Obama Honors the Coiner of a Slogan Heard Round the World
By Garance Franke-Ruta
"Yes We Can!"
Before it was a song or a political slogan, it was the Spanish-language rallying cry of the United Farm Workers under the leadership of Cesar Chavez. Today, President Obama issued a statement commemorating Chavez's birth.
"Today, on what would have been his 82nd birthday, Cesar Chavez's legacy as an educator, environmentalist, and as a civil rights leader who struggled for fair treatment and fair wages for America's workers is important for every American to remember," said the president, who took Chavez's slogan as his own.
"Chavez's rallying cry, 'Sí Se Puede' -- 'Yes We Can,' was more than a slogan, it was an expression of hope and a rejection of those who said farmworkers could not organize, and could not take on the growers. Through his courage, Cesar Chavez taught us that a single voice could change our country, and that together, we could make America a stronger, more just, and more prosperous nation," he said.
Posted at 1:58 PM ET on Mar 31, 2009
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