Saturday, March 31, 2007

Another illegal alien whitewash from the Sac Bee

Leave it to the Sacramento Bee to once again downplay, diminish, and deny the role of illegal immigration in so many of the issues our nation, and in particular, the state of California currently faces. Today, the Bee ran a front page article on the legacy of Cesar Chavez. The very first thing Bee writer Bobby Caina Calvan does in the story is profile a man named Reynaldo Acosta, who in 1975, "slipped into the United States from Mexico, joining the migration north to toil in California farms" as Calvan delicately puts it. That's my emphasis by the way. I love these creatively tortured exercises in wordsmithing that these hack writers for the Bee employ. You could just tell that Calvan put a lot of thought into how exactly he was going to tell his readers that Reynaldo Acosta came into our country illegally and stayed, without explicitly saying so. Not to worry though, because later in the article we find out that Acosta, "became a legalized resident after the federal government in 1986 launched an amnesty program for thousands of illegal immigrants. Over the years, his family joined him in the United States." Ah, the wonders of chain immigration; legalize an illegal, and you don't just get the former illegal, you get the entire family as well. At least, halfway into the article, author Calvan finally said the "I" word. In regards to Cesar Chavez, Reynaldo Acosta is quoted as saying,
He did a lot for a lot of people, a lot for our people... His name is a symbol for us, for us farmworkers.
Remember that quote for later. Next we continue the article to the back page on A14, where the top of the fold photo shows a Chicana activist from Sacramento City College with her MEChA t-shirt as she marches in a local protest demanding that school districts recognize Cesar Chavez day as a holiday. MEChA is the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, a brown supremacist organization that seeks to remove whites from the southwest, by deadly force if necessary, and reclaim the American southwest for Mexico. They fully support massive illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States, as they see at as an easy way to repopulate the southwest with their Raza (race) and force the "foreigner 'gabacho'" to leave.

So why do I harp on these two examples of the legacy of illegal immigration that are mentioned in a puff piece on Cesar Chavez? Because not many people know that Cesar Chavez, a third-generation American and U.S. Navy veteran, was dead-set against illegal immigration. He even participated in marches against illegal immigration, including one occasion in 1969, as mentioned on the website for the Library of Congress, when Chavez participated in a protest against the use of illegal aliens as strikebreakers during the grape boycotts. Remember, Cesar Chavez's whole mission was to improve the working conditions and the pay for farm workers, many of whom are of Hispanic descent. Chavez recognized that the use of illegal aliens in farmwork would drive those wages back down, and also working conditions to once again deteriorate, because employers can get away with a lot more shenanigans when they are dealing with illegal aliens instead of bonafide workers.

I find it to be the ultimate irony that so many of these Latino/a activists who were yelling "Si Se Puede!" last spring in those huge marches in support of illegal immigration, are the same ones who lionize a man who was dead-set against illegal immigration. Why do they do this? Because many of them simply don't know. Others might know, but they shrug their shoulders and use Chavez's legacy for their own purposes, and count on the ignorance of others.

Naturally, in his entire puff piece on Cesar Chavez, Bee reporter Bobby Caina Calvan never saw fit to mention Chavez's view on illegal aliens, even as he quoted illegal aliens who sang Chavez's praises.

Good Day to You, Sir

1 comment:

Darren said...

You make two excellent points, the first about Chavez' view on illegal immigration (it would depress farmworkers salaries--who knew?!) and the second about MEChA.

I always get a chuckle out of the fact that the Mechans sprinkle their diatribes with Spanish words. Now remind me, exactly what language did the conquerors of the Aztecs speak again? And they hate the Anglos....