Posted on April 2, 2013

Criticism of Cesar Chavez Google Doodle: Intolerance at Its Worst

Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2013

There’s no intolerance like good conservative intolerance.

On Easter Sunday, Google incurred the wrath of the conservative Twittersphere when it chose to feature on its home page a portrait of California civil rights pioneer Cesar Chavez instead of Jesus Christ. {snip}

March 31, as it happens, is Cesar Chavez Day, declared in 2011 by President Obama to honor the man who did more than almost anyone else to improve the condition of migrant farmworkers in this country by leading boycotts, non-violent protests and collective bargaining.


To pick on Google for its “doodle” celebrating a man who devoted his life to helping the most downtrodden among us–living, in other words, the values expressed by Christ–smacks of the kind of bullying that conservatives are so quick to see in others.

On Sunday, former Bush press secretary Dana Perino, a regular on Fox News, composed a much-quoted tweet that sums up the worst about this false Jesus Christ/Cesar Chavez dichotomy.  “I thought the Chavez-google thing was a hoax or an early April Fool’s Day prank,” she tweeted. “Are they just going to leave that up there all day?”

It’s hard to imagine a world view where celebrating the life of Cesar Chavez is considered a hoax. {snip}

Monday morning, conservative commentator Lou Dobbs chimed in,  tweeting, “Google’s insensitivity and hubris rising to new heights.”

This is what illusionists call “misdirection.” The real issue is not Google’s disdain for Christians. The real issue is the Republican Party’s disdain for Latinos. (Did I mention that Chavez was Mexican American?)

Last week, a Republican congressman casually used the racist term “wetbacks” to describe the Mexican workers who toiled on his father’s Central Valley farm.

This week, a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed that Latinos are among the most ardent backers of President Obama’s healthcare law.


The Republican hostility to programs that Latinos not only embrace but depend on has played right into the hands of Democrats, who have been sitting back and enjoying the train wreck.