Stepchild in the Promised Land takes shape as Chrysler goes into its first negotiations since the 2009 bankruptcy and government bailout. This bankruptcy, and the concessions that followed it, are what landed me on the assembly line. Go figure.
I come from an automotive family. My people came here to Detroit from Mexico when Henry Ford was paying $5 a day to work on the assembly line. I feel, some days, like that’s what I’m making now. Other days, it seems like the American Dream is a real, tangible, breathing thing. Something I can just reach out and pluck, if I work just one. more. hour.
This blog is an attempt to reconcile the contradictions that I see around me every day in the auto industry (or what’s left of it), the union movement (or what’s left of it) and my take on the culture of working-class Detroit (or what’s left of it). I borrowed the name from Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land, and from my mother’s insistence that Detroit is the Promised Land: “where you can change your life without changing your class.”
Stepchild in the Promised Land