What Does Dolores Huerta’s Endorsement of Joe Biden Really Mean?

Huerta endoses Biden BELatina Latinx
Photo by: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Activist and social organizer Dolores Huerta  promised to do everything “humanly possible” to get former vice president Joe Biden to win the November election, changing what had been her record in the Democratic primary.

Simply put: We have to get rid of President Donald Trump, whatever it takes.

Just a few months ago, Huerta, the labor and civil rights leader who co-founded what eventually became the United Farm Workers union,  announced her support for her state’s Senator Kamala Harris and criticized Biden for his lack of concrete answers about  the needs of Hispanics in the country, even accusing him of “talking just like the Republicans.”

However, after  Trump’s  disastrous  handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the political scenario has radically changed, with Biden being the only option to put the country back on track.

“Our community has just been under constant, constant attack by the current administration,” said Huerta. “We need somebody who is going to bring everybody together and end the racism and hostility that has been created.”

While we can be sure that Biden is not the first choice of Latinos in the country — during the early caucuses the votes showed that Bernie Sanders enjoyed a higher approval rate from our community — the fact that Huerta has joined forces with the Democratic movement behind the former vice president’s campaign speaks more of desperation than strategy.

It seems then that this is a “clean slate” in the Democratic discourse.

We  saw this when most of the primary candidates, after withdrawing from the race, appeared one by one in the campaign behind Biden, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Over the past few weeks, and in the face of Tara Reade’s accusation of sexual harassment against their candidate, the Democratic machine has once again resorted to radicalism and blind proselytism, undoing  years of campaigning on behalf of victims of gender violence and the #MeToo movement.

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez said on Sunday on ABC’s This Week that “there is nothing there”, and dismissed the New York Times editorial board’s call for an “unbiased, apolitical panel” to be created within the DNC to investigate the allegations. 

“I’m very familiar with the vice-presidential vetting process. They look at everything about you. They looked at the entire history of Joe Biden, his entire career,” Perez said. “I’ll tell you, if Barack Obama had any indication that there was an issue, Barack Obama would not have had him as his vice president. Barack Obama trusted Joe Biden. I trust Joe Biden.”

However, and surely in line with what Huerta must have thought when she decided to make her announcement, this is not about trust. It’s about a desperate move to try to get out of a desperate situation. 

In the long run, and to the disappointment of many of us, even though getting rid of Donald Trump is — literally — a matter of life and death, the Democratic Party seems also desperately willing to maintain the corroded political structures of yesteryear.