Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hispanics gangstas-the new Sambos?

Latinos as gang members-the same ol' same ol'.
Image from Chicago Hoodz

Now, it's a given in movies like "187" and "Training Day" that all hispanics are portrayed as violent gangbangers, but I've been noticing lately in the shows I've been watching such as The Shield on FX (in just about every episode)and Eyes (in tonight's episode) on ABC an overabundance of Latinos as these very stereotypes. Its always the same old stereotypes, which I thought went out with the movie Mi Vida Loca and the rapper Kid Frost!

The Latinos in the TV shows always talk the same way, they have these gang tattoos, and a penchant for random violence. To me, the problem is that these very shows don't balance these negative stereotypes with positive Latino characters. For a minority that is as diverse as it is, that is growing in terms of population, and that is becoming more politically influential, I would think that there should be more respect given to this group.

With the hype over illegal immigration, and the even worse hype of equating MS-13 with Al Queda as exemplified in this FBI memo, I think that there is a lot of hate for Latinos. People think that Latinos take everybodys jobs, they take advantage of so many social services, and they are more of a liability to this society in the eyes of many ignorant people. Also, they are different, and people are fearful of that which is different.

On that show I mentioned, "Eyes", there is a slick, well spoken black brotha who seems to represent those upwardly mobile African Americans who are confident, well dressed and succesful. That's a long way from "Huggy Bear" on Starski and Hutch. I guess we'll have to wait for the mainstream media to give the same respect to Latinos.

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