Saturday, June 11, 2011

What's wrong with this picture?

Last month U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus confirmed while visiting a shipyard in San Diego's Barrio Logan that a new replenishment ship will be named the USNS Cesar Chavez. You all know Cesar Chavez, what he did and what he stood for, no matter whether you agreed with it all or not.

But apparently some people need to be reminded that he stood for peaceful, nonviolent action.

So, what does a replenishment ship "stand for?" It carries cargo and AMMUNITION. Bullets, bombs, rockets and grenades. The kind that soldiers use to kill foreigners. Mostly dark foreigners.

On the Bay City Television website, Secretary Mabus was quoted saying: "Cesar Chavez inspired young Americans to do what is right and what is necessary to protect our freedoms and our country." WRONG.

Yes, he inspired us "to do what is right." But the "what is right" was nonviolent protest against U.S. discrimination, which is basically the opposite of using lethal weapons against other countries' peoples.

Nor was he protecting "our freedoms." He was trying to secure civil rights for the North American working and poor who were denied their "freedoms," like the freedom to organize and the right to secure a decent living wage.

Mabus also said, "The Cesar Chavez will sail hundreds of thousands of miles, and will bring support and assistance to thousands upon thousands of people. His example will live on in this great ship."

I could be wrong. Chavez might have once said he was "protecting our country." But what the USNS will carry will have nothing to do with preventing an invasion of the U.S. It will carry "support and assistance," not to any "people." The only "example that will live on" will be that it will carry weapons of death to soldiers.

Since the news is on the Cesar Chavez Foundation website and the family AND the United Farm Workers of America were present at the shipyard, obviously the family and estate are going along with this. If this bothers you as much as it does me, go here and let the foundation and family know. The name Cesar Chavez belongs to all of us. It should not be sold to carry the imperial flag in other lands.

Otherwise, one day other people in the world will see the USNS Cesar Chavez pulling into ports in their countries and they will not be associating the name with freedom or liberation or civil rights. The name Cesar Chavez will be forever linked to bombs and bullets instead of picket signs and nonviolence

Es todo, hoy.


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