By Raoul Lowery Contreras (re-posted with permission from Cafe Con Leche Republicans)
In the face of the worst economic crisis in seventy years that has buried the American Hispanic community with 28% poverty (Pew Hispanic Center), 19% unemployment/underemployment and a loss of two-thirds of net worth all since Barack Obama became President, he continues to reach out to Hispanics expecting them to respond to him like he is a tribal cacique (kah-see-keh, Indian or political chief).
His latest outreach occurred in Keene, California where he dedicated a national monument to Cesar Chavez, the founder of the United Farm Workers Union that was born among Filipino grape-pickers in Delano, California, in the 1960s.
Being Mexican American Chavez and his members were initially ignored by the historically racist American labor movement. Chavez called his group an “Organizing Committee” because the movement didn’t recognize his “union.”
Some will remember that Chavez convinced white liberals to “boycott” grapes to give him negotiating power with farmers. Some will also recall that the Nixon Administration issued Defense Department purchase orders for millions of pounds of grapes to serve our soldiers in Vietnam.
Before that Nixon move, however, boycotting grapes became a very chic liberal cause. Joining in was the infamous Senator Joe McCarthy-created Bobby Kennedy. As Attorney General, he disgraced the American justice system when he ordered the illegal wire tapping and spying of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and the sexual adventures of the civil rights leader.
Bobby Kennedy, Chavez and other ultra-liberals turned on the John Kennedy/Lyndon Johnson war in Vietnam; they were the non-violent peace movement of the Sixties.
Kennedy was killed by a Palestinian terrorist. Meanwhile, the non-violent “Ghandi-like” Cesar Chavez publicly professed non-violence but directed his union members to physically attack Mexican workers in the fields, in border towns and on the Mexican border itself.
Chavez gladly welcomed any Mexican illegally-present workers if they joined his union. If they didn’t, his union members attacked non-members in the fields and blamed farmers with the violence and even one death of a “tocayo” (namesake) Rufino Contreras in the Imperial Valley. No one was ever charged with Contreras’ death during a union day-light attack in a lettuce field. Imperial Valley authorities whispered that Contreras might have been shot by one of his fellow union supporters so the farmers would be blamed. No one was ever charged.
Chavez made little progress in the Sixties especially when the Nixon Administration crippled the grape boycott. Then, came Watergate…
Favored and supremely qualified Republican State Controller Houston Flournoy was an odds-on favorite to defeat Jerry Brown, the son of the Governor Ronald Reagan defeated by a million votes in 1966 for the California governorship. Then Nixon resigned in August of 1974 and the Flournoy campaign ground to a halt. Brown squeaked out a tiny win and he became the ultra-liberal Governor of California his father never was.
He partnered up politically with ultra-liberal Willie Brown, Speaker of the Assembly, and Cesar Chavez. Brown appointed an ultra-liberal Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) that enthusiastically joined the farm worker’s fray. Miraculously Chavez started to win elections around California thanks to the ALRB’s interesting way of counting votes of illiterate farm workers from Mexico.
Forcibly collecting dues from farm workers who could only get work through the United Farm Workers (UFW) made the union rich. It quickly became the second largest California political campaign fund machine for Democrats. Chavez distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats to solidify their hold on government.
Using UFW money Brown/Brown sunk Democrat roots into every corner of California. Brown was only the third California Democrat governor in the 20th Century.
Chavez’ power grew. Chavez testified in Congress that the country had to chase down and deport any illegal alien working here because they took jobs away from his union members. The union turned in any illegal workers who refused to join the union. Union gangs went to the border and attacked Mexicans sneaking into the country and turned them over to the Border Patrol.
Cesar Chavez was the original “Minuteman.”
A corrupt Chavez feathered his family’s nest so that they had union jobs, some to this day. The hierarchy of the UFW was permeated with liberal white Democratic Party “apparatchiks” busy funneling money to the Democratic Party forced from illiterate farm workers ineligible to vote.
This was the man campaigning Obama honored this week. When Chavez died, he was no longer powerful; his union had shrunk from a force of 70,000 members (out of 500,000 California farm workers) to 5,000 and had gone almost thirty years between field worker election wins.
Nonetheless, a Presidential photo op is a photo op. It goes without saying that Obama needs every Hispanic vote he can find, for if he doesn’t match his 2008 Hispanic vote (67%), he will lose.