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Movies and Minorities: A Sad Story

January 05, 1991

"Come See the Paradise," "Little Big Man," "Mississippi Burning," "Dances With Wolves," "Glory," "Old Gringo" and "Havana" are but a few of the feeble attempts by the motion picture industry to tell the story of an important chapter in the history of one minority group or another.

Sadly, the viewpoint of these movies is always the same: that of a white man. Further, some of these events serve only as background scenery for the all-important, usually white love story.

Within the context of such historical passages (the internment of Japanese Americans, black participation in the Civil War, etc.) exist hundreds, if not thousands, of individual stories whose perspective is that of the people themselves, not of a bystanding, Anglo pedestrian.

Hollywood assaults the American psyche, on a daily basis, with images of devious, drug-dealing people of color, and it is completely disheartening that when the focus of a movie is finally put on a particular (non-white) people, it is invariably filtered through a coddling, whitened lens of condescension.

MICHAEL SARABIA, South Gate

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