Mar 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Dolores Huerta: "We cannot really rest" until violence against people of color ends

Screenshot of Dolores Huerta sitting in a chair and speaking

Prominent labor activist Dolores Huerta said "we cannot really rest ... until we can really end the slayings of people of color," emphasizing the importance of coalition-building at an Axios event on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Hate crimes against people of color are on the rise, especially after a yearlong spike in anti-Asian hate incidents. Huerta pointed to the "constant murdering of Black people" as well as the mass shootings in El Paso, Pittsburgh and most recently Georgia, saying that "this has to end."

What she's saying: "So much of the racism and sexism that exists in our society comes from slavery and the domination of one group over the other," said Huerta, who is the founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and served as co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association alongside César Chávez.

  • As one human race, "we would never have survived on planet Earth had we not protected and taken care of each other and also shared the resources that we had."
  • Working across racial lines has always been a part of social justice movements, she added, noting that Asian Americans were an "integral part" of her fight for farmworkers in the latter half of the 20th century.
  • "Many of these groups were brought to the United States in the very beginning to work in agriculture: the Chinese, the Filipinos, the Japanese and also the Hindus, the people from India," she said. "And so they were very much part of the movement from the very, very beginning."

The internet is a game-changer for activists, she added.

  • It's a "wonderful thing" that access to cellphones and social media platforms enable people to mobilize, educate and bring people together "very, very quickly."
  • "Everybody can find the truth of everything, you know," she said. She did acknowledge the power of misinformation, but maintained the internet gives organizers "a great tool."

Watch the full event here.

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