What do Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, and internet giant Google have in common? All have chosen to cite today, March 31 (aka Easter Sunday), as César Chávez Day.
Patrick Howley of The Daily Caller notes that Google, whose custom is to decorate its logo with iconic symbols of various holidays and special events, has opted for a headshot of the United Farm Workers founder in place of a more fitting religious image (or even a secular one — Easter bunny anyone?).
Perhaps the rationale could be the clarion call sounded by then-Senator Barack Obama, who in 2008 called for a national holiday in Chávez’s honor, saying:
Chávez left a legacy as an educator, environmentalist, and a civil rights leader. And his cause lives on.
As farm workers and laborers across America continue to struggle for fair treatment and fair wages, we find strength in what César Chávez accomplished so many years ago.
And we should honor him for what he’s taught us about making America a stronger, more just, and more prosperous nation.
That’s why I support the call to make César Chávez’s birthday a national holiday. It’s time to recognize the contributions of this American icon to the ongoing efforts to perfect our union.
The Chávez Legacy of Violence Toward Illegals…
What Obama overlooked — an act repeated by the vast majority of news organs and politicians in the United States — is the violence Chávez advocated against farm workers who entered the United States illegally. As chronicled in 2005 by Ruben Navarrette, Jr. of the San Diego Union Tribune:
Despite the fact that Chávez is these days revered among Mexican-American activists, the labor leader in his day was no more tolerant of illegal immigration than the Arizona Minutemen are now.
Worried that the hiring of illegal immigrants drove down wages, Chávez – according to numerous historical accounts – instructed union members to call the Immigration and Naturalization Service to report the presence of illegal immigrants in the fields and demand that the agency deport them.
UFW officials were even known to picket INS offices to demand a crackdown on illegal immigrants.
And in 1973, in one of the most disgraceful chapters in UFW history, the union set up a ‘wet line’ to prevent Mexican immigrants from entering the United States.
Under the guidance of Chávez’s cousin, Manuel, UFW members tried at first to convince the immigrants not to cross. When that didn’t work, they physically attacked the immigrants and left some bloody in the process.
At the time, The Village Voice said that the UFW conducted a ‘campaign of random terror against anyone hapless enough to fall into its net.’