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Cesar Chavez Nonviolent Resistance Summary

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Labor union organizer and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez paid homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in an inspiring article regarding nonviolent resistance published in 1978 on the tenth anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. Advocating militant nonviolence as means of achieving justice, Chavez offers a compelling stance as to why and how the farm workers’ movement can prosper. His gradual shift from hypothetical to practiced nonviolence, refutation of differing opinions, and desire to unite the common American people all contribute to a cogent exhortation on the necessity of nonviolent protest.
Although it is inconspicuous, the slight tone shifts within the article add a great deal of strength to the overall persuasiveness of Chavez’s argument. Beginning with an analysis of Dr. King’s life, death, and effect
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Affirmed by the anaphora of repeated communal diction, there is no mistaking that his point is applicable to all. The “we”s and “our”s do more than just label his audience though; Chavez utilizes these two powerful words to assert his role within the movement, not as a leader or just an ally, but as one of the common people affected. For Chavez, the problems are personal; the farm workers’ movement and the fight for civil rights is much more than a cause he believes in: it is a struggle for justice that he has devoted his entire life to. Within his article, Chavez’s passion, developed over years of experience with hardship and resistance, comes through with charged statements such as “If we fail, there are those who will see violence as the shortcut to change”. By inserting himself into the narrative of change as one small piece and utilizing his past experience to ardently support his cause, Chavez successfully emphasizes how by working together within, the community can achieve the common goal of non-violent resistance and change for the poor
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