Latinos Attack PBS for WWII Series





Last month, President Bush saluted the famed Tuskegee airmen as they received the Congressional Gold Medal, affirming that the sacrifice and service of African-Americans had finally been granted its place of honor in the nation's remembrance of World War II. But Hispanic Americans of the Greatest Generation are still battling for acknowledgment, and their fight has now embroiled celebrated documentarian Ken Burns and PBS television.

Emmy-award winner Burns is noted for TV series chronicling everything from the Civil War to the histories of jazz and baseball, but it's his new opus on World War II that has earned the ire of Latino groups. The 14-hour film War, set to air in September, focuses on the lives of 40 Americans in four U.S. cities ˜ Waterbury, Conn.; Mobile, Ala.; Luverne, Minn.; and Sacramento, Calif. And the fact that not one of the 40 subjects is Latino that has Hispanic veterans' groups and politicians crying foul.

In a recent NPR interview, Burns said the series had included the voices of Japanese-Americans and African-Americans because theirs had been "an amazingly different kind of American experience." That only further angered critics. "We are not going to tolerate this omission," said Antonio Morales of American GI Forum after a meeting with PBS officials.


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