Today is a very sad day for Latinos and supporters of immigration reform. He was a champion for Latinos’ and other minorities’ rights. It’s almost beyond words what he represents in our country’s history. Here is Ted Kennedy photographed with Cesar Chavez in an appearance back in July 31, 1985:
Just to highlight out the enormity of the Kennedy family legacy regarding Latinos’ rights, here’s a photo of when Senator Ted Kennedy’s brother, Bobby Kennedy, went to visit Cesar Chavez in 1968:
One of Senator Ted Kennedy’s most endeared causes the he fought for throughout his career was healthcare reform (click here for a video of him speaking on this issue) that is currently the hot topic, which I’ve been blogging about for the past few weeks due to the recent grostesque turn the debate has taken, with right-wingers using immigrants as scapegoats, once again. Here’s Senator Ted Kennedy giving one of his best speeches at last year’s Democratic National Convention (introduced by President JFK‘s daughter, Caroline Kennedy):
Here he is singing in Spanish! (back when he was on the campaign trail for Barack Obama):
Here he is at an East L.A. Rally stumping for Obama:
During last year’s presidential campaign, it was undeniably clear that the Kennedy family and the Cesar Chavez legacy were a major reason of why Obama won the election. Just take a look at the kind of videos that were being circulated on YouTube at the time:
From Cesar Chavez’s “Si Se Puede” slogan being co-opted and translated by Obama as “Yes We Can” to the co-opting of the UFW organizing model as a campaign tactic to the endorsements of the Kennedy family of Obama, the intersection of major American historical giants was amazing.
Today is a day of mourning, as America has lost one of its greatest Senators. Sign here the SEIU card in honor of Ted Kennedy and/or share your memories and sympathies on his website here. Finally, there is a petition to name the healthcare reform bill that passed Kennedy’s own health committee “The Kennedy Bill”. To sign that petition, click here.