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Thursday, February 18, 2010

My last word on Portland Cesar Chavez street renaming

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--Cesar Chavez was a Mexican-American migrant farmworker, the son of Mexican migrant farmworkers, who became a civil rights leader of national importance, beginning with his work to ban the backbreaking, crippling short hoe then in common use from California to Texas.

He is regarded as a transformational figure in the international struggle for human rights, noted for his Ghandi-like non-violent tactics and self-sacrificing approach.

His many long fasts no doubt shortened his life.

He is recognized in Portland Oregon in some vague sense as a Latino or Hispanic, where his memory is marginalized by the renaming of a street of minor significance, noteworthy by its utter absence of any feature that would link it to Chavez or to the people for whom he struggled.

The street-renaming effort fed not one hungry child.

…actually, come to think of it, this might not be my last word on the subject.

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