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What do GOOGLE and McCain Have in Common? Both Forgot What Today Is

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 — 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.


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  • Frank
    March 31, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    FYI, Cesar Chavez was opposed to illegal immigration. The joke is on you!

  • Texano78704
    April 1, 2008 at 7:38 am

    It wasn’t just Google.
    WASHINGTON, March 31/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and DNC Hispanic Caucus Chair Ramona Martinez issued the following statement commemorating the 81st anniversary of the birth of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez and the Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning, which is celebrated in eight states (AZ, CA, CO, MI, NM, TX, UT, WI) and dozens of cities and counties throughout the country. The statement also addresses the fact that for the second year in a row, Republicans in the Senate have blocked a measure to honor the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez:
    “We’re honored to once again celebrate Cesar Chavez’s birthday, and to celebrate the values he championed and for which he is remembered. Cesar Chavez continues to inspire countless Americans of diverse backgrounds more than a decade after his death because of his lifelong dedication to improving the lives of America’s workers. Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning’s focus on community service is a fitting reminder that America is stronger when we work together and leave no one behind.
    “That’s why it’s so troubling that for the second year in a row, Republicans in the United States Senate have blocked a measure to honor the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez. The message this Republican move sends is no different than the message Republicans nationwide send to Hispanics when they campaign using immigration to divide Americans. Instead of embracing the ideals that bring Americans together, the GOP insists on actions that divide. :
    “Cesar Chavez is undeniably one of America’s greatest heroes, and the best way to honor his service and sacrifice today is to continue to fight for the ideals he worked for and cherished.”
    Nice to see the Republican Party make it clear what they think us.
    And for the racists and bigots in the crowd, César Chávez was opposed to a bracero program that was directly aimed at promoting lower wages for US migrant workers. UFW co-founder, Dolores Huerta, was instrumental in getting the amnesty provisions inserted into Reagan’s 1986 immigration act.

  • miguel
    April 1, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Frank, Where in Marisa’s post is illegal immigration mentioned? Step away from your dead horse for a minute. Respect his work on behalf of all of us.

  • Horace
    April 1, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Cesar Chavez ranks nowhere Martin Luther King in his accomplishments. He’s more like Samuel Gompers who founded the American Federation of Labor in 1886: or John L. Lewis of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, founded in 1932: However, it wouldn’t have hurt ethnic relations to have established a commemoration day on his behalf, and undoubtedly it will eventually happen. I do object to his exploitation as a political bone to Hispanics in an election year. Latinos should see right through this cheap effort to buy votes.

  • Frank
    April 1, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Oh, I respect him alright. He was opposed to illegal immigration and for that he is a hero in my eyes. I say lets honor this law abiding and loyal American. I am all for it!

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