A Modest Agriprocessors Proposal

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Not that this hasn’t been beaten, bludgeoned, and shechted to death, but: Rubashkin’s is in even more trouble. Yesterday’s front-page New York Times article says that more than 20 underage workers were found, as young as 13, and working night shifts; meanwhile, Jewschool covers the protests in Postville, where over 1500 people rallied for…jeez, illegal immigrants? cows? Take your pick.

Protestors in Postville. Photo by Shalom Rav of JewschoolLook. The fact is, a lot of bad stuff went down at that plant. And the fact is, while Agriprocessors upper management doubtlessly knew about some of this, exaggerations are abounding all over. My cousin Rabbi Yossi said that the best thing Aaron Rubashkin can do is take out a full-page ad in the New York Times with his phone number and say, “I did a bad thing, and I’m sorry. But this is getting out of hand. I’m here for your questions and concerns, and you should feel free to give me a call.” If there’s one thing Jews know about, it’s bad publicity, from the Golden Calf down to blood libel. And we’re still not good at PR. What, people of the world, is the deal?

But, even in the worst of times, the Times still has its sense of irony.
“Some of these boys don’t even shave,” the lawyer for some Agriprocessors workers is quoted as saying. “They’re goofy. They’re teenagers.” I think she’s talking about her clients (uh, yikes)…but seriously, couldn’t she be talking about the rabbis at the plant as well?

Posted on July 28, 2008

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