10.01.2008

LATINOS '08: A PBS Documentary on Latinos & the '08 U.S.Elections

LATINOS '08, a new documentary from Phillip Rodriguez, airs Wednesday, October 8, 2008, 9:00-10:00 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).

Latinos are less cohesive than other voting blocs, and they do not fit the black/white racial binary that has long shaped American politics. This documentary examines how today's candidates and advocacy groups are trying to mobilize and attract this unpredictable group of voters.

Will McCain manage to win back Latino defectors, in light of his party's harsh rhetoric on immigration? Will Obama succeed in securing the votes of the many Latinos who supported Hillary Clinton during the primaries?

Another subject of inquiry will be the effectiveness - or lack thereof - of Latino politicians in advancing Latino interests and promoting Latino unity. As these politicians enter the upper echelons of American politics, they face inevitable pressure to abandon their ethnic identity and constituencies. Will the Latino electorate coalesce nonetheless, united around the immigration issue and hemispheric foreign policy considerations? Or will ethnic considerations be trumped by class, education and other factors?

In investigating such questions, Latinos '08 sheds light on an important part of America's future.