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Google’s decision to honor Latino civil rights icon Cesar Chavez on his birthday Sunday instead of Easter was the target of criticism, forcing Google to defend its decision.
For Sunday’s Google Doodle, the search engine giant used a simple version of the logo with a Chavez portrait replacing the second ‘o.’ Sunday, March 31 would have been Chavez’s birthday. As The Daily Caller notes, Chavez was the founder of the United Farm Workers union and died in 1993. President Obama declared March 31 Cesar Chavez Day in 2011.
The Mercury News notes that the doodle was quickly met with backlash on the web. "I thought the Chavez-google thing was a hoax or an early April Fool's Day prank ... are they just going to leave that up there all day?" Fox News Contributor Dana Perino tweeted.
Glenn Beck added, “Cool for Google to not celebrate Easter but really?!!? Go to http://google.com...HAPPY Caesar Chavez day everybody!”
Fox News reports that a Google spokesperson did send a statement to the Washington Post that read, “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.”
Chavez’s own family also released a statement, acknowledging the coincidence that his birthday fell on Easter this year. A rep for the family said that they were honored to see his legacy introduced to a new generation, adding, “Coincidentally, his birthday this year falls on Easter Sunday. We understand the concern that some people have, but for many there is no contradiction. Cesar lived the gospel according to Jesus Christ: he helped the poor and outcast."
Unfortunately, some on Twitter thought that Google was honoring the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.