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EDITORIAL: Honoring laborers, not labor unions
The following is a eulogy delivered by Father Barry, who was played by the late, great actor Karl Malden, who passed away on July 1:
I came down here to keep a promise. I gave Kayo my word that if he stood up to the mob, that I'd stand up with him ... all the way. And now Kayo Dugan is dead. He was one of those fellas who had the gift of standing up, but this time they fixed him. Oh, they fixed him for good this time. Unless it was an accident, like Big Mack says.
Some people think the Crucifixion only took place on Calvary. They better wise up. Taking Joey Doyle's life to stop him from testifying is a crucifixion. And dropping the sling on Kayo Dugan because he was ready to spill his guts tomorrow, that's a crucifixion. And every time the mob puts the crusher on a good man, tries to stop him from doing his duty as a citizen, it's a crucifixion. And anyone who sits around and lets it happen, keeps silent about something he knows has happened, shares the guilt of it just as much as the Roman soldier who pierced the flesh of our Lord to see if He was dead.
(Here someone yells, "Go back to your church, Father.")
Boys, this is my church. And if you don't think Christ is down here on the waterfront, you have another guess coming. Every morning when the hiring boss blows his whistle, Jesus stands alongside you in the shipyard. He sees why some of you get picked and some of you get passed over. He sees the family men worried about getting their rent, getting food in the house for the wife and the kids. He sees you selling your souls to the mob for a day's pay.
(Looking up at the mob bosses): Now, what does Christ think of the easy money boys who do none of the work and take all of the gravy? And how does He feel about the fellas who wear 150 dollar suits and diamond rings on your union dues and your kickback money? And how does He, who spoke up without fear against every evil, feel about your silence?
Do you want to know what's wrong with our waterfront? It's the love of a lousy buck. It's making the love of a buck, the cushy job, more important than the love of man. It's forgetting that every fella down here is your brother in Christ. But remember, Christ is always with you. Christ is in the shape-up, He's in the hatch, He's kneeling right here beside Dugan. And He's saying to all of you, if you do it to the least of Mine, you do it to Me. And what they did to Joey, and what they did to Dugan, they're doing to you. And you. You. All of you! And only you, only you with God's help have the power to knock them out for good.
(Looking down at the body): Okay, Kayo.
About the Author
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