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DIVNET  March 2000

DIVNET March 2000

Subject:

Racist messages in "Road to Eldorado"

From:

Dorothea Brauer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Diversity Ambassador <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 24 Mar 2000 14:53:44 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (79 lines)

>>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>> >We the members of the Mexika Eagle Society call upon our indigenous
>>>brothers and sisters to join us in openly protesting and boycotting the
>>>animated film "The Road to El Dorado,'' scheduled to be released March 31,
>>>2000.
>>> >
>>> >This film, produced by Dreamworks SKG, is a blatantly racist
>>>misrepresentation of native culture and history, masquerading as an
>>>innocent children's movie. It is extremely ignorant for the makers of "El
>>>Dorado'' to use the slaughter and genocide of a people as the backdrop for
>>>a children's cartoon.
>>> >
>>> >The film exacerbates every stereotype associated with native people,
>>>including the alleged (but never proven) practice of human sacrifice, the
>>>even more ludicrous notion of native people worshipping white men as "Gods"
>>>(even though the concept of "God" did not exist in any native society), and
>>>of course, the European fantasy of native women falling in love with the
>>>first white man they lay their eyes on.
>>> >
>>> >The story revolves around two white men (the heroes of course) who
>>>stumble
>>>upon a map to El Dorado and journey to the "New World'' in search of gold.
>>>Once there, they encounter an ignorant group of savages who quickly
>>>pronounce them "Gods,'' and an enticing, voluptuous native woman who
>>>quickly takes on the role of faithful sidekick. Then, of course, there's
>>>the fanatical native "priest'' who lusts for personal power and calls for
>>>human sacrifice.
>>> >
>>> >Portraying native people in this fashion is like passing off Al Jolson
>>>and
>>>Amos & Andy as black culture. Students learn very little about native
>>>people as it is. Making light of the European invasion of our land, even in
>>>a cartoon setting, is like making a movie about the Holocaust in which
>>>Germans are the heroes.
>>> >
>>> >This misrepresentation of history only serves to reinforce and validate
>>>the American public's total disregard for true native history. To dismiss
>>>it is as a mere cartoon suggests that feeding racist lies to unwitting
>>>children is perfectly fine. It would be better for children to learn
>>>absolutely nothing about native history than to hear these lies and have to
>>>unlearn them later. By attending Eurocentric American schools and reading
>>>false history books, the only history we were taught was the history of our
>>>conquest by white people. That despite 99% of our history occuring before
>>>the arival of Europeans, the only history that mattered was that of our
>>>being "civilized'' and coming to know the great western way. "The Road to
>>>Eldorado'' is but a link in a continuous chain of dehumanizing propaganda
>>>unleashed upon our people by American society as a whole.
>>> >
>>> >Therefore, the Mexika Eagle Society urges everyone to boycott this film,
>>>as well as any business' which do promotional tie-ins associated with the
>>>movie. Please note: this is not about being respected as a "market" of
>>>consumers, or demanding respect for our "buying power." These things mean
>>>nothing to us. This is about human dignity and having respect for the
>>>history and traditions of others.
>>> >
>>> >In addition to boycotting this film, join us in public protest by
>>>expressing your concerns in writing to the powers at be at Dreamworks SKG:
>>> >
>>> >Call: (818) 733-7774
>>> >Patricia Gonzalez
>>> >100 Universal Plaza Bldg. 10
>>> >Universal City, CA 91608
>>> >(818) 733-7755
>>> >Fax (818) 733-7775
>>> >[log in to unmask]
>>
>
>_________________________________
>Debbie Reese, Doctoral Student
>Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction
>College of Education, University of Illinois
>Champaign, IL 61820
>
>Telephone: 217-244-8286
>Fax: 217-244-4572
>Email: [log in to unmask]
>
>

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