Border Wall Rhetoric Reinforces Anti-Latino Attitudes


Over the past year, Donald Trump has talked loudly and incessantly about building a massive U.S.-Mexico border wall. While his plan is opposed by most Americans and has been floundering over the last few weeks, Trump continues to advocate for it with heated rhetoric that taps into and reinforces longstanding anti-Latino attitudes.

Where do these attitudes come from? Well, one place is clearly our all-pervasive media system, which the great communications scholar George Gerbner once famously described as the primary storyteller of our time.

If you’re looking to explore how representations of Latinos in U.S. news and entertainment media shape public attitudes and policies toward Latinos in the real world, we recommend the documentary Latinos Beyond Reel. Directed by award-winning filmmakers Miguel Picker and Chyng Sun, the film draws on the insights of Latino scholars, journalists, news producers, actors, directors, and community leaders to trace the long history of Latino stereotypes in American media.


[Watch the trailer for Latinos Beyond Reel]

Ranging from Hollywood movies to television news, the film shows how Latinos have been depicted for decades as gangsters and Mexican bandits, harlots and prostitutes, drug dealers and welfare-leeching illegals. It then explores how this long history of distortion has contributed to anti-Latino attitudes, a toxic political culture, and regressive public policies. And it closes by challenging viewers to see through stereotypes and build counter-narratives that do justice to the real-world diversity and humanity of Latinx people.

If you’re looking for a film to inspire discussion about how fear-based racial and ethnic stereotypes function in American political culture, this is it.

Learn more about the Latinos Beyond Reel documentary — or sign up to watch the full-length preview below.


[Watch the full-length preview of Latinos Beyond Reel]