Latino Vote: Still Hostage To Union Fear, Hateby Bob Quasius, Sr. on Oct. 14, 2012, under Hispanics, Latinos, Obama
Guest op-ed by Luis Alvarado (re-posted from Politico with permission of the author – original link)
A few days ago President Obama came to California once again – mostly to fundraise after being accused of not engaging the Latino community after 15 visits he made a visit to the Central Valley at what he thought was a Latino event.
This visit would send a message that he respects and honors the Latino community. He came to honor Cesar Chavez with a dedication of a national monument. Chavez, a Union organizer from the 1960s is best known for his march with JFK and his grape boycott against grape ranchers. Chaves is seen as a hero to many Latinos, but in the gathering for the dedication only union supporters were allowed in.
In California today you can find streets, school, and even gardens named after Cesar Chaves. Schoolbooks teach students of the suffrage that farm workers endured and how the Movement of Chavez overcame oppression. How can Latinos not be enamored with him? This week Ruben Navarrette Jr., a contributing reporter for CNN, wrote an article on the presidential dedication and called it “He Hit A Foul Ball.” In his article he correctly illustrated how the real Cesar Chavez was actually anti-illegal immigrant, how he used Immigration officers to have the aliens deported and even physically attacked. Yes, Chavez was the original Minute Man.
Chavez highjacked religious fervor and sacred images to justify and pressure workers to rise, he used fear to keep union members in check and learned that not until he could get Latinos to feel distressed would they fall in line to punish the perceived oppressors, tactics that are still being used today to incite Latinos to vote on certain issues or against certain candidates.
With the presidential race declared a coin toss and polls show Latino apathy as a danger to Obama and other Democratic races, the fear and hate tactics of the 1960s are now being used today at full blast. This week, a union independent expenditure sent a mailer to the Latino community in the City of San Diego where a contested mayoral race could be influenced by the Latino vote. To help the union candidate, the mail piece had pictures of a bullish police officer with sunglasses and all. The image included dangling handcuffs and a fabricated message in Spanish that his opponent would go after Latino children and hurt them, In essence the bogeyman himself. Yet if Latinos were to look at the facts of that race, one could conclude that the union candidate could be more of a disadvantage to Latinos.
Ruben Navarrette received hate mail for his article from other Latinos who were uncomfortable with the image of Cesar Chavez being disparaged. But I applaud him for attempting to bring our community out of the political dark ages and into a political process where we can be stakeholders of our own destiny, because we understand the issues and we can debate our positions. Not because the unions scare us into punishing their opponents. The day we stop letting unions from claiming to talk for us and represent all of the Latino interest, is the day we will find ourselves masters of our own destiny in our own country.
Editor’s note: as with all blog postings with a by-line, the opinions presented are the author’s, and may or may not be the positions of Cafe Con Leche Republicans