Can Only Hispanics Do Yard Work?
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Sometimes it happens that a news story personifying of a social problem, while not directly advancing analysis, can valuably crystallize the issues. Such is the case with Lawn-Care Entrepreneur Faces A Changing Racial Landscape By Krissah Williams The Washington Post February 5, 2007.(Access requires free registration)

The story is simple:

1) Enterprising black man, Nikita Floyd, starts landscaping business - Green Forever - in Prince George’s County MD in 1989, employing blacks.

2) In 2005 he is grossing at a $2.5 million annual rate and employing …essentially no blacks.

Floyd's 20 wintertime workers are all men from El Salvador, except for two black women who manage the office. In the summer, he employs twice as many men, all immigrants

One can see the other blacks' point of view.

He …pays about $10 an hour, with no work and no pay in inclement weather. It's grueling labor in the winter; a man can spend the day stabbing a spade into frozen dirt or be asked to shimmy up a tree with a chainsaw in one hand and no netting below.

(Of course, it must be remembered that many other businesses of this type pay their immigrants in cash “off the books” which means the value of such a job is far higher than to an American who has to reckon with the IRS.)

The process by which this occurred is standard in a multicultural society, and will increasingly be seen in white collar office environments:

He hires from a network developed by early immigrants referring relatives and friends. As black workers cycled out, immigrants cycled in. The cycle churned until black workers were effectively locked out. Now, Floyd says, they rarely apply for jobs at Green Forever. A study by the Rand Corp., a think tank, shows that workforce replacement such as Floyd's full shift from black to Latino is rare. But when the change occurs, it is not often reversed.

Perhaps 100% replacement is rare – slightly lower rates are definitely not.

Vernon Briggs, one of’s favorite professors, is quoted

Vernon Briggs, a professor of industrial and labor relations at Cornell University who favors low immigration rates, said no group has "been harmed more by immigration than black Americans," as immigrants often accept lower wages.

Some observations come to mind:

    • The uselessness of the Black political leadership, who in a time of unprecedented political access, have allowed this to be done to their people.
    • The damage done to America by selfish, greedy business men of whatever race. The title of the piece should be "Lawn-Care Entrepreneur Precipitates A Changing Racial Landscape".
    • The extent to which mass immigration is an upper class welfare program. Unquestionably there are many more elegant yards in Prince George’s County than if Mr. Floyd did not have his Salvadoreans. There are also many more damaged African American households (and others – summer yard work was once done by College students).


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