Movie Boycott -Stereotyping Native People

Tekpatltzin mexicapride at
Sun Jan 23 17:13:39 UTC 2000


As one who has seen the trailers to the Road to El Dorado (with my children) and
as a person of Mexika-Chichimeka descent, here is my reasoning on why I will
boycott this "animated" distortion of history.

I read the very scholarly and intelligent insights of those that regularly post
to this list server. I see how many are learning the nahuatl language (the many
versions of it), the nahuatl culture, the history , etc. No doubt about it, very
enlightening stuff. But I live and work in a mostly Mexican area of Chicago and
see how "our" people are trying to earn a living  and raise their families
without making much of a fanfare abut it. In other words they just want a chance
at a decent life without being told that we are "illegal" aliens in a land that
once had no "linear" borders. Much of the wisdom shared here will never make it
to these millions of Mexicanos or for that matter to the general public at
large. But these Mexicanos are the ones that will continue to suffer from the
anti-immigration hysteria that has been stirred up by the elected officials of
this country, on both sides of the political spectrum. All they want (for the
most part) is a change at a modest wage. But the media highlights the negative
imagery, "gangs" on the rise, drug wars, rise in the Mexican population, taking
jobs away from young Americans (this one has to be laughed at), etc.

I can't stand here and tell you that "sacrifice" was not a practice in ancient
Anahuac. I was not there. And there are arguments on both sides. You bring your
facts, I'll bring my facts and let's go at it. I can tell you that I am tired of
always being reminded of this when I give talks. I wish that maybe sometimes we
could also talk about the Spanish and Catholic inquisition and the millions that
they killed in the name of their GOD. But that is not what "sells" and if you
are familiar with the people of Mexico today they are a huge Catholic majority
and do not want to hear anything negative about the Catholic Church anyway.
They're too busy trying to survive today in Mexico. But many are starting to
question so there is some hope.

Being one that works with youth and inmates I can tell you that movies like this
one that is being offered by Mr. Spielberg's Dreamworks factory will make it's
money but will provide nothing in the way of a educational opportunity. Disney
is also very good at distorting a historical chapter and then making a love
story or a "feel good" movie for the movie viewers to forget any pain associated
with history thus avoiding any real "healing" on a collective basis, that is for
all of us to heal. Instead the kids will laugh and parents will buy little
plastic figures and treat it all as a circus event.

This is proving to be detrimental to our children and the schools today (as a
whole) are no better at getting to the "healing" that has to take place in order
for all of us to move forward. So now Mexicanos in the U.S that still hold dear
to our hearts the contributions that our ancestors offered will now have to
suffer and watch another version of the quest for GOLD. We'll boycott it, but
Mr. Speilberg will make his money. We have to prepare for another score of
questions about sacrifice and we'll answer them as before. There has to come a
time when a movie is offered that properly deals with the sad history of the
formation of Mexico and the U.S. But this would hurt because it was not pretty,
so in comes Disney and Dreamworks to ensure that we further delay any real
"discussion" of what really happened. It hurts all of us because we know better.

I am boycotting this movie because my children already heard the laughter in the
thither (during the trailer)when the two "bumbling" spanish characters made
their way into the jungle to begin the quest while meeting a sexy native woman
who is there to assist them. It is wrong to laugh about this and my children
even at their age knew this. It is wrong to offer a movie in this fashion. Would
Mr. Speilberg offer an amusing cartoon about the Holocaust of his people. Maybe
with a young Jewish girl and a young Nazi guard falling in love and some wacky
characters offering their support only to see them perish in the gas chamber. It
has gotten that ridiculous.

It is true. No one will know what really happened in the past. We can only guess
( with a spiritual or scientific method) and there are many different views, all
of whom have passionate supporters. I am just tired of always having to hear
about the "negativity" of our ancestors in the media. But that is the "American"
way. Tell a lie long enough and it will become truth.

These are my opinions...


Kalpulli Yetlanezi-Tolteka 13

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