Friday, March 30, 2007

Racism alive and well in America

Racism: Houston Mayor Insults American Indians

Houston's Mayor Pro Tem Michael Berry insulted American Indian listeners during his talk show on slavery and Indians on KPRC Radio 950. The American Indian Genocide Museum in Houston urges others to respond:
Houston's Mayor Berry:
" We need to stop wasting all this time and energy apologizing to the American Indian, which we continue to do ... We give them casinos, we give them special licenses, we give them special scholarships and why I don't understand ..."
" We conquered them, that's history - Hello "'
" You got to be against giving welfare to the American Indians because of the fact , that 200 years ago they were whipped in a war. Lets just call it what it is, they lost a war."
(Click link for March 27th - 8:AM Show. He brings up Slavery and Indians towards the middle half of the show. ) (Another segment. Click on the 6:AM time slot - March 27th , 2007) "Houston Official: 'Stop Apologizing to American Indians'"
(comments follow Apoca-Whato? article)
March 21, 2007
“It is time to restore relations with the Native Americans!”
--Rep. Jo Ann Davis (VA)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Rep. Jo Ann Davis of Virginia introduced the Joint Resolution of Apology to the Native Peoples, H.J. Res. 3, on January 4, 2007. It has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources. Sen. Sam Brownback introduced the same Joint Resolution of Apology, S.J. Res. 4, on March 1, 2007. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
YOUR CONTINUING EXPOSURE IN THE PRESS, ON THE RADIO AND TV, AND VIA OTHER MEDIA IS NEEDED for prompt hearings and swift passage out of the congressional committees and in the 110th Congress. Inform those you know.
MORE CO-SPONSORS ARE NEEDED in the U.S. House and Senate. As of this release there are 12 co-sponsors in the House and seven in the Senate. You can click on “Status of the Resolution” in the House or Senate on the “Resolution” tab at to see if Senators or Representatives from your state have co-sponsored. If not, contact them, and ask them to be willing to do so.
Your media exposure, letters and emails are making a strategic impact – keep it up!
THE RESOLUTION OF APOLOGY is meant “to acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the U. S. Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.” It mandates no monetary reparations but is simply a “first step” toward reconciliation, healing and restoration of honor toward the indigenous Native American Peoples.

Your newscasts, editorials, newsletter articles, and letters, emails and calls to Members of Congress are needed now!
The full text of the Resolution, S.J. Res 4 and H.J. Res. 3, dear colleague letters by Sen. Brownback and Rep. Davis, and links for contacting your Members of Congress are available at Please visit soon and send an email off to your Senators and Representative. It is important to use respectful, non-critical language. Consider this sample letter:
Dear Senator or Representative ________________,
I am writing to express my support for [S.J. Res. 4 or H. J. Res. 3] Resolution of Apology to the Native Peoples. I believe it is profoundly necessary to see the significance of this resolution as it relates to the wounds inflicted to the Native American people. Because this resolution has the ability to repair the breach and to bring much healing and reconciliation to Native Americans and this Nation, I am asking that you consider not only supporting the passage of this resolution, but also becoming a co-sponsor of [S.J.Res.4 or H.J. Res. 3].
Your dedication to the people of the great state of _____________ has been exemplary. You have provided a great service to us, and it is my prayer that you continue to do so for many years to come.
Please be so kind as to send a response regarding your decision to support and cosponsor this important Resolution. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Please inform your local media outlets, associates and friends; encourage their support! Thank you for your continuing concern, and concerted action!
The 9-minute DVD from Senate Hearings in the 109th Congress is available
for easy free viewing at Check it out! Use it!
Resolution of Apology Coalition Washington, DC 20003
APOCA-WHATO? Mel Gibson Tells Mayan Scholar to 'F--k Off'
Mount Mel erupts again
Outburst follows filibuster at CSUN film discussion

Article Last Updated: 03/24/2007 12:53:13 AM PDT

Mel Gibson speaks at CSUN on Thursday, March 22, 2007, in... (Khristian Garay/Daily Sundial)
NORTHRIDGE - Actor-director Mel Gibson found himself at the center of controversy again Friday, the day after he cursed a Cal State Northridge professor who accused him of racially stereotyping Mayans in his latest film, "Apocalypto."
The expletive came after a late-night CSUN screening of the movie when assistant professor Alicia Estrada questioned Gibson's sources for the graphically violent film and translated a lengthy declaration denouncing it.
Several of those in attendance said Gibson's outburst came as Estrada was being escorted from the room after a five-minute exchange in front of the audience of 130 mostly film students.
"He told her to `F--- off, lady,"' said CSUN student Josue Guajan, 22, of Van Nuys, a native Guatamalan who is half Mayan.
"I was shocked about his response. I thought he would be more civilized and it would be educational."
Estrada, a scholar of Mayan literature, said Friday that she will seek an apology.
"I am demanding an apology not just for myself but also the Central American Studies Program, to the university, and to, most importantly, the Mayan community and members of the Mayan community," Estrada said.
Gibson's publicist, however, said the actor doesn't need to apologize because he was more than gracious in answering Estrada's questions before finally becoming frustrated.
"This was just a reaction to someone being disruptive and rude," said Alan Nierob, Gibson's publicist. "He went on and completed the session and said it was successful. It's unfortunate it was tarnished with a momentary confrontation."
The incident is not the first time Gibson's temper has landed him in hot water. Last summer, Gibson screamed sexist and anti-Semitic insults at police after he was arrested for drunk driving in Malibu.
That confrontation came after the blockbuster success of Gibson's controversial film "The Passion of the Christ."
Last year, when Walt Disney distributed "Apocalypto," handlers were careful to craft a Gibson image of tolerance. ABC's "Prime Time" broadcast an hourlong special detailing Gibson's new-found sobriety as well as his use of Mayan actors and extensive research for the film.
But Thursday's incident again put Gibson on the defensive. Officials from California State University, Northridge, say it came about 20 minutes into a question-and-answer session designed to focus on moviemaking.
Gibson had calmly answered several students' questions about the film when Estrada, an assistant professor of Central American Studies, took the microphone.
Estrada said she challenged Gibson's depictions of bloodthirsty Mayans engaging in sacrificial ceremonies.
"I stated a very valid academic question," Estrada said. "He argues he studies Mayan culture and the representations he provides are authentic. I asked him who his sources were."
Estrada said Gibson used profanity in his response, although CSUN spokesman John Chandler disagreed.
"He didn't respond with a profanity," Chandler said. "He responded by answering the question."
Estrada said she then handed the microphone to a man described by Guajan as a Mayan community leader, who began reading a lengthy statement in Spanish.
After grousing from some in the audience, officials cut off the microphone.
"People in the audience began to get restless," Chandler said. "At one point, a member of the staff said ... `Ask a question, or leave."'
But Gibson told university officials to turn the microphone back on and Estrada then began to translate.
The statement denounced the film as a distortion of Mayan history. Officials said that when it became clear Estrada would not be asking questions related to filmmaking or the film, they called security to escort her out.
Guajan said about half the audience applauded when the pair was escorted out by an armed security guard.
It was then that Gibson, his face red, uttered the expletive. And then he fired a parting shot: "Make your own movie!"
"He was feeling frustrated; there was no other intellectual discussion," said John Schultheiss, chairman of the department of Cinema and Television Art, which organized the session.
"That was his way of summing up: `Gosh, if you aren't happy with the way an idea is presented to you, then you should present it yourself."'
(818) 713-3741
Comment from Navajo filmmaker Arlene Bowman, living in Vancouver BC:
"I am a Dine' indigenous filmmaker and I viewed the Apocolypto. I attended UCLA and received my MFA from there in 86. The film was a very racist and violent depiction of the Mayan culture and people: a turn off. Very few dramas, comedies, animations get WRITTEN/PRODUCED/DIRECTED BY INDIGENOUS FILMMAKERS ANYHOW in these CONTEMPORARY TIMES IN HOLLYWOOD. Oh yeah, there are indigenous filmmakers out there in the Americas. When a person like Estrada and the Mayan community express an opposite/true point of view than what mainstream non-indigenous people want to believe about indigenous people, the systematic stereotypes and sexism that continues, it gets trashed and censored especially from a female like the one at that student filmmaker's screening at California State at Northridge in LA from people like Gibson and his publicists. At that student film screening with filmmaker present with question and answer, that is the last place where film students will ever again get to hear various critiques about a produced film. After that the conservative, mainstream movie thinking dictates what can be heard just like what happened at the question/answer with the film students and Gibson. Actually it's kind of sad that the mainstream public, his publicists and Gibson are uneducated and uninformed about what really happens and goes about Mayan people and the other indigenous peoples in the Americas. Yes, positive things happen, but still there's a lot of oppression against the Mayans and many indigenous peoples to resolve and make change for: a low intensity war that goes on in Chiapas, radioactive materials scattered and left there to clean up from private companies that mined uranium in various areas of the Navajo Reservation and other conflicts to fix throughout the whole of the Americas. Estrada has a lot of courage to express her displeasure in how the mainstream cinema treats topics like Apocolypto in this day and age. That's why as indigenous people and other people who understand indigenous values, culture and language, we rightfully have the right to write/direct/produce dramas/comedies/music videos/animation other types of works to express our own stories and to make these comments whether it is liked or not. That's what it's about. Why do you think Spike Lee, an Afro-American filmmaker and an Iranian female filmmaker Samira Makhmalbat directed and wrote their own feature films. The mainstream public, most of the people who wrote these anti Estrada comments and Gibson do not get it about the issues that concern people of color, especially in the United States, Canada and Mexico where hardly anyone knows much about the First Nations who live there and else where such as the Mayans. I know so.


At 5:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly, Melee Gibson is a pathological narcissus, bully, and souse, who doesn't deserve a forum to speak on anything, except why he oddly wipes his mouth after taking a shit. He's a racist, anti-semite ( that's Jesus' fault for setting them up, some powerful God with the talent of mostly failed prophecies, eh?), and just one more reason to believe he's a fictional character. I'd also like to say I used to have a lot of sympathy for the Native Americans until I heard many on You Tube basically say fuck the Holocaust and the Zionist. We got it worse. Well, if you have no sympathy for anyone else, then go drink away your problems with fire water you losers, and don't whine to me Tonto.


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