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Navy names ship for Cesar Chavez, but controversy hasn't died down yet

Photo by Official U.S. Navy Imagery/Flickr (Creative Commons)


The criticism lobbed at the U.S. Navy since last week by some politicians and pundits for its decision to name a ship after the late labor leader and civil rights icon Cesar Chavez didn't stop the Navy from moving forward.

Last week, the Navy formally announced that the latest ship in its Lewis and Clark class of cargo vessels would be named for Chavez, who served in the Navy between 1944 and 1946, to honor the many Latino shipbuilders responsible for the construction of these and other ships. But the firestorm that has surrounded the vessel's name has yet to completely die down.

Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, a Republican from East San Diego County and former Marine who set off the controversy after he complained about the Navy's decision, has now introduced legislation directing the Secretary of the Navy to name the next available ship after the late Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta.

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The naming of a Navy ship after Cesar Chavez draws political fire

Photo by jay galvin/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A UC San Diego mural honoring Chicano history and Chavez, April 2010

Multi-American's sister blog Home Post at KPBS in San Diego, which reports on the military, has posted a piece on the controversy over the naming of a U.S. Navy ship after the late labor leader Cesar Chavez. From the post:

The United States Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, is headed to San Diego tomorrow to announce that a ship will be named after labor leader Cesar Chavez. General Dynamics NASSCO spokesman James Gill told the Associated Press it’s a way to pay homage to the Latino workers who built the dry cargo ship, and the neighborhood (Barrio Logan) General Dynamics calls home.

But Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr. of East San Diego County, a Republican whose retired congressman father was a driving force behind construction of the border fence, is complaining about the decision. From his

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