Barack Obama gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dolores Huerta, an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. During the ceremony today President Obama admitted he stole her slogan “Yes we can!” for his 2008 campaign.
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President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to Dolores Huerta, an 82-year-old labor activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union.
Huerta is also an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.
DSA describes itself as “the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.”
Huerta has claimed, “Republicans hate Latinos,” and has spoken fondly of Hugo Chavez’s despotic regime in Venezuela.
The Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who have made “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Barack Obama admitted at the ceremony today that he stole Huerta’s slogan for his campaign.
Similarly, when Cesar Chavez sat Dolores Huerta down at his kitchen table and told her they should start a union, she thought he was joking. She was a single mother of seven children, so she obviously didn’t have a lot of free time. But Dolores had been an elementary school teacher and remembered seeing children come to school hungry and without shoes. So in the end, she agreed — and workers everywhere are glad that she did. Without any negotiating experience, Dolores helped lead a worldwide grape boycott that forced growers to agree to some of the country’s first farm worker contracts. And ever since, she has fought to give more people a seat at the table. “Don’t wait to be invited,” she says, “Step in there.” And on a personal note, Dolores was very gracious when I told her I had stolen her slogan, “Si, se puede.” Yes, we can. (Laughter.) Knowing her, I’m pleased that she let me off easy — (laughter) — because Dolores does not play. (Laughter.)