Sunday, March 31, 2013

Google Chooses Cesar Chavez Over Easter Recognition

Google - the all powerful search engine - chose to honor Cesar Chavez's birthday in the Google "doodle" on Easter Sunday, rather than a nod to the most holy of days on the Christian calendar.

This is Google's description of Chavez:

Cesar Chavez was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association.
Two years ago, President Obama proclaimed March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day.  The call for this action first came from him as he ran for president in 2008:

"Chavez left a legacy as an educator, environmentalist, and a civil rights leader. And his cause lives on. As farmworkers and laborers across America continue to struggle for fair treatment and fair wages, we find strength in what Cesar Chavez accomplished so many years ago. And we should honor him for what he's taught us about making America a stronger, more just, and more prosperous nation. That's why I support the call to make Cesar Chavez's birthday a national holiday. It's time to recognize the contributions of this American icon to the ongoing efforts to perfect our union."Senator Barack Obama March 31, 2008.

Clearly, the political implications and political payback are noted by the targeted groups:

Cesar Chavez Day, however, has become a popular day of celebration in states with significant Hispanic populations. In some cities, the revelry rivals the type seen on Halloween and St. Patrick's Day.In San Antonio, Texas, hundreds of people took part in the city's 17th annual Cesar Chavez march over the weekend, calling for comprehensive immigration reform.“We're all fighting to ensure there is going to be a favourable vote taken in Congress this year and that President Obama has the opportunity to sign a new bill granting legal status to farm workers,” said Arturo Rodriguez, now the president of the United Farm Workers.
It is too bad that notice of this and the backlash has been tagged as that from conservatives.  Aren't liberals religious people, too?  Aren't they saddened that politics trumps a major religious celebration recognized by  over 2 billion people around the world?

Of course, this could have been easily avoided.  On a year when March 31 is Easter Day, Chavez can be honored by supporters on a different day.  This is commonly done already in many places.

If you care about commemorating the heroic, nonviolent leader of what later became the United Farm Workers in a public way—check around your community, now. Some towns already have honored Chavez earlier in March. Some cities, including San Francisco, are delaying until warmer spring weather in April. Some states officially mark a legal holiday this week (although dates when government offices close vary widely). Many states don’t honor Chavez at all.
The Google guys are political.  They are liberals.  They are big Obama supporters, too.  This decision is not surprising but it is unfortunate.

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