Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

September 16, 2013

CEPEDA: 'Latino Americans' an uninspiring documentary

History, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Here’s a cheery description of the upcoming PBS documentary “Latino Americans”:

“It is the first major documentary series that highlights the varied history and experiences of Latinos. This series is going to serve as an inspiration for young people and their families to learn more about their unique cultural heritage, history and contributions to this nation.”

I screened the film, airing nationally on three consecutive Tuesdays starting Sept. 17. I did not come away feeling inspired.

Instead of an evenhanded chronology I found something resembling the canned rantings of leftist zealots who see America’s history and present solely in terms of colonialist oppressors who toil at keeping the United States predominantly white in the face of rising multiculturalism.

On display is every type of discrimination, bigotry and intolerance toward newly arrived immigrants from Latin America with little context about the mistreatments to which the United States has subjected its own born and bred (America is frequently equal-opportunity awful) and with few mentions of commonplace brutalities “back home.”

Yes, there are scores of wonderful, fascinating points of rarely discussed history and many uplifting stories of Hispanics who went on to lead accomplished lives. But their victories seem couched almost exclusively in terms of how they overcame white bigotry while guarding their culture against the evil forces of assimilation.

I dreaded that non-Hispanic viewers would either feel guilt-tripped or come to the conclusion that all Hispanics are aggrieved and generally reluctant to melt into the American pot.

The endless wrongs cataloged in this six-hour film make you wonder why anyone would ever want come to such an awful land in the first place.

As a member of the scant one-in-five people of Latin American descent the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project reports using the term “American” most often to describe their identity — as opposed to “Hispanic,” “Latino” or a specific nationality — my negative reaction was probably to be expected.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • THEIR VIEW: Lawmakers fail to act on the issue After several years of fretting over Indiana's ongoing methamphetamine problem, the Indiana General Assembly continues to struggle for a solution. The issue seems to come up every session, given that Indiana leader the nation in meth lab seizures. Bu

    April 17, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Feelings of the flowers I took one of those fun tests on Facebook to see what kind of flower I am and lo and behold, it said I was an orchid! That is so wrong because I have always thought I was the exact opposite of an orchid. I'd characterize myself as a daisy. You know,

    April 17, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reas

    April 17, 2014

  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: The people are losing control of its government The people are losing control of government President Obama and progressive Democrats and Republicans are changing the landscape of our country by bypassing our Constitution and what our forefathers fought and gave their lives for. Their philosophy c

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Health care fraud can't go unchecked National health care spending tops $2.7 trillion annually. That leaves a lot of room, and temptation, for abuse of a bureaucracy that administers medical services. Medicare and Medicaid scams may cost taxpayers more than $98 billion each year. Health

    April 15, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.