Book pages 42-43
In South Florida I stayed with a white tomato grower who told me that he made almost a million dollars a year on the labor of these migrant workers - except for some years, when the crop failed. Later on I was kicked out when he discovered my photos of what he called "niggers":
- Well, if you stay with these slummy people, that's the kind of slummy book
you gonna have, ain't that right? It depends on what kind of people you talk
to. You say you talk to both whites and colored.
- You will find colored people treated better here than anywhere in the United States. They are happy. I always tried to respect the honesty of these southern racists, so when my tape recorder later revealed that I in the heat of the argument had told him a lie I felt very defeated. I had at that time no idea that my photos would one day end up in a book.
Later I got to live with some of his field workers, who were blacks and fugitive Mexicans. Their situation is depressing, to put it mildly. Many are too destroyed to talk about their situation, but this woman, who was one of the few poor whites in the fields, told me in her little rented shack about conditions:
-Have you ever been on welfare or food stamps? - If I could get it I would,
because I really need it. -How much does your husband make a week usually? -
Not much, thirty-five or forty dollars a week, maybe. That don't hardly pay the
rent and for something to eat. -And you work seven days a week?
- But who would you blame for it all?
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