Page 15 - Latino Boom II

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their airtime with anything that is thinly veiled as “news.” Charles Gar-
cia wrote about this recently for the
Huffington Post Latino Voices
, cit-
ing a study from 2010. Professors Sei-hill Kim of the University of South
Carolina and John Carvalho of Auburn University researched, with oth-
ers, newspaper articles and television transcripts from between 1997
and 2006 and found that the terms “illegal alien,” “illegal immigrant,”
or just plain “illegals” are everywhere on television, in newspapers, and
on talk radio. They also discovered that journalists attracted the largest
audiences with crime stories, so linking immigrants to a crime drama
was preferred because it increased ratings and profits.
2
A more recent study conducted by Latino Decisions for the National
Hispanic Media Coalition, published in September 2012, concluded
that “media portrayals of Latinos and immigrants are fueling rampant
negative stereotypes among the general population that are diminish-
ing perceptions of these groups throughout the United States.” Case
in point: although 85 percent of all Hispanics in the United States are
either American citizens or here legally, by associating Latinos with the
issue of illegal immigration, this study found that “30 percent of respon-
dents believed that a majority of Hispanics (50 percent or greater) were
undocumented.”
3
More on that later, but I blame both the conservative and the lib-
eral media for not getting our story right. The truth is that our country
is changing. We are experiencing tectonic demographic shifts, but the
spirit of America has not changed, and the foundation on which the
future America is built remains the same: a belief in hard work that
allows our families to get ahead and a respect for one another allows us
all to pursue our American Dream. If you look beyond the divisive talk
and instead focus on what really matters, you will see what I see, which
is a huge opportunity to catch the biggest economic wave since the baby
boom.
In a report published in spring 2012, the Nielsen Company described
the change like this: “The country’s vibrant demographic composition,
with its healthy multicultural dynamic and youth, is a critical American
asset in the global economic competition. At the heart of this asset, both