Nezahualcoyotl en el bosque de Chapultepec
March 31st has been designated as a state holiday in places like California to pay homage to Cesar Chavez, the…
César Chávez Calls Migrant Workers From Mexico ‘Wetbacks’ and ‘Illegals’
KQED News report from September 25th 1972 featuring an interview with Cesar Chavez, in which he explains that legitimate strikes by agricultural workers can always be broken by employers bringing in illegal labor from Mexico. He goes on to state that the best way for agricultural workers to secure collective bargaining rights is by organizing a boycott of farm products.
About a year ago, we posted a link to the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive where this clip was originally hosted. In it, César Chávez is heard referring to Mexican migrant workers brought in to break UFW strikes as ‘wetbacks” and “illegals.”
The next day it was uploaded to YouTube by a user named krove. We have no connection to this person. Based on the account’s videos, it appears they’re Filipino. We cannot verify their identity or motive, but it’s there and now has more than 4,600 views.
As we’ve mentioned before, it’s time to have an honest and open discussion on Cèsar Chávez and the UFW. This clip which clearly demonstrates the demonization of Mexican migrant workers is a part of it. As well, this is not the only bit of historical evidence out there. There’s a lot more, which points to the fact that this was not a one time slip of the tongue, it was a deep part of UFW’s culture. In fact, this clip is tame compared to several articles in El Malcriado, the UFW’s newspaper, and actual campaigns to arrest migrants at the border, which were led by Chávez and other UFW leaders. Look for that information in the coming days.