Sunday, November 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Standing on principle necessary to move forward

navarrette column sig

By
From page A7 | April 03, 2014 |

SAN DIEGO — It’s always great to be invited. But with Latinos, things don’t get interesting until you’re “uninvited.” It has happened to me a few times.

Several years ago, I agreed to speak at the annual conference of the California Association for Bilingual Education. The invitation was extended because the organizers approved of my support for immigration reform. Then someone “Googled” me and found out that, over the years, I had also been critical of bilingual education. The invitation was quickly withdrawn.

Soon thereafter, I was invited to accept an award from Latino legislators in California. The day before the event, a lawmaker called and took it upon herself to uninvite me. Another recipient – former United Farm Workers Vice President Dolores Huerta – was furious at me for revealing publicly the union’s ugly history of turning over illegal immigrants to immigration officials for deportation. I went anyway, accepted the award, and wound up in a shouting match with Huerta.

Now, it has happened again.

I had been asked by Manny Ruiz, the CEO of the Miami-based social media conference Hispanicize, to moderate a panel that was centered on a study about the political leanings of Latino journalists. The panel included a representative of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, with which Ruiz has been trying to forge a partnership. Last year, I had criticized the NAHJ for caving in to a demand from California Assembly Speaker John Perez that the group boot a political rival from a panel at its own annual conference. About two weeks before the Hispanicize event, I got an email from Ruiz saying that he should have consulted with the other panelists, and that – after speaking with them – “a decision [had] been made” and that he had to “rescind the invitation.”

All these uninvitations got me thinking about the big picture.

Last month, Latinos overtook whites to become the largest racial/ethnic group in California. Latinos now make up 39 percent of the country’s most populous state.

Yet, more population doesn’t always equal more power.

What holds Latinos back isn’t just discrimination, bad schools, inadequate access to capital, nativist backlash and closed doors from Wall Street to Hollywood.

Some impediments are internal. Many Latinos are – because of how they’ve been treated – plagued by insecurities, prone to infighting, envious toward one another, eager to tear each other down and insistent that everyone stick to the established narrative. They will often berate, scold or attack those who offer a different point of view.

Consider the tale of the UFW and one of the organization’s dissidents, a co-founder of the union who was shortchanged in the new film “Cesar Chavez.” Filmmakers – who obtained licensing rights from the UFW and worked with union officials to develop the story – cast Michael Pena as the iconic labor leader. An underutilized Yancey Arias plays Gilbert Padilla, now an 86-year-old former community organizer who fought the growers alongside Chavez.

Padilla resigned as secretary-treasurer of the UFW after raising concerns about the union’s bookkeeping. He became an outspoken critic of the direction in which Chavez steered the union – i.e., away from organizing workers and toward a national grape boycott. He was also critical of Chavez’s tendency to believe his own press clippings, and how a union that was created by many people was portrayed in the media as being about one man. Soon, this veteran of the farm labor movement was labeled a traitor.

I met Padilla about 25 years ago, and we had a series of eye-opening discussions about the reality of the UFW, Chavez and the movement. He has a deep reservoir of great stories that were, for me, all the more irresistible because the UFW and others on the left don’t want them to be told.

In the fall of 1990, I was teaching a Chicano-Latino studies course at California State University, Fresno. When I invited Padilla to speak to my students about the UFW, the department chair called me into her office and tried to get me to “uninvite” him. I refused and brought him to class anyway. I was never asked to teach another course there.

Pay attention, Latinos. Standing on principle isn’t the way to make friends. But it’s essential if we’re going to stop being our own worst enemies.

Ruben Navarrette is a columnist for U-T San Diego. Reach him at ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Fairfield-Suisun sits between bay, valley

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 10 Comments | Gallery

 
Salvation Army gets ready for Thanksgiving

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Teens at Boys & Girls Clubs get their own place

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
New mobile office adds reach to The Salvation Army

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1

Time to start a local hall of fame

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2, 5 Comments

 
Conservancy plans Quail Ridge Walk in December

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Film festival brings people together for good causes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Advance preparation mitigates frost damage

By Kathy Low | From Page: C4

 
Sudden Infant Death awareness and prevention

By Susan Whalen | From Page: C4

Weather for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
 
Two injured in Fairfield shooting

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A12, 10 Comments

.

US / World

Storms raise hope in California drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Gambling nuke commander linked to fake poker chips

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Winners and losers under Obama’s immigration plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
Kohler introduces odor-eating toilet seat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Civic group: No Ferguson grand jury decision yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
WWII mementos found in suitcase at thrift store

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Hawaii airline tells pilots to return $4,000 bonus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Dogfighting thrives in years since Vick case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Man sets house on fire, kills responding deputy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Report: Washington toddler shot playing with gun

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Pregnant woman, 3 others fatally shot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Official: SD man kills 4, including self, wounds 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Pope meets with autistic children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Biden announces new aid for Syrian refugees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
AP sources: Obama broadens mission in Afghanistan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Somalia’s al-Shabab kills 28 non-Muslims in Kenya

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Kerry says gaps remain in talks about Iran’s nukes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Iraqi forces, Islamic State group battle in Ramadi

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Japan earthquake collapses homes, causes injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
State Capitol braces for budget battle

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Nov. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Act of kindness at Raiders game

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 6 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Give the gift of gratitude this holiday season

By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3

 
Buddhist community builds shrine in Pineville yard

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Caught up in the spirt of the music

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes for Nov. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Hackers can get into everything, including your camera lens

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
Library project puts 50 years of yearbooks online

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6, 1 Comment

Metrosexuals be gone: Europe is agog for beards

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Graphic novel teaching history at Mississippi schools

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Lamott offers healing words in ‘Small Victories’

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Eddie Izzard has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Whoopi Goldberg writing book about marriage

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Bryan Cranston reads profane hit nursery rhyme

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Cousins lifts sluggish Kings over Wolves, 113-101

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Stanford routs rival Cal 38-17 in 117th Big Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sacramento State downs UC Davis 41-30

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers host Redskins looking for third straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Vermette nets winner for Coyotes vs. Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Green says he’s ready to return to lineup for Broncos

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bills practice in Detroit prepping for Jets game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

No. 4 Duke tops Stanford to win Coaches vs Cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vacaville Christian’s Kenyon voted Sierra Delta League MVP

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Suzy Whaley becomes 1st female officer at PGA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Giants World Series exhibit goes on display Monday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rivalry 150 goes to Lafayette, 27-7 over Lehigh

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Harvard beats Yale 31-24 in The Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Oklahoma’s Perine runs for record 427 yards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Bowling results for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

Bocce results for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Bicycle racing for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

Granada clings to 1-shot lead at LPGA finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Swiss lead France 2-1 in Davis Cup final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Businesses cash in as women chase bigger butts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Tips on getting deals during Black Friday blitz

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Most US unemployed don’t get benefits: Here’s why

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

At a Glance: Pros, cons of mobile-payment systems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
Review: No cash, cards, just mobile pay for a week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Recalls this week: strollers, candles, chargers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Obituaries

Norah Dean

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Florentina R. Dulay Florendo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Albert M. Ranzani

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics