I was not surprised when Ruben Navarrette Jr. went after Civil Rights Era labor leader, César Estrada Chávez, and President Obama for honoring him, in yet another outlandish, sensationalist, unsubstantiated op-ed for CNN.
This is, after all, the man who was hissed off of a panel he was speaking on in 2008, after insulting Dolores Huerta, to her face. When she won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, after having been arrested 22 times, and badly beaten, in the course of her extensive career fighting on behalf of farm worker, immigrant, women’s and civil rights, he whined, and called the accomplishment, “a tarnished award.”
An active opponent of the Drop the I-Word campaign, Navarrette argued in favor of the deportation of, Daniela Pelaez, the DREAM Act and DACA eligible, valedictorian of her high school class, and slammed Olympian, Leo Manzano, for celebrating winning a silver medal in the men’s 1,500-meter final; running the fastest time ever by a US athlete.
I mean, Navarrette began his career as a writer by describing himself as an arrogant, overbearing, confrontation-hungry figure, who was booed off of his own high school stage, for trying to take César Chávez’s head off in a nose-to-nose shouting match, taking place not long before the labor leader’s death.
Roberto Lovato, Charles Garcia, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist,Jose Antonio Vargas, and yours truly, have put Navarrette in his place for having a love affair with the slur, “illegal immigrant.”
Latino Rebels, Esther Cepeda, Maria Burns Ortiz, as well as Cal State Fullerton Chicana & Chicano Studies Chair, Alexandro Jose Gradilla, and Washington State University Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies Professor, David J. Leonard, have put Navarrette in his place for questioning Olympian Leo Manzano’s patriotism, and downplaying his accomplishments.
To quote “Sage of the Yankees,” Yogi Berra, “This is like déjà vu all over again.”
Navarrette does his best to paint César Chávez as a violent hatemonger. Latino Rebels cut him down to size. Janet Murgia, the President and CEO of NCLR, schooled him. Luis León, preached the gospel. And UFW President, Arturo Rodriguez, bore prophetic witness to an undeniable truth:
“No labor leader and organization championed immigration reform earlier and with more consistency than César Chávez’s United Farm Workers of America. Under Chávez, the UFW opposed… [federal efforts targeting] undocumented workers long before most labor groups acted…
Read more: Unai Montes-Irueste, Politic 365