Rubén Navarrette Jr. es un tapado. The Spanish term “tapado” comes from the verb “tapar”: to cover or plug up. So, Sr. Navarette is literally “plugged up,” or intellectually constipated, to put it in the vernacular.
In his opinion piece “ Chavez film not full story” (March 24, Page A7), Sr. Navarrette critiques Diego Luna’s film “Cesar Chavez” by criticizing compañero Chavez for calling “la migra” (immigration services) against undocumented Mexican scabs (“esquíroles”) being illegally recruited by the growers to weaken the strike. Navarrette claims it hurt those who wanted “to feed their families.” While nothing done to someone who steals your job (while you are taking legal, collective action to defend it) can be categorized as unfair, the United Farm Workers union quickly ended this tactic when its supporters in the Chicano movement counseled the Chavistas to organize immigrants before they chose to scab. They did just that. Because Mexican workers are generally more class-conscious than U.S. workers, the scab tactic eventually failed.
As to Navarrette’s criticism of the boycott, I suppose come next Martin Luther King Jr. Day he will damn the Montgomery bus and Sprouse-Reitz lunch counter boycotts. Maybe Sr. Navarrette is even critical of economic sanctions against Iran, North Korea and Russia. If he is looking for perfection in historical figures, maybe he needs to limit his film reviews to Disney movies. Viva Cesar Chavez!
MIGUEL H. DIAZ