Why It Matters That The Family Of Cesar Chavez Endorsed Joe Biden Not RFK Jr.

Cesar Chavez’s family endorsed President Joe Biden on Friday, after RFK, Jr claimed that the civil rights leader would have voted for the Independent who is flirting with running on the Libertarian ticket.

“Fernando and Paul Chavez, the sons of the late co-founder of the United Farm Workers, are endorsing the president on Friday, the Biden campaign told CBS News. The family already has close ties to the campaign as Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the granddaughter of Chavez, serves as the president’s campaign manager,” Ed O’Keefe reported for CBS News.

“‘The bonds of affection and respect for a president who by his character and actions consistently reflects the genuine legacy of my father, Cesar Chavez,’ Paul Chavez said in a statement.”

The Biden-Harris campaign manager is actually Julie Chavez Rodriguez, who is the granddaughter of the late civil rights leader. She told CBS, “Today, my grandfather’s bust sits in the Oval Office – a reminder that President Biden understands the power of organizing and working people and recognizes the impact of my grandfather’s legacy to continue to mobilize our communities into action. In an election that will determine the fate of organized labor, our Latino community, and our democracy, I could not be more humbled to accept the support of my family as one of many that will power us to victory in November ¡Si se puede!”

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is hoping to ride to whatever victory means to him on the power of his name, which evokes Camelot for many American voters — but his own family do not support his candidacy.

However, the Chavez family were outraged after RFK, Jr’s campaign used a photo of his father sitting with Chavez in 1968.

“When we saw Bobby Kennedy begin to use images of my father, and then when we heard about this event in L.A., it really prompted us to stand up and to make sure that people understood that the Chavez family does not support his campaign,” Paul Chavez, Fernando’s brother, said to the LA Times. “We’ve never seen anybody go as far as using that image for political gain,” Andres Chavez, Paul’s son, said of Kennedy’s campaign event invitation.

The Libertarian Party and RFK, Jr. have been in discussions for him to run on their ticket, something they are said to see as “mutually beneficial.”

Libertarianism, however, stands against Civil Rights and it’s not quite as oblique a stance as they have tried to whitewash it to be.

In 1991, the libertarian economist who co-founded and named the Institute was complaining about protections against sexual harassment noted that “the start of the evil can be pinpointed precisely: the monstrous Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically Title VII, prohibited discrimination in employment on the basis of race, religion, sex, and other possible characteristics.”

It is impossible to reconcile the hostility toward any kind of legislation protecting against violations of civil rights with a stated support for civil rights. The entire reason we need laws to protect civil rights is because people traditionally in power (white men of money – the face of the beneficiaries of Libertarian policy positions) abuse and violate these fundamental freedoms without laws prohibiting it.

Libertarianism is about “freedom” for those who already have it. It’s about maintaining the status quo and protecting the wealthy elites behind it from having to be accountable for respecting other people’s freedom. But it sounds great on the surface and is an easy sell to mostly young white men and women who haven’t faced personal adversity.

From the basement of one’s parent’s home in the suburbs, donning a cowboy hat to wax on about freedom can be part of growing up. But at some point, most people’s growth encompasses learning about history and having experiences outside of their own that open their eyes to why laws protecting civil rights are needed.

Those reasons and that compassion and growth are why people of integrity support laws that protect EVERYONE’S freedoms, not just those currently in power.

“Cesar Chavez’s family endorsed President Biden, sending a clear message to voters that only one candidate in this race embodies the compassion, respect, and integrity that Cesar Chavez led with. Aligned with Cesar Chavez’s legacy, President Biden has shown unwavering support for labor rights and civil rights — this endorsement confirms just that,” the Biden campaign said in an email.

President Biden earned the support of those who value civil rights and champion the rights of workers through decades of support, which he has continued as president. And that’s really the point. Anyone can use an image to sell themselves to voters as some kind of Civil Rights hero, but do their actions support that? Do their policies protect those rights?

If not, voters should ask why they are trying to mislead people.

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