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¡Sí, se puede!

John Rowland

Posted on February 2, 2019 13:45

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César Chávez was a labor leader and civil rights activist who was committed to the restriction of the importation of immigrant labor.

Anyone who lived in the central valley of California in the 1970's should remember César Chávez. This valley is a very fertile agricultural region which attracts a lot of farm labor. Chávez was keenly instrumental in organizing and protecting the rights and interests of these farm workers.

Having a teenage friend who actually worked summers picking grapes in the southern areas of California's central valley helped increase my awareness of these labor matters at the time.

Apparently, many have forgotten these issues over time -- folks who should really know better.

Some of the people protesting and denouncing President Donald Trump's immigration policies have been waving Mexican flags shouting “¡Sí, se puede!” (“Yes, we can!") This slogan, “Sí, se puede,” was popularized by César Chávez, whose movement and activism (which created the United Farm Workers union) used the saying in the context of “Yes, we can” seal the borders. Chávez explained that "as long as we have a poor country bordering California, it's going to be very difficult to win strikes."

When our modern-day advocates for illegals chant "Yes-we-can," the message they're channeling surely isn't that of Chávez; uh, somebody needs to tell them they need a better catchphrase -- a new shibboleth.

But César Chávez was no ragtag rabble-rouser demagogue either.

In 2014, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 31 César Chávez Day (Chávez' birthday), which is observed (in varying degrees) in 10 U.S. states. Obama declared, "we find strength in what César Chávez accomplished so many years ago."

Other allies of Chávez included the Democratic Sen. Walter Mondale and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, longtime associate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Musician Carlos Santana and other civil rights/labor leaders were also supportive of Chávez.

Chávez did though have an expressly un-PC, if not dark, side.

"He sent union members into the desert to assault Mexicans who were trying to sneak in to the country. They beat the Mexicans with chains and whips made of barbed wire. Undocumented immigrants who worked during strikes had their houses firebombed and their cars burned."

Since "a number of buildings and student centers on college campuses and dozens of public schools bear the name César Chávez," perhaps it's time to tear this name down.

So where are the protests? Where's Antifa? The SPLC? Enjoy the silence . . .

PragerU has pretty much concluded that the illegal immigration "debate" isn't so much about compassion or humanity -- it's about political power.

John Rowland

Posted on February 2, 2019 13:45

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