Lets not forget the good things
March 31, 2003 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Cesar Chavez Day With our focus on the war lets not forget what DOES make this country great, its people! I have to confess ignorance of this mans accomplishments until I turned my calendar today. Read,enjoy, learn something about a man who fought injustice with the most powerful weapon...his mind!
posted by hoopyfrood (10 comments total)
learn something about a man who fought injustice with the most powerful weapon...his mind!

Professor Xavier?
posted by jonson at 10:52 AM on March 31, 2003

A friend in California said she got today off because it's a state holiday. I didn't know what state holiday it could possibly be, and turned out it was Cesar Chavez Day. Makes me wonder if there are other holidays that certain states observe and the rest of us don't.
posted by GaelFC at 11:10 AM on March 31, 2003

For some more interesting reading, see the FBI's entire 2021 page file on Chavez.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:11 AM on March 31, 2003

I read the companion book to this PBS special on Chavez about two years ago. It's a shame that we learned very little (if anything) about him in school growing up, so I felt obligated to read something on him. He did lead an amazing life, focusing almost all of his energy on the movement (much to the chagrin of his family at times). Thanks for bringing it up, hoopy.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:14 AM on March 31, 2003

Pulaski Day!
posted by agregoli at 11:17 AM on March 31, 2003

Our states seem to honor folks who have made contributions if such people represent minorities that are fairly large within the state announcing the holiday: this is called sucking about for votes.

What needs to be know about the man is that he was a great union organizer in an industry that used (uses) migrant farmers, a group denied any sort of decent living. Many supporters nationwide refused to buy lettuce etc till conditions were made better.

Our cuntry could well use a batch of great union types today, a time alas when too many workers seem leaning heavily to the Right and have come to believe they too will someday grow rich and be GOP contributors. They will be lucky to have jobs for now.
posted by Postroad at 11:28 AM on March 31, 2003

Studying Cesar Chavez in middle school (or was it high school -- and yes, it was public) had a subtle yet important influence on me and my appreciation for the principles of socialism. I've forgotten the title of the book that we read about him but I don't think it was this one.
posted by Dick Paris at 11:45 AM on March 31, 2003

Well put, Postroad. I'm not necessarily of the mindset that unions are always good, but I think that they are definitely a positive in situations like the migrant workers in the time of Chavez (well, and often long before, but they didn't get oragnized then). When the workers are sleeping in holes in the ground, regularly beaten by foremen, not paid as much as promised when they boarded the bus in Mexico, and replaced just as soon as they began to make a rustle, something has to be done, and Chavez did. Period.

Si, se puede.
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:59 PM on March 31, 2003

So far, I've heard two "Wait... Cesar Chavez Day? Wasn't he a boxer?"

Anyone else? Makes me cringe.
posted by fillsthepews at 4:41 PM on March 31, 2003

I remember my mother explaining to me why we couldn't buy lettuce or grapes. I was very young (born in 1970), but I was proud to take part once I understood. I was excited when we started buying them again; it taught me that community organizing works.

Years later, I was lucky to work for a political consultant who had learned community organizing under Saul Alinsky and later worked with Cesar Chavez.

Just thinking about Cesar makes me smile. Si, se puede.
posted by swerve at 7:43 PM on March 31, 2003

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