Saturday, September 02, 2006

Public vs. Private

I just wanted to highlight this comment from Patricio's blog because it captures the feeling of many of the others. Like the good folks at Proletariat Bronze, people are annoyed at the public nature of the Open Letter:

hey man I know I don't really know you, but I wanted to chime in with this bit of support because man, I know what it's like to get this letter. Not the same content but the same tone and the same kind of things.

The folks who sent you this letter work real hard to create change in our cultural discourse and they have a lot of important shit to say. Hell one of them is the whole reason I wanted to become a spoken word artist. And the points they bring about in the letter is very necessary to consider as we are approaching new ways of retextualizing our social and cultural mileu, so it's not fair as some others have stated to dismiss it as them making a bigger deal out of it than necessary or getting on a soapbox or whatnot (not saying you're doing this as you seem to be very receptive but these comments have been made)

But the approach was kind of messed up, and regardless of the compliments it gives you it more or less presents itself as a public berating and that ain't right. This kind of thing alienates and creates resent when I believe that they had the best intentions in doing this, it's just messed up how it was done.

Y'all put in good work to make this project happen, and probably had lots of stressfull hours and you can see that there is care taken in your work. We all want to do something positive for the community. And y'all deserve a better invitation to discussion, or at least an invitation as there's not much invitation in the letter. I mean hell we're community we should be able to approach each other better.

Sometimes I feel like there ain't nothing that can be done that someone's not gonna get upset about, but ya know there's also an artistic challenge in that and worth mulling over as to how to find a compromise without compromising your vision. But then sometimes you just got to do you. Just want to say congrats on getting this video made and great work and I look forward to seeing more.

hugs and kisses
Jason Bayani - Relief Counselor/ Larkin Street Youth Services
Jaylee Alde - Waiter / Pasta Pomodoro
Mesej 1 - Truck Driver / Fed Ex
Luke Cage - Hero For Hire / New Avengers
Unicorn - mythical creature
Optimus Prime - Robot in disguise/ Autobots

First of all, the sign off is freaking hilarious. But more important, I'd like to explore the anger over the fact that the Open Letter was posted in a public manner and that some take issue with its "tone." Feel free to comment. Every opinion is welcome; every opinion will be respected.


Blogger Fritzie said...

First off, I want to reiterate the fact that the letter was meant to be a constructive criticism and was never meant to personally attack anyone nor discredit someone's work. We did emphasize in the letter how we felt ambivalent and how we understand how hard it is to be Filipino American and to work with mainstream culture. We all have our own struggles as Filipino Americans be it in the music industry, literary world, or in academia. We all work hard to promote Filipino Americans. And many of us who wrote the letter dedicate our work in educating people and fighting off these damaging stereotypes and representations of Filipinos.

I felt that writing an open letter is much needed because a video is very public and therefore it has a larger reach within and outside the Filipino American community. The letter is about making the viewers aware about these damaging representations and its bigger implications. It’s about fighting off the damaging representations that the video perpetuates in the public. It is about asking people to think critically of these representations and not just accepting what the mainstream culture is feeding us. Just because mainstream hip hop culture uses women in such degrading manners, it does not mean that it is right. The letter for me was about asking for a better representation and treatment of women. It is about pointing out what we could do better. And like what Ver and Gladys mentioned in the past comments, we care and already admire the work of the producers and directors this is why we wrote the letter.

9/06/2006 12:10 AM  

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