Labor organizer Cesar Chavez was always ready for a confrontation. And now the legendary founder of the United Farm Workers, dead since 1993, is in the middle of a ruckus over the U.S. Navy’s plans to name a new ship in his honor.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will be in San Diego Wednesday at the General Dynamics Nassco shipyards and is expected, according to the shipbuilding company, to formally announce that the latest Lewis and Clark-class Navy cargo ship will carry the Chavez name.
The final decision on a ship’s name is up to the Navy secretary. He considers recommendations from the Naval History and Heritage command and suggestions from service members, veterans and the public, according to the Navy.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, objects to naming a ship for Chavez. In a statement released by his office, he suggested the Navy is paying too much attention to politics and not enough to tradition.
“This decision shows the direction the Navy is heading,” Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in his statement. “Naming a ship after Cesar Chavez goes right along with other recent decisions by the Navy that appears to be more about making a political statement than upholding the Navy’s history and tradition.”
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