CNN's SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
By Mercedes Sanchez SOLEDAD O'BRIEN ASKS "WHAT'S YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS"
Last week CNN aired its Latino in America special where Soledad O'Brien captured the lives of a few Latinos in a two-part series. O'Brien touched upon very real and accurate issues such as education, immigration, language barriers and teenage pregnancy. Although she attempted to spread awareness, many viewers say O'Brien failed to include more positive stories.
Before Soledad's book signing on Thursday, GlobalHue Latino welcomed the journalist in Lower Manhattan where she spoke about the series and her upbringing as a Latina in Long Island. Via their live online stream, we asked Mrs. O'Brien, "What about the success stories?" And she responded with, "What's your definition of success?"
Soledad went on to say that Cindy Garcia- a high school student who was on the verge of failing out and got pregnant- is a success because she went on to college. "Is she not a success story," asked O'Brien. "What about the Mayor of Los Angeles who dropped out of high school but is now Mayor. What about the young girl who thought about killing herself but now has a great relationship with her mother. Success is very subjective. Are you saying these aren't success stories?"
They are "success" stories because the folks she interviewed turned their lives around. We agree that it's not always where you're from but where you're going that matters. But it seems she misunderstood our question. Many viewers want to know where were the stories of small business owners, scientists, accomplished students in top universities, doctors, etc.
Having a Black Latina mom herself, where were the Afro-Latino stories?
On Facebook and Twitter some LIA supporters are saying "let's start doing instead of complaining." Are viewers really whining or merely asking that they be represented correctly on a major channel that's documenting the lives of Latinos in America.
In a recent radio interview, I was asked who I thought were the top five most influential Latinos. I said that those behind the camera are the most influential. The producers, reporters and writers have access and power to spread news and awareness.
We respect Soledad and her success, and hope that she covers the vital stories she didn't include in the first two parts of her Latino In America series. What's your take on this?