Ken Burns speaks. Finally. After months of suffering the slings and arrows of angry Mexicans, America's fave doc maker emerges from the editing room (that he was forced to reenter) with 30 minutes of new material for his 14 hour WWII epic movie. Mexican Americans are now officially part of the World War II. Speaking to an all gringo crowd of TV critics in Beverly Hills, Burns minimized the controversy over his PBS series:
“I think we’ve found the right balance, had the right compromise, that permitted us not to alter our original vision and version of the film and at the same time honor what was legitimate about the concerns of a group of people who, for 500 years, have had their story untold in American history.”
Either homeboy's naive or doesn't care if he thinks the Professional Latinos Who Care About Such Things are going to call it a day. He may have made a convenient deal with one self-appointed gaggle of Hispanics, but Defend the Honor, the group which first brought Burns's exclusion of Latinos in his WWII doc to the public's attention, has not signed off on this new version. And Burns refuses to talk with them. And they, in turn, want no part in meeting with PBS. Check out the Defend the Honor website to get a glimpse of the non-stop actions and organizing that continue to this day.
As events unfold not only are we grappling with the question of who owns History, but as various raza groups fight for the official status to negotiate and set the terms with Burns Inc. a bigger question emerges: who can legitimately lay claim as Official Spokespersons for All Latinos?
And, of course, it still remains to be seen if Burns will ever get a new haircut.