How do Cesar Chavez's experiences compare with other minorities and their struggle for civil rights?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Cesar Chavez’s experiences were rather different from that of, for example, Martin Luther King.  The main reason for this is that Chavez was fighting not for legal equality but rather for economic benefits.  He was more of a labor leader than he was a civil rights leader.  King was moving in this direction when he was killed, but most of his struggle was for legal rights.

By contrast, Chavez’s struggle was for economic benefits.  He was trying to organize unions and improve the working conditions of the farm workers.  Where King worked for things like an end to legal discrimination, Chavez was fighting to get medical insurance for workers.  King was asking for things that could be given to him without it costing whites any money.  Chavez, by contrast, had to fight against discrimination and racism to some extent, but also against the desire of the farm owners to protect their own economic interests.


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