Friday, September 21, 2007

Help Us Send A Message To PBS - WWII Documentary The War Should Not Dismiss Latino Veterans!!!

Estimados companeras/os -

We need your help. A PBS documentary on WWII by Ken Burns called "The War" has been the focus of controversy for the past few months as it has negated the participation of Latinos in WWII. As you may recall, Latino veterans of WWII who proudly joined the ranks returned home after the war only to find continued racism and hostility, even though they had risked their lives (or lost their lives) while fighting for the U.S.

In solidarity with's movement to include the Latino experience in the documentary, La Nueva Raza has set up an online petition at:

Emails from this petition will be sent to PBS stations all over the U.S. as well as to financial contributors of the project.

For generations, the experiences and history our community has been left out of the history books and mainstream historical archives. Join us in taking a stand against the longstanding negation of our contribution to this country and society by signing onto the petition and forwarding this information to your contacts!!!

Click here to sign on!!!

Please join us in this movement. An exerpt from is at the end of this email.

In Solidarity,


La Nueva Raza
Mission Texas Coalition
Movimiento Estudiantil Xicana/o de Aztlan/Tejaztlan


Extracted from

Why are we doing this?
The Story Must Be Told and The History Preserved

A 15-hour "documentary" about Americans and World War II, to be broadcast by PBS in September 2007, initially excluded any mention of Latino heroes who fought to defend the United States from its enemies. After much public pressure, producer Ken Burns agreed to include interviews with Latinos and hired a Latino documentary producer. Subsequently, the new material added up to interviews with two Latino WWII Marines, and one Native American WWII veteran -- a total of 28 minutes.

But will it be meaningful? Defend the Honor is concerned that the new material was added simply to silence critics, and does not address the unique WWII Latino experience. For instance, in a major national meeting with the Television Critics Association on July 18, the critics were provided, in advance, boxed DVDs of the series -- minus the new material on Latinos and a Native American. Without access to the new material, television critics could not evaluate it and ask questions in open forum at their meeting with Ken Burns, associate producer Lynn Novick and PBS CEO and President Paula Kerger. Burns comments, as reported throughout the country, indicated he saw the issue of Latinos being omitted from the documentary as a "political" issue which he was able to "rise above."

PBS and the corporate and foundation sponsors of this “documentary” need to know you object to the arrogant attitude toward Latinos! You need to tell them. Show your support by signing onto this petition and look for contact information at Get Involved - to share your concerns.
This website is dedicated to supporting efforts of individuals and organizations to ensure that WWII-era Latinos and Latinas are included in today's general historical narratives. Currently, the focus of this effort is the scheduled September 2007 airing of The War. The stories of the Latino WWII generation are significant and should be included. The story of our country's wartime experiences are incomplete without including the telling of what happened to Latinos.

Taken from "La Cucaracha" by Lalo Alcaraz

You can find out more about the movement at: www.defendthehonor.