8.20.2007

Brandon, Carlos, Don, Kerry, Luis and Manual are America's miners

Tragedies have a way of bringing people together.

We've seen people put aside their differences--even if only temporarily--in response to a natural or man made disaster.

The government's response is a different matter, but the people come together to pitch in, volunteer, donate, send encouraging messages and even to grieve.

Black, White, Brown--it doesn't matter. For brief moments they're all brothers and sisters coming together to help.

It seems that the six trapped coal miners inside the Crandall Canyon Mine is the most recent example of this humanitarian impulse. For two weeks rescuers have literally moved mountains in an effort reach the miners--with two men dying in the dangerous and heroic bid.

May they rest in peace.

The families from different backgrounds have huddled together, hoping for good news--grief etched on their faces even as they tried valiantly to appear strong for their friends, families and the nation.

And the nation's attention has been riveted on the Utah mine, the rescue effort, and the hope that somehow ALL six men would emerge alive.

What's interesting about this whole unfortunate incident is that I've heard no one even mention that half of the trapped miners are Latino. Not once. It's clear if you look at the faces of the family members and read the names, but it's irrelevant to the narrative and to most Americans--whom are decent people.

And the rightwing radio screechers have not yet attempted to malign the Latino miners or their families. Perhaps they will. But for now, in this incident, America is standing tall.

Brandon, Carlos, Don, Kerry, Luis and Manual are America's miners.