Republicans Miss Opportunity With Hispanics Over Google-Chavez Spat

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Republicans continuing to search for reasons Hispanics reject them at the polls will apparently be doing it on Bing and not Google. Republicans actively oppose a path to citizenship in Immigration Reform, and the expansion of Medicaid, but they also manage to add some insult to that injury. You may have notice on Twitter, Facebook, or perhaps Google itself that the “Google Doodle” on Sunday celebrated Cesar Chavez's birthday and not the Christian holiday Easter. Now some conservative Christians including Michelle Malkin are feeling snubbed by what Rod Dreher of The American Conservative referred to as, “a relatively obscure cultural figure”. Sure, relatively obscure if you do not realize that Cesar Chavez was one of America's premiere Civil Rights leaders, or if you agree with some on the Texas SBOE that our History should be whitewashed regarding Latino's influence and struggle in Texas, but certainly not to anyone truly interested in the political advancement of Hispanic people or their issues.

While hundreds marched in San Antonio in his honor, conservatives like Michelle Malkin were accepting the Bing challenge because its homepage featured Easter eggs. Not that the facts really matter, but in 2000 on Easter day the Google Doodle was of, drum roll please…yep, Easter eggs. As someone who grew up in the Catholic church I can say that Easter eggs are as much about the resurrection of Christ as Santa is about his birth. What makes this a head slapper is that the company is owned by Bill Gates, someone who confessed to not believing in the Sermon on the Mount and told this to TIME mag, “Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.” But on this Sunday morning he got the faithful.

To make matters worse the right-wing gossip site Twitchy incorrectly reported that Google was honoring Hugo Chavez instead of Cesar Chavez and you can imagine how that amplified the “outrage”. Malicious and intentional, or just self absorbed and lazy, you can chalk this entire episode up to another missed opportunity for Republicans to welcome and celebrate the Hispanic community.

The real reason Chavez was featured was in celebration of his 86th birthday, and in 2011 President Obama declared March 31st to be Cesar Chavez Day. For those truly offended it will not coincide with Easter again for another decade, and again in another 64 years after that. What is less evident is how long it will take for Republicans to actually make a sincere appeal to Hispanics. The most ironic part of this is not that Cesar Chavez was a Catholic but that by the Bible's own text Jesus would be far left of any mainstream US politician today – even Bernie Sanders the Senate's lone self-proclaimed Socialist.

Follow me on Twitter at: @joethepeb


About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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