Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Cesar Chavez

Today would have marked Cesar Chavez’ 82nd birthday. As of today, seven other states besides California recognize Cesar Chavez’ birthday. Chavez was a voice for the voiceless, a tireless campaigner for the oppressed farm worker. Through his work, farm workers now have more rights than before, but the work is still not done.

Chavez took on the most powerful corporatists in our society and won for the most part. He used the non-violent means of Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. to accomplish his goals. It is on this day we should remember this great man for all he did for working families and particularly the oppressed working class Latino worker. Even today, his protégé’s are working hard to help increase the rights of working families, immigrants rights, and in Dolores Huerta’s case, women’s rights.
I remember in the 11th grade, being introduced to his current grape boycott, just before his death by a fellow classmate who was a Chicano activist. I was proud to have known of him while he was still alive, now it is up to us to ensure his legacy and memory do not die.

His phrase, Si Se Puede, was translated and became the rallying cry for President Barack Obama’s winning presidential campaign inspiring a new generation that crossed every gender and racial line. Thank you Cesar Chavez for setting the stage for this new Civil Rights movement. SI SE PUEDE


  1. Si, se puede!

    Cesar Chavez certainly is an inspiration to all of us civil rights and social justice advocates. I was especially heartwarmed to see his once colleague Dolores Huerta join the board of Equality California.


    We need some of that "Si Se Puede" spirit now in the LGBT civil rights movement. And for that matter, we need it in today's labor movement, the push for economic justice, the beautiful struggle to defeat racism and sexism. We just need to stop allowing the corporate "powers that be" to limit the power of us the people. Yes, we really can.

  2. Claudio, I'm thrilled that you would take the time to honor someone as special and unique as Cesar Chavez.
    It is a shame that so many Americans are virtual strangers to Mr Chavez and his service to others. Eight states may honor him and there are many school, parks and streets named after him but the story behind the name is unknown-I believe it is to the detriment to our country. Educators and historians still coddle and preserve MLK's "Dream" and JKF's "Camalot" but what about us? Why is the Brown man left out?

    This is person who believed in hard work, non-violence and humility. He honestly believed hard work and respect paid dividens. He had an 8th grade eduacation and a deep devotion to reading, which only enlightened him to serve others and to make a difference.

    It is a shame that he was not alive when he was awarded the Medal of Freedom. He probably would have been embarrassed by the recognition but for the Mexican-American populace, that would have been an amazing moment to see the medal placed on him. The stamp unveiled by the US Postal Service was great moment and a true honor, but he deserves more than that.