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Cesar E. Chavez and His Relation to the Catholic Church

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“From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength” (Chavez). Additionally, this quote describes Cesar E. Chavez as a person that feels he needs to take some leadership in bringing unity between people by describing his leadership skills. Chavez’s speech begins with an introduction of the church with respectful comments that he makes about the organization then, in addition, he adds a life experience he had to face with him against the church and how he felt that the church should give the address to more problems about the Farmworkers. Within his experience, he is trying to reach out to his audience by suggesting that they hear him out and listen to his point of view which is that he is trying to worry about people that work so hard to produce food while the church feels no remorse.

He is also trying to recruit his audience “He attained national prominence in 1965 by launching a strike for California grape-pickers and a national boycott of grapes that lasted five years. By 1975, a Louis Harris polled showed 17 million Americans adults were honoring the grape boycott” (Leaders in American labor history 6). This helps notify the audience is millions of Americans that he is trying to persuade to be apart of his movement against the Catholic church. The Mexican-American and the Church discuss a man who is against a “powerful” church, also contains the story behind the church and the logic that is associated with being a religious leader. The Church is one of the great factors that come into play in his speech.

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Cesar was a Mexican-American labor leader that went about his way of trying to bring the people together as one instead of two separate groups. Introducing the speech with a brief history of his church brings credibility and evidence to help support the main subject for his whole argument. He describes the church as “an ecumenical body spread around, the world, and not just its particular form in a local community” (Chavez 1) allowing this description of the church help explain how the church contributes to making an impact to lives by the way he passionately is trying to persuade his audience of the importance of the church. “Furthermore, a small group of priests, Frs. Mcdonald, McCollough, Duggan, and others, began to pinpoint attention on the terrible situation of the farmworkers in our state” (Chavez 3). He includes these priests because they were the ones that addressed this problem to Chavez about the church and were the ultimate starter to the powerful movement that he started. He also includes “Timothy Manning, who is there to help the needs of farmworkers” (Chavez 7) illustrating that there were some decent church members that would be able to help him.

The church that Cesar is describing while he is boldly adding in his protest helps allow a depth of feeling for his passion for the church and the impact he feels it makes for him and the community. “The church we are talking about is a tremendously powerful institution in our society, and in the world,” (Chavez 2) with this statement he explains the lovely church he beholds while embracing the seriousness of the poverty that takes place in his community. Shortly after describing the church, he describes his movement of him against the church that had taken place years earlier. “We began to realize the powerful effect which the church can have on the conscience of the opposition” (Chavez 3).

Chavez going against the church caused struggles and stress for him to maintain a strong composure because he was not only fighting for his rights but the rights of all the farm workers. Through his speech, he is trying strongly to reach out to his audience and attempting to convince them to go along with him throughout this movement to make an impact.

Cesar Chavez led a movement so powerful it went down in history and he put hope in people’s eyes that did not have hope for themselves. Cesar’s protest began because he was trying to work together with the church to keep farmworkers in virtual enslavement which led to a protest breakout that resulted in the poor against the church. “Chavez knew it would take more than a union to overcome these burdens; it would take a movement” (Rodriguez 5) which is the sole reason why no one compares to Chavez leading this movement for the Farm Workers. No one else developed a credibility for themselves as well as Chavez so leading this movement against a strong figure as the catholic church was gonna require pure dedication and fearlessness. Chavez exposed the church to support his claim that the church does not care about the poor “the Catholic charity agencies of the Catholic church has millions of dollars earmarked for the poor. But instead, often the money is spent on food baskets for the needy” (Chavez 11) he addresses the church’s insecurities and lets the public know the problems associated with the church and how they do not show any remorse for helping the poor.

Chavez was essentially a motivational speaker that wanted to approach a situation and problem that he felt needed to be addressed. He was motivated by the goal that he set for himself which was to gain freedom for Farmworkers and he knew he could not do it by himself. He tried to recruit the church because he felt they were an organization that was based around helping others and people that needed help but he thought otherwise. This speech was the movement that addressed a situation about a church that happened years ago where the church only cared about themselves and no one else. Chavez with this essay tried to convince his audience in 1965 to help be apart of his movement and make a difference in changing the not so privileged people’s lives.

Works Cited

“Figure 3a from: Poorani J (2014) Redescription of Platynaspis flavoguttata (Gorham)(Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) and notes on nomenclature of Platynaspis kapuri

Chakraborty & Biswas. Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e1096.” doi:10.3897/bdj.2.e1096.figure3a

‘Leaders in American Labor History: A Two-Part Series.’ Massachusetts Nurse, vol. 77, no. 2, Mar. 2006, pp. 6-7. EBSCOhost,

Rodriguez, Arturo S. ‘Why Cesar Chavez Led a Movement as Well as a Union.’ Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, vol. 23, 2011/2012, pp. 15-21. EBSCOhost, &db=a9h&AN=67705444&site=ehost-live.


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