Growing up in a predominately “white” school district in the ’70s, I didn’t have very many opportunities to celebrate my Mexican-American heritage or have a hero to look up to and feel pride for, but I did find one: César Chávez!

Texas celebrates today as César Chávez Day. His dedication to speak for those who do not have a voice and organizing a group of people that no one in society even knew existed deserves recognition long overdue.

Cesar was the first to say “si, se puede” roughly translated “yes, one can,” later used by Barack Obama’s campaign. His use of nonviolence to organize a group of migrant workers, to speak for the human rights of a group of people without a voice made me as a child feel pride to be Mexican-American.

I might not have been able to declare out loud how prideful I felt but I knew that there was someone “like” me that wanted social change.

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.

Cynthia Venegas-Jepsen


(6) comments

Walter Manuel

Thank you Mrs. Venegas-Jepsen for reminding each of us of the anniversary of César Chávez’s birthday and the holiday named for him. This man's desire to move the Mexican American people into the agriculture arena certainly made a difference in the lives of millions of people and he is righfully entitled to his recognition not only today, but every day!

Hopefully schools all across America today will resonate his message to their students the phrase that he coined and that was "Yes, you can!". [thumbup]

Carlos Ponce

Yes, let's celebrate the fact that César Chávez was anti-illegal immigrant. He felt that they were stealing jobs from Americans and those legally here. He fought the Bracero Program that existed from 1942 to 1964. Chavez went so far as to report undocumented immigrants. In 1973, the United Farm Workers set up a "wet line" along the United States-Mexico border to prevent Mexican immigrants from entering the United States illegally. I think he would have problems with granting "amnesty" to today's illegals as well.


I'm not in favor of illegal immigrants, but I think every efforts should be taken to treat these people with dignity and respect,..especially where there are children involved. If I was in a country starving,...I'd want to do better too. I have a problem vehemently vilifying a man or woman for trying to get a piece of the American Dream when they are not even American! I always tried to understand them because we have so many Americans, who cares NOTHING about acquiring that same dream,...they'd rather rob and steal. Please don't misconstrue what I've said here.
I'm not anti-law,...I'm just saying more can be done to do a better job of dealing with how we are dealing with all illegal immigrant problems. I'll leave it at that.
Now having shot my mouth off about that, allow me to say a few words about Mr. Cesar Chavez. I think he was a great man who saw deficiencies,...or problems and tried to do something about them. This man no doubt had plenty opportunities to stand in different courts in this country,..trying to right wrongs being done in society, but there is another COURT, he will have to stand in, shall we all one day!
A court where everything a man has thought, said, and done on this side of eternity is fully known, by the GREAT JUDGE SITTING HIGH and looking low!
Then it won't matter how much FRUIT Mr. Chavez picked out of the fields of America while he was here,.. but rather HOW MUCH FRUIT DID MR CHAVEZ BEAR,...OR PRODUCED out of a Godly heart, trained to do good, thereby forcing his soul/flesh to be conducive to helping the poor,..and the downtrodden in this society! From what I can see, Mr. Chavez is "Looking Good!" Yet many of us will not follow his example!
The Harvest is Great,....but the Laborers are Few! The reason why, is because:
"Many are called but Few are Chosen" being equipped and mature enough to perform the work as a Laborer in the Harvest!" Sending an ill-qualified laborer into the harvest of God is akin to sending a two year old American boy to fight the Viet Cong,..instead of JBG and Old Bud Adams who use to post on this forum a couple years ago! It works the same in the spirit!
I don't want anybody to get antsy,..because I'm am not charging for this lesson today. I won't start passing the hat until July some time. So you got it made,...this is all free! Hey! Paisano!!! You cannot beat free!!!!


Five years from now somebody is going to jump straight up out of bed at 3am in the morning and realized what all I said in my post below.............ohhhhhhh, what a blessing it will be too.

George Croix

Carlosrponce, I wonder how many here had a clue about the truth of what you said, before you enlightened them.
So much for the myth of the politically monolythic ethnic minority...
For that matter, I wonder how many have a clue about the truth of what Jbgood said.
I suspect they know, but don't want to admit it.

Walter Manuel

LOL Gecroix and Mr. JBG!

Well It ain't quite 3am, but it's close enough and because of a terrible back ache that woke me up from sleep, I did go back and re-read Mr. JBG's post because it did make such good sense that just like Carlosponces post it certainly puts things into perspective!

Great posts from everyone that should enlighten others, but unfortunately we probably won't see the same fan fare and celebrating in the streets any time soon for this man as we see with other individuals who too made such a big difference in the lives of so many others.

Hopefully one day soon others too will come to see this man's accomplishments and want to celebrate in his honor![smile]

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