Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now! Visits MC

juan-gonzalez-democracy-now

Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now! came to speak at Montgomery College about his new project.

On Wednesday, October 16, award winning journalist Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News and Democracy Now! spoke at Montgomery College during a screening of his 2012 documentary Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America.  The documentary, adapted from his book of the same name, explores the construction of Latino communities in the United States.

 

“Latinos will play an increasingly  important role in shaping the America of the 21st century,” according to Gonzalez.

 

The film goes in depth about both the history of Latino migration to the United States and the common misconceptions surrounding it.  Gonzalez, who describes the Latino presence in America as “the unintended harvest of the American empire,” highlights the fact that major Latino migrations have all come from countries that were once dominated by the United States. American diversity is similar to immigrant communities in France and the UK, which are primarily composed of people from former colonies.

 

Understanding the massive influx of Latino immigration, an oft-divisive issue, is of critical importance to the future of the country.  At the current rate, Latinos will comprise 1/3 of the U.S. population by the year 2050.

 

Harvest of Empire was co-produced by Wendy Thompson, a Peruvian immigrant and Montgomery College alumni.

In an interview at Montgomery College last year, Joseph Torres, a journalist who has worked with Democracy Now!, said an organization such as Democracy Now! provides rare, alternative, and vital information for the younger generations in America. Torres also explained that alternative media sources can be far less biased than major news corporations, as well as educational programs.

In his opening statements, Gonzalez explains why these aspects of Democracy Now! and its programs are to an individual’s background. “I grew increasingly frustrated over the years after so many years…seeing the incredible portrayals of Latinos. It’s refreshing to make that change.”