Saturday, December 31, 2005

Cesar Chavez: SJSU Hero

On March 31, 2006, San Jose State University will be closed for Cesar Chavez Day, in order to pay homage to the legacy of this "civil rights leader." In fact, SJSU has a campaign to raise funds for a Cesar Chavez memorial to be erected on campus. Here is what the website for the campaign says about Chavez:
Chavez was an admirer of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Chavez emulated Gandhi in that he demonstrated the complete sacrifice of oneself for others, self-discipline and self-abnegation in order to achieve a higher good.
By comparing Chavez to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., SJSU is making a serious error. Gandhi and King were civil rights leaders. Chavez was a union leader. By proclaiming him a civil rights leader, San Jose State is equating anti-market politics with human achievement, which most economists will tell you is a false comparison. I wonder what the SJSU economics department thinks about this?

I won't comment on the altruistic mumbo-jumbo. Suffice it to say I don't agree with "complete sacrifice of oneself for others."

Of course, SJSU does not observe Columbus Day.


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