I read the Wikipedia article entitled History of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States. I found the article to be interesting and it seemed as if the editors were educated on the topic and knew what they were talking about. Upon further reading and investigation, however, the article appeared more and more flawed. The article’s imperfections are evident by its “start-class” rating for quality that Wikipedia itself has given it. The main criticisms I have with the article is its lack of citations, poor quality sources, and its one-sidedness.
I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that the article is biased, but it definitely is one sided. It is written from a Latin American perspective, and the writers/ editors seem very intent upon proving that early Spanish exploration was superior and predated England’s. There are many examples of this throughout the text. One such example is seen in the article’s Spanish Expeditions section. “From 1528 to 1536, four castaways from a Spanish expedition, including a “black” Moor, journeyed all the way from Florida to the Gulf of California, 267 years before Lewis and Clark embarked on their much more renowned and far less arduous trek” (“History of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Dec. 2019,en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans_in_the_United_States#cite_note-11). The article does not state why this expedition was so much more difficult than that of Lewis and Clark’s, it simply just states that it was. In the same section, the writers also claim that the Spanish found the majority of the current American States before the British did: “In all, Spaniards probed half of today’s lower 48 states before the first English colonization attempt” (“History of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Dec. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans_in_the_United_States#cite_note-11). However, this sentence is missing a citation, which puts the fact’s credibility into question. Another sentence that struck me as a bit biased states that Spain was the “most important colonial power,” (“History of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Dec. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans_in_the_United_States#cite_note-11.) which is subjective and cannot be proved. These examples begin to show the Spanish-centric attitude that this article possesses. I understand that the article is about Latin America, yet many of the article’s supposed facts lack citations and place Spain in the spotlight.
The other main criticism that I have of this article, which I mentioned a bit previously, is its lack of citations and poor quality sources. In the article’s References section, there are only a total of 26 citations. This to me does not seem to be an adequate amount of citations for an article of this length. There are many instances within the article in which a citation could be, yet there is none. There are frequently many paragraph breaks between one citation to another, which makes me doubt the article’s credibility. The sources for many of the article’s existing citations do not appear to be of a very high caliber. For example, the source for a citation regarding Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno is from Monterey County’s Historical Society webpage. Another site that I attempted to visit led me to a page telling me that the link was not found. I believe that if the article had more citations for its facts and paragraphs, and the sources were of a higher quality, it would be much better and credible article.
Aside from the two main criticisms, I have a couple smaller ones, including the article’s sloppy grammar and the fact that it has a section entitled Recent Immigration, yet it is the article’s smallest section. Throughout the article, I noticed the occasional instance of poor writing and improper grammar. I also believe that the section on recent immigration should be much longer. The present will soon become the past, which is why it is essential to this article.