In 2014, President Barack Obama proclaimed that March 31 is César Chávez Day.

Today, March 31, 2022, President Joe Biden is doing his part to honor the celebrated Hispanic labor activist, with a tweet featuring a photo of the César Chávez he keeps in the Oval Office:

That’s a very lovely sentiment, Mr. President. Who doesn’t love freedom and social justice and equality and dignity?

As it turns out, César Chávez. At least in certain respects.

That seems like a pretty big omission, Joe …

He wasn’t just against open borders in a run-of-the-mill anti-illegal-immigration sort of way … he was actually quite openly hostile toward illegal immigrants.

In an L.A. Times piece last year, columnist Gustavo Arellano wrote:

That changed in graduate school, when I read a 1992 memoir by Philip Vera Cruz. The Filipino immigrant was already a legendary labor organizer when he helped Chavez establish the UFW and stayed by his side until 1977, when he criticized Chavez for hanging out withthe Philippines’ president, Ferdinand Marcos, and quit.

Vera Cruz’s memoir decried the organization he helped to found as turning “very ethnocentric. When [UFW Mexican members] called out ‘Viva la Raza’ or ‘Viva César Chávez,’ they didn’t realize that all these ‘Vivas’ did not include the Filipinos,” he wrote. “As a matter of fact, they didn’t include anyone but themselves.”

I didn’t even know until reading Vera Cruz’s book that Filipinos helped to start the original grape strike that led to the UFW.

I learned more about Chavez’s faults as I progressed through my journalism career. How he once lashed out at Dolores Huerta — who had urged him to use more sympathetic language for immigrants in the country illegally than “wetbacks” — by saying, “You [Chicano liberals] get these hang-ups.… They’re wets, you know. They’re wets, and let’s go after them.” How he organized group exercises for UFW higher-ups that consisted of people taking turns screaming and intimidating others over their perceived faults.

Yikes. It sounds like if César Chávez were alive today, he’d have to disagree with Joe Biden’s characterization.

Not that Biden would care, of course. Democrats are getting further underwater with Hispanic voters and at this point, Biden’s pretty clearly desperate to reverse that trajectory.