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First lady Jill Biden gave a speech commemorating the birthday of farmworker civil rights advocate César Chávez but she faced ridicule and mockery for butchering the Spanish slogan he made famous.
The first lady spoke to farmworkers in Delano, California, with Gov. Gavin Newsom at her side on Wednesday and the United Farm Workers flag behind her.
“Cesar Chávez understood that no matter the obstacles, when people come together united in a cause, anything is possible. Yes we can. Si se puede!” Biden said during the speech.
“Si se puede” was popularized by Chávez and translates to “Yes we can.”
She tried to close out the speech with another rousing call to the audience but floundered when she botched the pronunciation of the famous slogan.
Her critics were quick to pounce on video of the embarrassing moment and circulate it widely on social media.
— Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL) April 1, 2021
“What better way to wrap #CesarChavezDay than with Co-President Dr. Jill Biden butchering “Sí Se Puede” while standing in front of Chávez’ black eagle,” chided Jorge Bonilla of the Media Research Center.
The Fresno Bee reported her gaffe as sounding like “si se pwad-way,” despite having said it correctly previously in the speech.
“What a fake, pandering machine politician Jill Biden is. just like her husband,” responded Steve Hilton.
“Not a big deal, but I’m old enough to remember when President Trump’s mispronunciations would consume news cycles,” replied Giancarlo Sopo.
“Melania is fluent in 5 languages Jill Biden can’t even say a rehearsed line in Spanish,” responded an anonymous Twitter user.
“Thank God @POTUS jumped in with the #Despacito save or that could have been embarrassing for @FLOTUS,” joked another user.
Biden was speaking at the Forty Acres site, a national monument where Chávez fought for farmworkers’ rights and founded the United Farm Workers of America labor organization.