I caught the last part of a talk today by Dolores Huerta, a labor organizer who worked with Cesar Chavez founding the United Farm Workers and a current activist with the Fund for the Feminist Majority.
Among the messages:
- See wedge issues like abortion, gay marriage and immigration for what they are: smokescreens to get conservatives in power.
- The real root of the current tidal wave of undocumented immigrants is NAFTA and our economic colonization of our neighbors to the south.
- We treated post-WWII Germany and Japan a heckuva lot better than we treat Latin America.
- Eradicating racism would make a lot of our policy challenges (war in Iraq, immigration trouble) disappear. E.g., we would never dream of a war where we killed a million white civilians.
- Young people today are the "fix it" generation who will no longer tolerate racism and sexism. (I hope she is right!)
- People ask her how she could organize among poor farm workers with almost no resources. She responds that people have power just by being people. Sometimes that is all they have, but it is enough to effect change.
- Cesar Chavez never attended high school. Likely some of the geniuses of the world are out there picking your food.