González, who recently published the paperback edition of the best-selling News For All the People: The Epic Story of Race and The American Media with Verso Books, uses his investigative prowess to tell another crucial counter-history in "Harvest of Empire," based on his book by the same name. In addressing the current immigration crisis, the film explores the connections between U.S. intervention abroad and the swelling waves of migration from Latin America. As González reminds us at the beginning of the film:
Watch Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now discussing Harvest of Empire:
They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government's actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades — actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north.
An interview by Elizabeth Floyd Mair with Juan González ran in the Times Union in Albany, NY on April 19th to coincide with González's appearance at Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY, where he spoke about the history of media and oppresion.
Q: What do you think of the term "the liberal media"?
A: The "liberal media" myth, like most stereotypes, contains a kernel of truth, but ends up being a huge distortion of a complex reality. The class divide in our media system is far more defining than the left-right political divide. Most journalists in the commercial media have become somewhat divorced from the daily problems of ordinary Americans. They therefore give far less attention and coverage to the "other" America, those less privileged and less powerful. And they give disproportionate attention and coverage to the 1 percent celebrities, successful businessmen, powerful government figures, and so forth.
Read the full interview here.
Keep a close eye on Verso's events page in the coming weeks: during March, April and May, Juan Gonzalez and Joseph Torres, co-authors of News For All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the Media, will be going across the country for a series of lectures and discussions about the history of race and media in the United States.
Please click below to see a list of their respective speaking dates and stay posted for more information and details to come:
On Friday, October 28, the Langston Room in Busboys and Poets was filled to capacity for an event featuring Juan González, Joe Torres, and Amy Goodman. WPFW, Free Press, Democracy Now!, Busboys and Poets, and Teaching for Change hosted the event which featured an interview with the authors by Amy Goodman and a book signing.
View photos from the event here.