waste matter discharged from the body
Today, thousands of farm workers live under savage conditions--beneath trees and amid garbage and human
excrement--near tomato fields in San Diego County--tomato fields which use the most modern farm technology.
a piece of equipment or a tool used for a specific purpose
Farm workers are not agricultural
implements--they are not beasts of burden to be used and discarded.
That dream was born in my youth. It was nurtured in my early days of organizing. It has
flourished. It has been attacked.
personal as opposed to real property
That dream, that vision grew from my own experience with racism--with hope--with the desire to be treated fairly and to see my people treated as human beings and not as
use or manipulate to one's advantage
It grew from the frustration and humiliation I felt as a boy who couldn't understand how the growers could abuse and
exploit farm workers when there were so many of us and so few of them.
insist on having one's opinions and rights recognized
We experienced some successes in voter registration in politics in battling racial discrimination--successes in an era when Black Americans were just beginning to
assert their civil rights and when political awareness among Hispanics was almost non-existent.
a state of extreme dishonor
The UFW was the beginning! We attacked that historical source of shame and
infamy that our people in this country lived with.
high-flown style; excessive use of verbal ornamentation
Farm workers acknowledged we had allowed ourselves to become victims in a democratic society--a society where majority rule and collective bargaining are supposed to be more than academic theories or political
the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect
The union's survival--its very existence--sent out a signal to all Hispanics that we were fighting for our
displaying incongruity between what is expected and what is
ironic it is that the same forces which argue so passionately that the union is not influential are the same forces that continue to fight us so hard.
decrease in size, extent, or range
Our union will forever exist as an empowering force among Chicanos in the Southwest. And that means our power and our influence will grow and
the act of scaring a weaker person to make them do something
It means the right to be free from threats and
intimidation by growers is an empty promise!
discuss the terms of an arrangement
It means the right to sit down and
negotiate with your employer as across the bargaining table--and not as peons in the field--is a fraud!
special advantage or influence
The other trend that gives us hope is the monumental growth of Hispanic influence in this country--and what that means in increased population, increased social and economic
clout, and increased political influence.
a destructive action
The growers only have themselves to blame as they begin to reap the harvest from decades of environmental damage they have brought upon the land--the pesticides, the herbicides, the soil fumigants, the fertilizers, the salt deposits from thoughtless irrigation--the
ravages from years of unrestrained poisoning of our soil and water.
indulgent in immoral or improper behavior
Thousands of acres of land in California have already been irrevocably damaged by this
wanton abuse of nature.
a grant paid by a government to an enterprise
Growers only have themselves to blame for increasing attacks on their publicly-financed hand-outs and government welfare: water
subsidies; mechanization research; huge
subsidies for not growing crops.
make subservient; force to submit or subdue
For generations, they have
subjugated entire races of dark-skinned farm workers.
wish, long, or crave for
These are the sins of the growers--not the farm workers.
We didn't poison the land.
We didn't open the door to imported produce.
covet billions of dollars in government handouts.
expecting the worst possible outcome
I am told, these days, why farm workers should be discouraged and
pessimistic: The Republicans control the Governor's Office and the White House.
the quality of being unavoidable
We have looked into the future and the future is ours! History and
inevitability are on our side.
cause to feel shame
You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot
humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.
The consciousness and pride that were raised by our union are alive and
thriving inside millions of young Hispanics who will never work on a farm!
impracticality in thinking of things in a perfect form
The day will come when the politicians do the right thing by our people out of political necessity and not out of charity or
any system of principles or beliefs
And on that day, our nation shall fulfill its
creed and that fulfillment shall enrich us all.