Thursday, March 31, 2005

Cesar Chavez Day


Above, Cesar, Walter Reuther, and Larry Itilong. Top right, Chavez in Toledo (Photo linked from La Prensa). Lower right, Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Chavez.

In more progressive states in our country, today is Cesar Chavez Day. Tonight I attended the 2nd Annual Adelante Cesar Chavez Humanitarian Awards Banquet at the University of Toledo. Alot of friends, great food by El Camino Real, and a dynamite program. Sat across from Mayor Ford, his daughter, and his wife, Cynthia. Little did we know that as we sat there the Carty-Kest gang was busy kicking people out of the county Democratic Party. (including me!) Instead of honoring one of the great Americans of the 20th century - and an incomparable labor leader - our local party was making up crazy rules to justify the selfish ambitions of Carty and the Kest gang. Its too bad, there are many good Democrats, including the new chair, who are caught up in all this.

In any event, the high point of the evening was when everyone at the banquet were christened members of the "Chavez family" - fighters across race, class, age, and other divisions, engaged in the battle to lift up the poor and pursue social justice.

My family is a family of Hungarian immigrants - my mom was born there, and my grandparents still send money and exchange cards & letters with family in the old country. What brought my family here, and the dreams that have propelled us across generations, are the same as so many of the migrants of today. I have a sense of deep solidarity with their struggles, as they have been the struggles of my family too. I hope that my activism and service honors those who have labored before me, and I'll continue to work hard and fight for a political movement that respects all people, and looks at the big picture.

With the spirit of Cesar Chavez in mind I offer the above images and a moving speech where Chavez shares his reflections on the work and meaning of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cesar E. Chavez, January 12, 1990. 
Click for link to speech: Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

2 Comments:

Blogger Christopher said...

Thanks for reminding me Cesar Chavez. Back when I lived in California his memory had much more of an apparent impact upon the political and cultural landscape.

It's good to reminded that fighting for justice for every American is the responsibility of every American. We get caught up in the game we forget what matters.

11:10 AM  
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11:57 PM  

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