Take Action: National Geographic Show Fosters Hatred and Violence Towards Immigrants

Formerly neutral world news organization National Geographic, with corporate cosponsor CSX, launched a new cable television show entitled “Border Wars”, detailing daily border agent battles with drug smugglers, human traffickers, and undocumented immigrants.

The promotions for this new show, as well as the show itself, have managed to recklessly imply that the U.S. and Mexico are at war, that the U.S.-Mexico border is a terrorism hot spot, that undocumented immigrants are the terrorists attempting to infiltrate this country, and that U.S. border agents are our soldiers ensuring national security and justice.

These implications are false and dangerous.

What “Border Wars” will not show you are fleeing immigrants being shot, immigrant children being separated from their families, and immigrants being forced to return to lives that include poverty, violence, and despair. That is the reality of the U.S.- Mexico border.

The astounding insensitivity of “Border Wars” is compounded by the show’s website which allows browsers to simulate being a border agent “on the line”, promoting violence toward immigrants and vigilante justice.

This show fosters prejudice, hatred, and violence toward all immigrants, regardless of legal status, that lead to hate crimes like the deaths of Luis Ramirez in Pennsylvania and Raul and Brisenia Flores in Arizona. “Border Wars” should not be allowed to influence its 2.9 million viewers in this manner.

If you would like to contact National Geographic about “Border Wars” to express your disappointment and outrage, you may do so here:

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/contact

Or post on the show forum.

19 thoughts on “Take Action: National Geographic Show Fosters Hatred and Violence Towards Immigrants

  1. This is the letter I wrote to National Geographic.

    Dear National Geographic,

    I have trusted National Geographic to spread scientific and cultural information that (in recent decades) is reliable and fair-minded. I own a National Geographic atlas, I buy National Geographic DVDs for my nephews, and I enjoy National Geographic specials on TV.

    However, I have learned that the content of your program, “Border Wars” portrays Latin American immigrants as terrorists waging a war against the United States. It also fails to show the abuses that U.S. immigration agents and immigration policy commit against immigrants. By many accounts, your online game encourages players to be violent towards immigrants. I am deeply disappointed that National Geographic has chosen to villify immigrants and glorify immigration agents.

    Until National Geographic eliminates the show and the online game, I will refrain from buying any National Geographic products, and will encourages others to do the same.

  2. This is the letter I wrote to National Geographic.

    Dear National Geographic,

    I have trusted National Geographic to spread scientific and cultural information that (in recent decades) is reliable and fair-minded. I own a National Geographic atlas, I buy National Geographic DVDs for my nephews, and I enjoy National Geographic specials on TV.

    However, I have learned that the content of your program, “Border Wars” portrays Latin American immigrants as terrorists waging a war against the United States. It also fails to show the abuses that U.S. immigration agents and immigration policy commit against immigrants. By many accounts, your online game encourages players to be violent towards immigrants. I am deeply disappointed that National Geographic has chosen to villify immigrants and glorify immigration agents.

    Until National Geographic eliminates the show and the online game, I will refrain from buying any National Geographic products, and will encourages others to do the same.

  3. I think news media should be required to submit all their coverage to EJS before releasing it to make sure the coverage comports with the EJS agenda. For example, if Nat Geo wanted to do a show documenting the unlawful abuses of immigrants not in the country legally that did not address drug smuggling, crime, or people looking for economic opportunity, the show could air. But the Nat Geo show that’s running, although apparently real and accurate, should be canceled because it doesn’t show the things EJS wants covered. Wouldn’t that be great!?! (answer: no)

  4. I think news media should be required to submit all their coverage to EJS before releasing it to make sure the coverage comports with the EJS agenda. For example, if Nat Geo wanted to do a show documenting the unlawful abuses of immigrants not in the country legally that did not address drug smuggling, crime, or people looking for economic opportunity, the show could air. But the Nat Geo show that’s running, although apparently real and accurate, should be canceled because it doesn’t show the things EJS wants covered. Wouldn’t that be great!?! (answer: no)

  5. Your show Border Wars is beyond the pale. It is offensive. As an American Indian I could make a case that all those working on the show and “defending our borders” are people who crossed the border just a few short generations ago. If this show is not dropped promptly, I will refuse to watch all National Geographic shows and will contact all the sponsors to let them know.

  6. Your show Border Wars is beyond the pale. It is offensive. As an American Indian I could make a case that all those working on the show and “defending our borders” are people who crossed the border just a few short generations ago. If this show is not dropped promptly, I will refuse to watch all National Geographic shows and will contact all the sponsors to let them know.

  7. I’m terribly disappointed with National Geographic and will ask to have their channel removed from my line-up if they continue to promote this type of idiotic, hateful programming. I will also make it my business to encourage my students, colleagues, family, and friends to do the same and lobby every library I know to discontinue their subscriptions to Nat Geo.

  8. I’m terribly disappointed with National Geographic and will ask to have their channel removed from my line-up if they continue to promote this type of idiotic, hateful programming. I will also make it my business to encourage my students, colleagues, family, and friends to do the same and lobby every library I know to discontinue their subscriptions to Nat Geo.

  9. Please, that is not the reality of the border. I’ve been a Border Patrol Agent for 18 years and I’ve never shot at anyone, much less a fleeing immigrant. I’ve only seen one person shot at by an agent, and that person was trying to hit the agent with a rock large enough to crush his head. I’ve never separated a child from it’s family, in fact I have worked hard to reunite lost children with their parents even when the parents refuse to come forward and claim their child.

    The vast majority of illegal immigrants are not fleeing abject poverty, violence or despair. I have relatives that live happily in Mexico and have no desire to immigrate to the US, legally or illegally. They’re not rich, in fact by my standards they are very poor. Regardless, they’re happy. I’ve spent a lot of time with illegal immigrants both as an agent and as a private citizen before I joined the Border Patrol. Those who cross the border illegally are generally trying to take advantage of an easy opportunity to get ahead and most do not plan on staying in the US for long. Most plan on making money here and returning home to spend it. That’s not to say that the exploitation is one-sided–employers in our country exploit illegal aliens as well. It is a mutually parasitic situation.

    This posting is pure hyperbole. The show does not foster hate, prejudice or violence. It shows agents going about their daily jobs. Many of those agents on the show express sympathy for the plight of those they catch. If you’ve seen the show the aliens that are apprehended are treated as respectfully as possible. I saw no one expressing hatred or espousing senseless violence, nor is their very much violence at all.

    The terrorist angle is certainly overstated but the War angle certainly is not. The organizations that bring people across our border illegally are closely related to the drug cartels that are currently kidnapping and murdering thousands of Mexican citizens a year. Those organizations are largely responsible for the deaths of aliens in the Arizona desert. They bring groups of people across the border only to abandon them in the desert when they can’t walk further.

    The people who cross the border aren’t all just workers and families and to say that they are is disingenuous. We often catch wanted murderers and rapists crossing the border. We are defending our country and we are ensuring national security and justice. I think this show is necessary to counter misinformation put out by websites such as this. If you disagree with me, please come visit me in Imperial Beach and I’ll gladly take you on a personal tour and introduce you to the agents and aliens that interact here. You can see for yourself what the border is like. Or you can just watch Border Wars. It is fairly accurate.

  10. Please, that is not the reality of the border. I’ve been a Border Patrol Agent for 18 years and I’ve never shot at anyone, much less a fleeing immigrant. I’ve only seen one person shot at by an agent, and that person was trying to hit the agent with a rock large enough to crush his head. I’ve never separated a child from it’s family, in fact I have worked hard to reunite lost children with their parents even when the parents refuse to come forward and claim their child.

    The vast majority of illegal immigrants are not fleeing abject poverty, violence or despair. I have relatives that live happily in Mexico and have no desire to immigrate to the US, legally or illegally. They’re not rich, in fact by my standards they are very poor. Regardless, they’re happy. I’ve spent a lot of time with illegal immigrants both as an agent and as a private citizen before I joined the Border Patrol. Those who cross the border illegally are generally trying to take advantage of an easy opportunity to get ahead and most do not plan on staying in the US for long. Most plan on making money here and returning home to spend it. That’s not to say that the exploitation is one-sided–employers in our country exploit illegal aliens as well. It is a mutually parasitic situation.

    This posting is pure hyperbole. The show does not foster hate, prejudice or violence. It shows agents going about their daily jobs. Many of those agents on the show express sympathy for the plight of those they catch. If you’ve seen the show the aliens that are apprehended are treated as respectfully as possible. I saw no one expressing hatred or espousing senseless violence, nor is their very much violence at all.

    The terrorist angle is certainly overstated but the War angle certainly is not. The organizations that bring people across our border illegally are closely related to the drug cartels that are currently kidnapping and murdering thousands of Mexican citizens a year. Those organizations are largely responsible for the deaths of aliens in the Arizona desert. They bring groups of people across the border only to abandon them in the desert when they can’t walk further.

    The people who cross the border aren’t all just workers and families and to say that they are is disingenuous. We often catch wanted murderers and rapists crossing the border. We are defending our country and we are ensuring national security and justice. I think this show is necessary to counter misinformation put out by websites such as this. If you disagree with me, please come visit me in Imperial Beach and I’ll gladly take you on a personal tour and introduce you to the agents and aliens that interact here. You can see for yourself what the border is like. Or you can just watch Border Wars. It is fairly accurate.

  11. Pingback: Does National Geographic’s “Border Wars” Series Sensationalize Border Enforcement? | Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture

  12. Pingback: Does National Geographic’s “Border Wars” Series Sensationalize Border Enforcement? | Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture

  13. Well said George Gibson!

    Furthermore, it’s especially amusing that EJS depicts Mexico as a place of “poverty, violence, and despair.” As if illegal immigrants returning there are returning to a backwards, third world country on the edge of destruction. Such complete paternalistic ignorance from open borders advocates is very typical. They have a disgusting jingoistic attitude, that America is the only country worth living in, and that anywhere else simply must be a backwards hellhole.

    I have written to national geographic in strong support of this show. It’s great! There are truly dis-tasteful drug cartels and mafias which exploit poor Mexicans and other immigrants. Fighting these organizations, and focusing on giving opportunities to those immigrants who shun the “services” of these organizations and immigrate legally is a noble cause. Keep up the good work, George.

  14. Well said George Gibson!

    Furthermore, it’s especially amusing that EJS depicts Mexico as a place of “poverty, violence, and despair.” As if illegal immigrants returning there are returning to a backwards, third world country on the edge of destruction. Such complete paternalistic ignorance from open borders advocates is very typical. They have a disgusting jingoistic attitude, that America is the only country worth living in, and that anywhere else simply must be a backwards hellhole.

    I have written to national geographic in strong support of this show. It’s great! There are truly dis-tasteful drug cartels and mafias which exploit poor Mexicans and other immigrants. Fighting these organizations, and focusing on giving opportunities to those immigrants who shun the “services” of these organizations and immigrate legally is a noble cause. Keep up the good work, George.

  15. Also, EJS, I know there are places in Mexico with poor living conditions, but you need to get off your high horse and take a hard look in your own back yard. There are plenty of immigrants who come to the US to discover conditions are not much better than Mexico. There are also many Americans in this country right now living in very poor conditions indeed. You guys need a dose of reality.

  16. Also, EJS, I know there are places in Mexico with poor living conditions, but you need to get off your high horse and take a hard look in your own back yard. There are plenty of immigrants who come to the US to discover conditions are not much better than Mexico. There are also many Americans in this country right now living in very poor conditions indeed. You guys need a dose of reality.

  17. To be clear, I support many (if not most) of the causes of EJC. But does EJC receive government grants to do its work, and if so, why is it spending its time going after national geographic? That smacks of government interference in the media, and EJC either needs to cease and desist from mixing itself up with the media, or it needs to receive no further government grants.

  18. To be clear, I support many (if not most) of the causes of EJC. But does EJC receive government grants to do its work, and if so, why is it spending its time going after national geographic? That smacks of government interference in the media, and EJC either needs to cease and desist from mixing itself up with the media, or it needs to receive no further government grants.

  19. It is sad that while researching the “Border Wars” show, which i absolutely love, i came across this ridiculous and very false forum. I’ve yet to hear of an agent shooting at an ILLEGAL immigrant especially one that is running away? this is stupid these men are trained to do the exact opposite. Some agents go their entire career w/o ever firing their weapon out in the field. The immigrants are actually treated quite well. If children are separated from their parents they will be reunited within hours when they are caught. it makes me sick that people like you don’t give these men AND WOMEN the credit and respect they deserve. They put their lives on the line every day , work countless hours, miss birthdays and holidays, and they do this all for YOU. For every american. They are protecting you. I cant imagine what our nation would be if it weren’t for border patrol and cbp. If you don’t like it then go out to the desert in 110 degree weather and work your ass off for 13hours.

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