My producers got even more ambitious in 2009. Ariana Pekary continued her run with a documentary show called “Hating Marcelo.” This was about hate crimes against Latino immigrants. Marcelo Lucero was thirty-seven years old when he was killed by seven teenagers in Patchogue in Suffolk County, New York. “Beaner hopping” is apparently a popular sport for bored Long Island high school boys who’ve had a few beers. Lucero had been a productive worker in his community for longer than his attackers had been alive. The local county executive used the immigration issue to increase his popularity with the masses and was a frequent guest on CNN of Lou Dobbs, who was also fanning the anti-immigrant flames in his quest for ratings. We wondered if the teenagers felt they had official license to commit violence against Latinos.
Ariana scored again with a five-part series on education reform that was largely instigated by me. I remain convinced that private industry sees public education as the next great profit center ripe for the picking. I believe corporations want to take it over in the same way they absorbed hospitals and nursing homes that were once run by government and religious institutions.
Producer Dan Bloom jumped into the pool with a program on Iraqi immigrants in America. And in 2010, Dan did some reporting from South Africa, where he was enjoying soccer’s World Cup.