“At its fundamental level,” writes Frederick John Dalton in The Moral Vision of Cesar Chavez, “the farm-worker struggle Cesar Chavez led is the struggle of the poor to be recognized as human beings. Cesar Chavez and La Causa bear witeness to the morally perverse situation of oppression in the name of freedom, exploitation in the name of competition, suffering in the name of efficiency, and impoverishment in the name of private property.”
Watch President Obama’s address to the overflow crowd at the newly appointed Cesar Chavez National Monument:
Below is an excerpt from Obama Dedicates Cesar Chavez National Monument by Michael A. Memoli:
KEENE, Calif. – President Obama’s stop in this remote and sparsely populated San Joaquin Valley town was about as far off the campaign trail as a candidate could be so close to an election. But his message as he dedicated the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument was not without political significance, as he honored the legacy of a civil rights and labor leader whose “si se puede” credo was an inspiration for his own historic campaign four years ago.
Speaking on the 187-acre property that served as both home and operational headquarters for Chavez and his United Farm Workers movement, Obama said Chavez’s tenacity on behalf of a new generation of workers was part of “the story of who we are as Americans,” meriting such a tribute alongside other national monuments like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon.
“It’s a story of natural wonders and modern marvels, of fierce battles and quiet progress. But it’s also a story of people, of determined, fearless, hopeful people who have always been willing to devote their lives to making this country a little more just and a little more free,” Obama said.