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 Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 16:51:10 -0600 From: Benay Blend <firstname.lastname@example.org> I think that the point was to show two perspectives on the "invasion" of the West. I teach at a tribal college on the Navajo Nation and one of my colleagues as well as her entire family were recruited as actors in this series. She seemed pleased with the authenticity. I know that Native American knowledge-keepers were also hired as consultants. So, if there seemed to be some ambivalency about "nation building" this was why. As a professor who sees first hand the results of the boarding school experience each day in the classroom, I'm looking forward to watching that segment. I don't see how one could do a comparison with Birth of a Nation, since that film witnessed the rebirth of the KKK and was boycotted by the NAACP and other groups at the time for its racism. It should be shown only within that context. Perhaps it would be better to show such series as Into the West to illustrate that their are many perspectives on such episodes on history, so really there is no one truth that can be called "historical accuracy." Remember that Frederick Jackson Turner said that each generation should write its own history; that could be reinterpreted as not one but many groups rewriting its own history according to its own person stories. Dr. Benay Blend Humanities Dept Crownpoint Institute of Technology <email@example.com>  Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 17:30:16 -0400 From: Sarah E.Chinn <firstname.lastname@example.org> I've been watching it with great interest and have a lot to say, although I'll hold off for a little while, since I'm very interested in what others think. I would like to comment on one element since it so powerfully reflects reflects contemporary values: that the "heroes" of the series uniformly resist racism and discrimination of any kind. Given that white supremacy was an integral part of US identity in the 19th century and it was an extremely rare white person who was free of the kind of casual assumption of EuroAmerican superiority, whatever their political affiliation, the easy way in which the main white characters in the series are virtually devoid of any white supremacist values is pretty hard to swallow. Needless to say, it would be unacceptable for a contemporary character to be portrayed positively and be shown to harbour the assumption of Christian white nationalism that undergirded so much of white American action during the period that the programme represents. So the lead characters end up expressing wholly ahistorical ideas about race and American identity. Conversely, if a character says something racist, that's a clear indication that she or he is either a) bad or b) in need of some re-educating. Sarah E. Chinn English Department Hunter College, CUNY <email@example.com>