LatinaLista — Today, Cesar Chavez would have been 81-years-old. For the majority of Latinos, especially those of Mexican descent, Chavez is our version of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
While schools have been named after the co-founder of the United Farm Workers, he has his own postage stamp, notable dignitaries from Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama and the eight states that have declared today to be a state holiday in his honor, too many people still think Cesar Chavez is no one special.
That point became painfully clear when I noticed that the one entity that could really put their stamp on making this day authentic let the anniversary go by without even an o drawn grape â€” yes, the GOOGLE splash page.
In an email to Latina Lista when, out of simple curiosity, the question was posed why didn’t GOOGLE recognize Cesar Chavez today within their logo, like they do/did for Martin Luther King, Jr., Alexander Graham Bell, Luciano Pavarotti, Yuri Gagarin, Percival Lowell, etc., a GOOGLE spokesperson responded:
We enjoy celebrating holidays at Google and are sorry we missed one that’s special to you. As you may imagine, it’s difficult for us to choose which events to celebrate on our site. We have a long list of holidays that we’d like to celebrate in the future. We have to balance this rotating calendar with the need to maintain the consistency of the Google homepage.
Some holidays that we haven’t celebrated in the past will be rotated into our holiday doodles for future years.
Hmmm. After reviewing all the GOOGLE holiday “doodles”, going all the way back to 1999, not one “doodle” could be found honoring Cesar Chavez.
Obviously it’s an oversight but considering that GOOGLE is headquartered in California, well, they should know better, no?
Somebody else who obviously didn’t know that today was an important day for most Latinos was a certain Republican presidential candidate.
He, like GOOGLE, really has no excuse. He’s from Arizona!
Thinking that Sen. McCain’s remarks just didn’t garner high media coverage, I “googled” news headlines with “McCain and Chavez.” You can imagine what they were:
Chavez says US relations could worsen with McCain
Venezuela’s Chavez wary of McCain, says he seems ‘man of war’
Chavez Says US Candidate McCain Promotes War With Venezuela
These headlines were rather ironic given the fact that Cesar Chavez is noted for his non-violent strikes and protests to get better wages and living conditions for farm workers.
Yet, even though McCain and GOOGLE may not have Cesar Chavez on their radars, enough other people do that tomorrow Congressional Democrats will present legislation calling for the creation of a federal holiday honoring Cesar Chavez.
Coming just a day after Sen. Barack Obama called for Cesar Chavez to be recognized with a federal holiday, Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joe Baca of California will call for its passage at a news conference by presenting legislation that already has about three dozen sponsors.
It’s a good bet that if it passes, the significance of March 31st won’t be so easily forgotten anymore.