October 14th, 2010
Good News About Latinos From Chile

The crazy tragedy-turned-heartwarming-story about the 33 trapped Chilean miners captured the world’s attention.  It was the perfect story, with elements of hope, tragedy, peril, love, strife, human suffering and the coming-together of a nation to confront this issue.

The 33 miners were all rescued as of Wednesday.

It was nice to see Chile and Latinos in the news so often around such a positive topic.  In my academic and professional pursuits I’ve noticed that Latinos usually are painted only in a few colors:  immigrants, gang members, janitors, maids, criminals or lazy.

The Chilean mine story gave news outlets all over the world the opportunity to travel to a Latin American country (albeit one of the better off ones) and talk to people who rarely get talked to in a place rarely traveled to about something that was important to them.  If you recall, most of the mine stories centered around miners’ families, communities and the miners themselves.

Of course, now that they’re saved, this can be forgotten, and we can get back to stereotyping “those people” as dangerous, lazy and here to take our jobs.

[Image via Phil Whitehouse]