“It’s incredible, but they can’t relate to their workers at all… I mean, they have more feelings for their Caterpillars than they do for their workers.”
They. Them. They are somebody other. They are not us. They are always somebody other. They are without regard. We do not see them. Their struggle is not ours. They are invisible.
They harvest the food, they cultivate the land, they are figures toiling picturesquely as cars speed by on the overpass. As decorative upon the landscape as a flock of marsh birds, they wade among the produce in fields. They decorate the landscape… no more.
No matter that they have children. As they are not us, they are not like us. And as their children are not our children, their children are not like ours. Hunger is their chief possession, not a privation. Cold is the habitat of them, not a deprivation… That they must be fed, that they must be warm, that they must have shelter and care and be free from harm, this is a surprise to those who are forced to hear for the first time, that they are indeed us, that their children are indeed our children, their struggle our struggle.
Who will tell this tale? Whisper in our ear? Shout and ring the alarm bell? Who will lead us in this revolution awakening? History teaches us that it will not be the first revolution led by a woman… herself the universal other.
This week’s From the Vault pays tribute to the life’s work of Dolores Huerta, co-founder (along with Cesar Chavez) of the United Farm Workers. It was she who awakened the sleeping giant of American food production and gave a human face to the anonymous – and all too often expendable – workers in the fields. For these workers in their time, and their children in times to come, she has devoted her life to the premise that those who labor in the sweltering heat and bitter cold might find a place in the sun and a shelter from the storm for themselves and their children.
Pacifica Affiliate Programmers can find this program available for broadcast download at www.audioport.org. Password required.
ORIGINAL SOURCE RECORDINGS:
AZ1037 Nonviolence in the Farm Workers’ Movement MORE INFO
BB3554 Dolores Huerta: Vice President of the United Farm Workers MORE INFO
BB3904 The California Grape Strike MORE INFO
BC1785 The Grape Strike in Coachella MORE INFO
IZ0493.08 Talkin’ Union: Interview with Dolores Huerta MORE INFO
PZ0008a-b The United Farm Workers in Delano MORE INFO
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