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Cesar Chavez's son and Robert F. Kennedy's daughter have a message for Trump


Cesar Chavez's son, Paul Chavez, is still very much on the mission his dad was on, to help underrepresented communities.

"The Dreamer issue is a big issue," said Paul Chavez on a recent visit to Los Angeles to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his father's 25-day hunger strike. "We have people that for all purposes are productive members of this society, and they've been used as a political pawn in the larger immigration debate."

Cesar Chavez + RFK - Strike Ends 10-10-1968 (credit George Ballis - Take Stock) (3).jpg
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Cesar Chavez on the day Chavez's hunger strike ended. (August 10, 1968)

We think this is really a litmus test for society how we treat those people.
Paul Chavez, son of Cesar Chavez and president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation

Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy's daughter, was also at the event. She's the president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. When I asked her what the most pressing human rights issue facing the U.S. right now, she referenced the past.

"It's the same one that [my dad] cared about 50 years ago. It's hate and division," said Kerry Kennedy.

The human rights activists joined forces at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools to teach students about Chavez's hunger strike, observe the 50th anniversary of RFK's assassination and the two leaders' symbolic friendship.

'You have the capacity to be the best president in the history of the United States. To do that, you're going to need to have compassion for those who are suffering.'
Kerry Kennedy on what her dad would say to President Trump if he were still alive

"They came from different standards of wealth. They came from very different perspectives," Kerry told the audience of students. "Why do you think they came together?"


A few years before he was assassinated where the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools now stand, RFK became a staunch supporter of Cesar Chavez and of labor rights. Today, Kerry Kennedy and Paul Chavez tell us what they think their dads would tell President Trump if they were still alive.

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(L to R) Rory Kennedy, Paul Chavez and Kerry Kennedy at Robert F. Community Schools in Los Angeles, California, on March 5.

"He might say to President Trump, 'Step down,'" said Kerry Kennedy, laughing. "But that probably wouldn't be his style. I think he might say to President Trump: 'You have the capacity to be the best president in the history of the United States. To do that, you're going to need to have compassion for those who are suffering. You're going to need to get out there into people's communities and really talk to people about what's going on. You are going to have to be for peace and not for war.'"

Paul Chavez echoed that sentiment.

"You know, I’d have to pick my words carefully. For sure, what he would do is he would tell all of us who are offended by the actions and by the words of this administration that you know, we should not become discouraged in this fight. If you take a look at his life, you’ll see that he suffered more setbacks than victories, yet he refused to give up."

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Related stories on Circa:
Democrat Rep. Joe Kennedy responded to President Trump's State of the Union
Two Kennedy family members were arrested after a 'loud party' near the family compound
A court reinstated Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel's murder conviction

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