Saturday, January 14, 2006

UFW Exposé Lacks Historical Perspective

UFW Exposé Lacks Historical Perspective
New America Media

One of the most difficult positions a newspaper can find itself in is that of defender, protector, or the lone public voice of a movement that has come under attack.

We find ourselves forced to voice our disagreement with some of the perceived failures of today's United Farm Workers Union, or UFW, as written about this week in this city's major metropolitan daily, the Los Angeles Times.

We are fully aware that we run the risk of being viewed as apologists for the UFW. But we cannot help but question the tone and innuendo contained in the exposé, which may be factually correct, but in our view lacks a real understanding of the true depth of the UFW, its founder Cesar Chavez and their impact on history.

Those who were there witnessed the beginning of a revolution, not only in the fields of California agriculture, but also in the growing sensitivity in our urban centers to the plight of poor farm workers. In exposing the UFW's shortcomings today, the exposé's author has set upon a path to diminish and smear this legacy.

The United Farm Workers Union, or UFW, was more than just a labor union. It was a social movement to give the working poor deserved a living wage and humane working conditions. It was the groundwork for a generation of social activists that has gone on to fight for justice across the country.

By omitting this part of the story, the LA Times has done a disservice to all the men and women who gave their time, money and labor to the cause of bringing justice to California's rural and urban poor.

UFW Website

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