Re: [Videolib] NAATA & Fox

Gary Handman (
Thu, 3 Jul 2003 10:19:09 -0700 (PDT)

I don't believe we're attacking NAATA. I'm sure every librarian on this
list esteems NAATA as a distributor of important documentary works and as
an organization deeply devoted to promoting positive images of Asian
Americans. I believe the statement we're contemplating is a general
protest against the practice of attempting to censor or hide images that,
terrible as they may be, are part of this countries cultural legacy. I
think this type of thinking represents a dangerously slippery sloap: next
stop: Gone with the Wind; Birth of a Nation; Broken Blossoms...

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld

On Wed, 2 Jul 2003 wrote:

> 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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