Tag Archives: cesar chavez

Republicans Block Chavez Resolution Because of Immigration

Unsurprisingly, the Republicans in the US Senate blocked a resolution honoring late labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez. Why? Because the Republicans wanted to honor Chavez’s anti-immigrant work.

But Republicans blocked it after Democrats refused their demand that they also include in the resolution mention of how Chavez pushed for tighter border security and saw undocumented immigrants as detrimental to U.S. workers.

I mentioned this particular fact about Chavez’s life in the review of movie last week, and it is a part of his life that Republicans have tried to exploit for their own benefit, much like they attempt to co-opt Martin Luther King’s Republican past.

Much like most labor unions, the United Farm Workers were opposed to immigrant labor because of how easy it was to exploit this source of cheap labor, thus making it easier to end the labor movement. While Chavez and the Union wanted fair labor practices and fair pay for what were mostly American citizen workers, it was people like Ronald Reagan and other Republicans who would have none of that and supported strike-breaking in the form of immigrant exploitation. Some things never change, much like the corporations that want to exploit immigrants today in order to avoid benefits like health insurance, equal pay, and simple worker protections. It really is an old Republican strategy of “divide and conquer.”

Ultimately, Cesar Chavez changed course on immigrant rights as the Chicano civil rights movement took on a more global view of labor, civil and human rights. Plus, the Union was in need of membership. Obviously, Republicans have never supported civil and human rights for anyone, much less labor rights.

Frankly, I’m not much into empty resolutions when Congress isn’t getting any real work done. I want public policy, like, I don’t know, immigration reform, equal pay, jobs creation, health care reform/single payer, education funding, stuff like that. But it’s not like the Republicans will ever support anything of value to a majority of this country.


Movie Trailer: Cesar Chavez – An American Hero

Well, it’s happening. The biopic we have been awaiting. Next Spring, 2014 is the expected release date of Cesar Chavez – An American Hero. Here’s the trailer:

Happy Birthday, Cesar!

Cesar Estrada Chavez, the iconic labor and civil rights leader, would have been 86 today. As we move toward some sort of immigration reform, there’s no doubt that Chavez would have had something to say; perhaps offering some common sense, perhaps causing even more debate. Nonetheless, let’s remember Cesar for all of the good he did for los obreros.

Make a contribution to the Cesar Chavez Foundation or the United Farm Workers. Keep the legacy and the movement alive!

And thanks to Google.

Cesar Chavez – A Lost Interview

Just found this on the Tube. Now that “wetback” is back in, Cesar reminds us of stuff going on and being said decades ago. I guess some things don’t change.

Cesar Chavez: The Power of Boycotts

We’re celebrating the life of Cesar E. Chavez this week as his birthday falls on March 31. He would have turned 86 this year. Here’s one of his great speeches to supporters of farm workers.