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FWD: Ken Burns PBS WWII show will not show chicanos or latinos. [View All]

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msedano Donating Member (682 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 04:01 PM
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FWD: Ken Burns PBS WWII show will not show chicanos or latinos.
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Maybe you've already heard the pedo on this. I'm just now getting wised up via the following email.

No Latinos Ken Burns WWII Documentary
Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:49 am (PST)
For your information.
Gus Chavez

Hi, all,
Another busy week for many who are trying to avert the exclusion of Latinos in the Ken Burns World War Two documentary and there are several developments to report.

Please disseminate this email widely -- the more people voice their concern, PBS is getting the message that this problem will not go away and that it must be dealt with.

First off -- Burns will be speaking in San Francisco On March 1 and 2 -- screening a part of The War.. . If you know of people who might watch it and bring up the issue... Please advise. It would be helpful to contact Gus Chavez at guschavez2000@ to get an idea of what approach might be most helpful and effective. See http://www.docfilm .
The rest of us would be very interested in hearing about it.

Meetings this week with PBS:
This week, Paula Kergers, the CEO of PBS, had two visitors asking about the Burns Documentary: Lionel Sosa, one of two Latino PBS board members, and Alex Nogales, CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. Both were told that it is too late, that the production is wrapped up. My response: I cannot accept, that more than six months out, this cannot be remedied. And I am personally willing to help them find the resources to do it.

Upcoming meetings with PBS: I have requested a meeting with Kergers. It will be me, Gus Chavez, and another person from the Northeast. We've proposed early March -- the sooner the better. Kerger's office welcomed the meeting and said it would be important to include the heads of programming and content as well. Please feel free to email me with any material I should share with them. I'll send them packets beforehand (short, because they may not look through them) and I'll bring them material as well.


1. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) board of directors is sending invidual letters to several PBS officials, the sponsors, NEH, etc. One board member told me, when she called with questions, that this is personal for many of the board members -- they all had relatives in WWII.

2. The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is looking into the matter, trying to find the most productive and effective manner to proceed.

Media attention/blogs

1. Marisa Trevio , a freelancer in Dallas, has an item about it in her Tuesday blog at http://latinalista . blogspot. com

2. El Diario/La Prensa in New York is running an editorial on it -- not sure when.

3. The Carlos Guerra column from the San Antonio Express-News was reprinted in the Austin American-Statesman on 2-13 and it made many others aware..

Letters from Individuals (READ ALL THE WAY DOWN-- there are a few):

1. Paul Espinosa, the documentarian now living in Phoenix and teaching at ASU, sent a letter to Kathryn Galan, Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, suggesting that NALIP take a position.

2. Gus Chavez, the lead organizer of this effort, sent an email to various listservs, thanking supporters of this effort for their activities and says:
Submit all correspondence, including attachments of articles and
Op-Editorials, to
Paula Kerger, PBS President & Chief Executive Officer
PBS Office of the Corporate Secretary
2100 Crystal Drive,
VA 22202-3785
or email your correspondence to:

Please send copies of your correspondence to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) from your district as well as other elected officials who know of the Mexican American/Latino World War II experience.
We need everyone to participate and assist with this national effort.

3. Mario Longoria, of San Antonio, sent the local PBS affiliate, KLRN, an email, registering his concern and asking that it NOT AIR the Burns documentary. Many people, including me, were cc'd both Mario's and KLNRn's Senior Vice President of Telecommunication , Charles Vaughn's response, which was "we would do a tremendous disservice to the public we serve the whole public in South Central Texas if we decided not to air the Burns film. I am also confident that because of the work that is going to be invested in our local documentaries, KLRN will prove to the people of South Central Texas that we know and respect the diversity of our population and we went to extraordinary lengths to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of all those who served in WWII and who reached out through KLRN to tell their stories."

4. Armando Rendon, of Kensington, CA, emailed Paula Kerger. One excerpt from his letter: " Ms . Kerger, this is a misdirected venture; putting the series on public television stations will undermine and contradict the very nature of public service."

5. Carlos Munoz, Jr., of Berkeley, CA., also emailed Kerger and sent along a column he wrote about Mike Carillo, a WWII hero from San Angelo, TX, who served honorably, but whose contributions were never acknowledged. He closes with: Mike Carrillo served the nation with pride and put his life on the line, like other WW II Latino veterans who served the nation with courageous distinction. Latino soldiers earned a disproportionate number of combat medals and other decorations, but their sacrifices and contributions have been largely overlooked.

In Iraq today, Latinos are once again putting their lives on the line to prove their loyalty to a nation that does not honor them away from the battlefield. Many will return home to be treated like second-class citizens at best, and, at worst, as foreigners in their own land.
They deserve better.

6. James B. DeLong of Seattle, called Florentine Films in Walpole, NH, and had a conversation with someone there. He then wrote a letter to Burns at that address:
Florentine Films
P.O. Box 613
Walpole, N.H. 03608

That's about all I have for now.
hasta la semana proxima --
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