Update (July 2): Steve Salazar, the city councilman supposedly behind the Chavez proposal, has withdrawn the request, saying he never intended to submit it. Right. Regardless, I'll keep my original post up for the next stupid request which is sure to come.
July 1: Here we go again. Instead of addressing a lack of education, jobs, and hope in our communities, Dallas area Latino leaders think the answer to all of our ills is naming a street for Cesar Chavez. There is now a push to rename Young St, located downtown, for Cesar Chavez. Why? Well, there is no official reason why, but once you realize that Young St. is home to WFAA, The Dallas Morning News, City Hall Plaza, and the Dallas Public Library, the reason is clear.
These folks are not motivated in honoring Chavez. They are using him. He is a tool to "stick it" to what they see as the "white powerhouse" that runs downtown and local government. They would love to see the Morning News change their address to say "Chavez." It doesn't matter that this does nothing to help local Latinos or even keep alive the work Cesar started. This is about local Latinos flexing their political muscle. They want to make a point that they can snap their fingers and get whatever they want. The Morning News, white city council members, and just about every other non-Latino in this city is too afraid to stand up to this silly demand out of fear they will appear racist. They are right - they will appear racist. They can't complain, this is the world of white liberal guilt they created.
I addressed this last year in a Morning News column (see the link to the right). If local Latino leaders were really concerned about honoring Chavez, they would do something more fitting than slap his name on some street signs. They would name a library after him. We already have a school. How about a "Cesar Chavez Educational Program," that closes the educational gap Latinos face in this town by starting GED classes around Oak Cliff, or help young working parents get into night classes at the local community college, or start a scholarship program with local four year colleges for those who need to complete their Bachelor's or Master's? No, they won't do that. That would require them to move their, ahem, behinds, and do something useful. Adelfa Callejo should spend more time inside a school instead of demanding she get her name put on the outside of one.
Roy Appleton of the Morning News asked our new city council member, Delia Jasso, why we can't name Jefferson Blvd., in the heart of Latino Oak Cliff, for Cesar, which makes more sense. "That won't happen," she said. Maybe because it's actually in a Latino community and it doesn't "stick it" in the face of too many gringos. Nice going, Delia.