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Simpson’s–Day Laborers

In this scene from The Simpson’s Season 20, episode 21 (2008), Homer and Bart are loading some materials into the car in the parking lot of Builder’s Barn (a Home Depot-type stand in). As Bart questions Homer’s ability to do the work on his own, a group of immigrant day laborers approach, and offer their services, explaining their unemployment status is due to the “Barley Bust.” Homer accepts their offer, and welcomes their deferential treatment, which, to him, indicates they know he’s superior in class standing. Homer says he’s happy the laborers are there “to take the jobs we don’t want to do,” as a hoard of laborers rushes the town of Springfield.

discussion

What is the relationship between Homer and the day laborers? How are they different?

Who is the “we” Homer refers to when he says “the jobs we don’t want to do”?

How are the day laborers portrayed? Why do they have accents? What kind of “bust” were they victims of?

How does this scene capture a tension or complicated view of immigration–calling attention to the way immigrant day laborers are taken advantage of, seen as inferior as well as the way an influx of immigrants can affect a city?