DVR Chronicles: United Shades of America Ep. 3…..NO

~Lorenzo Patrick (@smartspeak89)

Part of what made the first two episodes of United Shades of America interesting was that the groups weren’t really made of people you see every day. Many people don’t live in areas where you’d see a person in a klansman’s robe. Despite the fact that the numbers are growing at an alarming rate, the prison population still makes up a relatively small percentage of the population overall. Doing any programming to cover either group would inherently be informative to most viewers because of that. To do an episode on the Latino population in America after that just seems a bit lazy, at best.

I get it, the Latino population is the fastest-growing in the country. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome being an immigrant, regardless of whether or not you came here legally. But that is a road well traveled, in terms of news coverage. This episode didn’t add anything unique to the conversation. There were a few small points made about assimilation and identity politics, but nothing overly memorable.  Here are a few other thoughts from this week’s show:

  • Made the point early that Mexican immigrants came here initially to work and leave, but stayed because of the job growth.
  • There isn’t the tension the first 2 episodes had, mostly because of the targeted group
  • Mostly focused on the notion of assimilation as an immigrant
    • Uses arts and culture as the argument against assimilation
    • But does understand that English is still going to be needed for basic needs regardless of a want to retain culture
  • How much more can we dominate a species than using their jawbone as an instrument? Sorry donkey.

  • Very useful explanation of the difference between chicano/a, Latino/a, and Hispanic.
  • I wonder how many people didn’t know California used to be a part of Mexico. 
  • I also wonder what other Latinos from different parts of the country would think of this? The issues seem extremely regional.

Again, I want to repeat the 4 groups of people profiled by this show, including next week’s group:




The police

One of these things is not like the other. Let’s hope the show gets back on track next week.


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