Re: [Videolib] NAATA & Fox
Wed, 2 Jul 2003 19:31:52 EDT

I am not a librarian, but a media producer and educator. I'm on this list
because I enjoy reading many of the postings. It is very important to know how
librarians use and present the media that we struggling independents work so
hard to get to varied audiences. I also appreciate how librarians have been
outspoken on issues of censorship: like the attempted censorship of Michael Moore's
book or the legislation to make librarians spy on their patrons through the
Patriot Act.

I am chagrined reading the current spate of emails calling for petitions and
condemnations of NAATA as censor.

This is how I see it:
NAATA is a modestly funded PBS public service organization that advocates
inclusion of Asian Americans. FOX makes millions off of commercially financed
programs that fuel the flames of racism, violence and war.

The official goal of NAATA's work is to present Asian Americans as they see
themselves. Their video collection includes work that looks at the history of
the movie industry and its depiction of Asians, including negative stereotypes.
NAATA's work also investigates trends in American history when Asians have
been vilely stereotyped, had homes arsoned, been beaten and murdered, locked
away in internment camps as alien enemies, treated like slaves on plantations,
and subjected to ignorance and xenophobia. NAATA is of essence an advocacy
organization as well.

As far as I know, NAATA is not an adversary of freedom of speech, and
librarians are in forefront of defending freedom of speech. Why not speak with
someone at NAATA to try to understand their position before sending a petition?

Is Fox really doing a public service by airing Charlie Chan films? Would they
would be open to a televised lesson in media literacy or a panel of Asian
American detectives talking about their real lives following the show? There are
many ways to preserve our country's cultural legacy, including the legacy of
racial stereotyping, so I am wondering why attack NAATA?

thanks for any clarification,

Joan Mandell
Olive Branch Productions

In a message dated 7/2/03 12:05:57 PM, writes:

<< The petition is a good idea, Gary.

But first, has anyone from Video Round Table talked with the leadership of

NAATA to find out the facts?

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