Google Honors César Chávez on March 31 Doodle and Christians Think World Has Ended

Mar 31, 2013
10:49 AM

The craziness continues.

UPDATE: Some people thought that this entire fuss was about the late Hugo Chávez. Seriously.

UPDATE: Google has responded.

We enjoy celebrating holidays at Google but, as you may imagine, it’s difficult for us to choose which events to highlight on our site. Sometimes for a given date we feature an historical event or influential figure that we haven’t in the past.

Of all the absolute truths that pertain to social media and the online world, there is one maxim that can never be disputed: you will never ever please everyone, and if you are not pissing some people off sometimes, you aren’t doing your job.

Such is the case of Google, which today dedicated its doodle to César Chávez. March 31 is César Chávez Day, a local state holiday that is recognized in California, where Google HQ is based. Yet this year March 31 is also Easter Sunday, so the doodle, as you can imagine, is pissing off Christians and generating stories about Google’s blasphemy.


As expected Twitchy has turned it into a story (initially saying that it was Hugo Chávez and not César) and The Blaze also reported this:

Google frequently honors important figures or dates with its popular “doodles,” but the decision to honor Chávez while many around the world were marking Easter sparked an intense reaction from some on social media. The search engine Bing decorated its homepage with Easter eggs.

Still, a search of Google’s past doodles shows they have never honored Easter in the United States, and tend not to recognize specific religious holidays. While they regularly post special logos for Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Earth Day and other dates, certain doodles tend to bemore esoteric.

Google did not immediately return a request for comment from TheBlaze Sunday morning about the decision to pick Chávez over Easter for its logo.

Ok, so Bing is cool for posting Easter eggs (because Easter eggs are so religious) but Google is not for honoring Chávez? In the meantime, Chicago Now’s @whiterhinoray provides a different perspective:

It’s seems foolish that a search engine’s doodle should receive so much attention. For Chicanos, however, this decision affirms what we’ve always believed—Cesar Chavez merits national recognition.

My father came to this country as a farmworker, a bracero, in 1957. He heard Chavez speak once. Suprisingly, it was my father’s work in the fields that opened the doors for me on National Public Radio over ten years ago. An essay about my father’s work and my decision to become a writer aired on All Things Considered in August 2002.

When I started my teaching career, my mother who worked in a warehouse, told me, “You always join the union.” I did. And while I’ve questioned many times the logic of my union’s leaders and its members, I still see the value, the power, the need for a organized labor—especially for teachers. We just need to be better about communicating what we’re fighting for.

I hope that on this day of rest, those of us who belong to and lead labor unions can devote a moment to self-reflection and search within ourselves for an answer to this question: “What would Cesar Chavez say today about our labor efforts?”

And before Christians want to toss up their chocolate bunnies and Peeps, maybe reading some of Chávez’s actual words about Christian principles is in order here:

What do we want the church to do? We ask for its presence with us, beside us, as Christ among us. We ask the church to sacrifice with the people for social change, for justice and for love of brother and sister. We don’t ask for words. We ask for deeds. We don’t ask for paternalism. We ask for servanthood.

I have met many, many farmworkers and friends who love justice and who are willing to sacrifice for what is right. They have a quality about them that reminds me of the beatitudes. They are living examples that Jesus’ promise is true: they have been hungry and thirsty for righteousness and they have been satisfied. They are determined, patient people who believe in life and who give strength to others. They have given me more love and hope and strength than they will ever know.

Jesus’ life and words are a challenge at the same time that they are Good News. They are a challenge to those of us who are poor and oppressed. By His life He is calling us to give ourselves to other, to sacrifice for those who suffer, to share our lives with our brothers and sisters who are also oppressed. He is calling us to ‘hunger and thirst after justice’ in the same way that we hunger and thirst after food and water: that is, by putting our yearning into practice.’

As for the injustice of it all, Christians can go ahead and boycott Google today. They can also do their search through Bing, with its pagan Easter eggs. In the meantime, we applaud Google for taking such a bold step today. That is the Rebelde way.