat? Picking fields? She knows who is lining up for those jobs in Mississippi and who isn’t. Who is paying into a Social Security system they will never benefit from. “The majority are really hardworking people. And they’d play by the rules if the rules would let them play.” Instead she saw the way they were treated and it broke her heart. So when she finished her AmeriCorps stint, she stayed. She taught English classes, she translated documents and interpreted for medical appointments. She started monthly dances at a Catholic church for the workers and their families. She sings alto in the Spanish church choir. The most important thing she did is listen, Elly says. “People will tell me the best thing I’ve done is look at them as human beings, as equals, because nobody does that.” She works for Hispanic/Latino Ministries of the United Methodist Church now.

This week she will return to East Biloxi in time for the opening of The Village. El Pueblo.

The downtown outreach center is open to everyone — homeless veterans, poor and displaced natives of Biloxi, Latinos who came to work — with everything from showers to computer classes to 12-step meetings and a food pantry.

One day she will leave Biloxi behind for graduate school. She’s thinking about community planning and development. She’s thinking about international mediation.

For now, she’d like people to remember the face of Mississippi.

The old man who has spent his whole life there, now living in a FEMA trailer; poor blacks, who never realized the dreams of civil rights; the immigrants who have come to work.

“Just remember us,” she says.

You have to really look at Elly to see that one eye is a deep blue and the other a shade of ocean green.

The way you really have to look at everyone, to see who they truly are.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: illegalaliens; katrina; socialsecurity; unitedmethodist

1 posted on 01/01/2008 8:23:31 AM PST by stan_sipple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: stan_sipple
A minor correction:

The downtown outreach center is open to everyone — homeless people who claim to be veterans...

The percentage of the homeless who are veterans is one of the most wildly exaggerated claims ever made in this country. While I don't doubt that there are some veterans who are homeless, it's nowhere near the proportion that's claimed. B. G. Burkett's book Stolen Valor debunked many of the exaggerations regarding Vietnam War veterans.

2 posted on 01/01/2008 8:32:26 AM PST by Bob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stan_sipple
She looks at everything but the fact that they are here illegally. My 18 year old would kill for a $10 hour job doing just about anything, while he goes to school.

Is she saying that if they leave there will be no more rebuilding? That is nonsense, since the wages that the illegals have pulled down will go up. If they became legals then the employers would not use them and they would lose their job for illegals, since they work for less.

3 posted on 01/01/2008 8:36:27 AM PST by truemiester (If the U.S. should fail, a veil of darkness will come over the Earth for a thousand years)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bob

Im not surprised the article would get it wrong about homeless veterans.


4 posted on 01/01/2008 8:37:58 AM PST by stan_sipple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: truemiester

If the illegal alien job contractors hired Americans, the contractor agencies would actually have to pay those taxes the illegals are supposedly contributing.


5 posted on 01/01/2008 8:41:44 AM PST by stan_sipple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: stan_sipple

Look long enough — look close enough — and you’ll see that Elly Lehnert has one blue eye and one green eye, a quirk of genetics that for all practical purposes means nothing.

Except, perhaps, in the context of what follows: an attempt to help you see what Elly sees.

What the 25-year-old with Irish ancestry and Lincoln roots sees are front steps without houses and trees without tops and people living 10 to a storage shed in the heat and mire of post-Katrina Mississippi.

It’s the people in the sheds she cares about most.

People the rest of us don’t look at long enough — or close enough — to really see.

Oh, we talk about them all the time. Those illegals. Damn Mexicans. The ruin of our country.

But we don’t see them the way Elly does.

For the past 2½ years, Elly has been helping rebuild a city of 50,000 in Mississippi.

She began in the weeks after Katrina, three months in a space suit with a respirator, stripping the mold-infested homes of Biloxi to the studs as an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps member.

After work, she walked the streets of that peninsula ghost town. At first all she saw were other relief workers.

Then she started noticing the men with brown skin.

Elly had spent a year in Chile — during college at UNL — and spoke fluent Spanish.

She studied the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in high school and believed passionately in the words our forefathers left us.

She believed those words, the unalienable rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, applied to everyone.

She greeted the men on the streets.

Buenos dias. Como estan?

And because she truly wanted to know, and because she could speak their language, they told her.

Told her about answering calls for help rebuilding the casinos and coming in on buses from across the country.

Told her about being crammed into storage sheds without bathrooms, rigging up hot plates for meals, left without wages after weeks of work.

And yes, many of them were in the United States illegally, without recourse.

Maybe this is where you stop reading, stop caring.

Not Elly.

When she hears those stories, she hears the stories of her own ancestors who came to escape the potato famine so they could feed their children, have a better life.

The men in Biloxi would be here legally if they could, she says.

And the jobs they are “taking” from Americans?

“When people say that I want to say, ‘What jobs?’”

Washing hotel and casino laundry for $10 an hour? Roofing houses in 100-degree heat? Picking fields?

She knows who is lining up for those jobs in Mississippi and who isn’t. Who is paying into a Social Security system they will never benefit from.

“The majority are really hardworking people. And they’d play by the rules if the rules would let them play.”

Instead she saw the way they were treated and it broke her heart. So when she finished her AmeriCorps stint, she stayed.

She taught English classes, she translated documents and interpreted for medical appointments. She started monthly dances at a Catholic church for the workers and their families. She sings alto in the Spanish church choir.

The most important thing she did is listen, Elly says.

“People will tell me the best thing I’ve done is look at them as human beings, as equals, because nobody does that.”

She works for Hispanic/Latino Ministries of the United Methodist Church now.

This week she will return to East Biloxi in time for the opening of The Village. El Pueblo.

The downtown outreach center is open to everyone — homeless veterans, poor and displaced natives of Biloxi, Latinos who came to work — with everything from showers to computer classes to 12-step meetings and a food pantry.

One day she will leave Biloxi behind for graduate school. She’s thinking about community planning and development. She’s thinking about international mediation.

For now, she’d like people to remember the face of Mississippi.

The old man who has spent his whole life there, now living in a FEMA trailer; poor blacks, who never realized the dreams of civil rights; the immigrants who have come to work.

“Just remember us,” she says.

You have to really look at Elly to see that one eye is a deep blue and the other a shade of ocean green.

The way you really have to look at everyone, to see who they truly are.

Reach Cindy Lange-Kubick at 473-7218 or clangekubick@journalstar.com.


6 posted on 01/01/2008 8:46:31 AM PST by iowamark
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stan_sipple
What about our happiness? You know what happens when 60,000,000 illegals with minority preferences become citizens and we suddenly find ourselves looking for jobs picking blue berries, because we can’t get any other jobs?
7 posted on 01/01/2008 8:50:40 AM PST by bilhosty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bilhosty

A volunteer for a liberal church group shouldnt complain that Americans wont do these jobs when the liberals taught our poor not to work.


8 posted on 01/01/2008 8:52:36 AM PST by stan_sipple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: stan_sipple

In October I went to Mesa, Arizona for an event and stayed at the Marriott Hotel which charged $160.00 a night for a two bed room. None of the room service maids that I encountered over my three day stay spoke English. It would have been a safe bet that most of them were illegals and that the hotel is willingly deceived by the employees. As for room service, It was great.


9 posted on 01/01/2008 8:53:24 AM PST by californio (Coast Guard Vet/ 211 Dick)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: californio
She’e a Rachael Corrie in training. Eventually she’ll start yelling about Israel and the evil imperialist U.S.. Give her time.
10 posted on 01/01/2008 8:58:36 AM PST by JimC214
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: californio
In October I went to Mesa, Arizona for an event and stayed at the Marriott Hotel which charged $160.00 a night for a two bed room. None of the room service maids that I encountered over my three day stay spoke English.

It's not just border states. You will find the same thing in Ohio and Kentucky.

11 posted on 01/01/2008 9:07:00 AM PST by muggs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: stan_sipple

well stated, very well stated.


12 posted on 01/01/2008 9:18:18 AM PST by bilhosty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson