Thursday, March 30, 2006

Second Class Citizen

Tomorrow is the birthday of Cesar Chavez. Chavez is a personal hero and inspiration. Sadly, a large percentage of graduate students I know (in the sciences) have no clue who he is. Looking back, I don't recall learning about him and the migrant worker movement in any classes I took through high school (though I do remember watching his funeral on TV). It wasn't until I took a labor history course as an undergraduate that I really learned about his life and accomplishments. His struggles to provide dignity and basic rights for farmworkers and the downtrodden--the second class citizens--have left a lasting impression on me. The world could use more leaders like him.

I had a long post on how the current immigration debate often makes me, as a Hispanic, feel like a second class citizen, but instead I'll just say that I hope this debate does not boil over into a racial struggle, which it often feels like to me. I do not want another "Southern Strategy" and hope that our leaders don't try to push those buttons.

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