Cesar Chavez & the Military Industrial Complex?!

May 19th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Supposedly the two years Cesar Chavez spent in the Navy were the “two worst” years of his life, but the Navy went ahead and named a ship after him anyway. You can read my comments about that in a piece linked here. I’m rarely on the side of Rep. Duncan Hunter, but I have noticed for far too long in Latino circles that the same cast and crew (names and faces) are constantly recycled, recognized and given honors over and over again.

Tags: Labor Relations · Latino History

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anna // May 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    They focus so much on Chavez because he was a labor leader, and they want Latinos to think of themselves as laborers. Dr. Mario Molina was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry, but do you see his name on anything? Nope.

  • 2 Chicano future tense // May 20, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    There is a process, described by Lenin in the opening to his book, “State and Revolution”.
    Although Lenin’s statement was specifically directed towards revolutionaries the same principle applies to a great leader of labor,
    a great leader of the oppressed,such as Cesar Chavez..

    “…what, in the course of history, has happened repeatedly to the theories of revolutionary thinkers and leaders of oppressed classes fighting for emancipation. During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the ‘consolation’ of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it.”

    We need to keep Cesar Chavez’s visions of equality on labor,civil,human rights,alive and prevent them from being reduced to “harmless icons.”

  • 3 Juan Carlos // May 24, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I like the concept of recognizing Mr. Chavez as an icon of the Chicano/Meso-Latino civil rights “movimiento;” and “stamping” his name basically on everything. I don’t see a problem with that; in fact, the more the better! I think doing so opens doors for recognizing other Chicano/Meso-Latino leaders, down the road–setting a precedent.

    The issue I have with this is that Mr. Chavez is also a symbol of peace and nonviolence (like Martin Luther King Jr.); so naming a military vessel after him distorts what he stood for; the legacy he suffered to establish–one of prayer, peace, fasting, and nonviolence. I’m sure there are other Chicano/Latino navy men who could be recognized by plastering their name on a ship or building; but I have a feeling Mr. Chavez would reject the idea of doing it with his name.

    And it does seem like a political move, part of a recruitment/retention strategy to make smaller the cultural gap–between the navy (i.e. the one stationed in California/west coast) and the demographics of the region; which is (as we know) becoming more and more Chicano/Latino.

  • 4 Claudia AlmaLatina Baier // Aug 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Cesar Chavez was one of the famous Latino leaders…one of way too few! I am so impressed by the true heart and brilliancy of Latinos that I started my own website for inspirational Latinos and Latinas: Feel free to browse it for answers to Latino challenges, hopes and dreams with a German loving perspective. There you can also find an article on Cesar Chavez…

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