By Jeremy Griffith
Creator of The American Millennium
I watched Dinesh D’Sousa’s new movie this week, what I would consider the second installment of the previous movie 2016. For the viewer who loves America, the country and idea, this will be a great enjoyable film! If you think that America is a criminal colonial power, you won’t enjoy this film at all and you should go find some Marxist movie made by Michael Moore or someone else on the left.
I liked this movie so much, I’m diving into the book that it was based on. D’Sousa’s film isn’t a rah rah, America is great despite all that is wrong, love it or leave it, type of movie. Instead he addresses four major criticisms of the progressive left of why America is bad and should be reduced in its power and influence in the world. D’Sousa addresses these criticisms fairly and knocks them all down one by one.
In his interviews, he doesn’t banter with someone of an opposing view, like a Sean Hannity or Anne Coulter would do. Instead he listens and allows his guests to make their point. I think he gives the guest interviewee enough rope and stands back to see if they will hang themselves.
D’Sousa doesn’t gloss over the wrong that has happened here in America. He doesn’t say, “Oh, that’s no big deal!” He faces it head on, and I like that. So I can’t really accept what other critics are saying that this is a strictly partisan movie. Other film makers don’t give the issues this type of balance, far from it!
Here are some of the criticisms of the left that are addressed: America is a imperial colonialist power that stole the land and resources from the Native Americans, committing genocide in the process, they stole land from Mexico in the Mexican-American War and refuse to let Mexicans work as laborers on land that they once owned, they’ve been using their military muscle to steal resources like oil and gas all over the world, we built the nation on the illegal use of forced labor by enslaving Africans on plantations.
The strongest arguments to be made in this series is that of the robbery and genocide committed upon the Indians (Native Americans), and the trade of black people into slavery.
Like I said before, D’Sousa points out these painful periods in our history and he doesn’t gloss over them. He does shed the light of history upon it to give the issues frame of reference. Before the white man comes, he explained, Native Americans were engaged in wars for territory throughout their history, and they took slaves from other tribes. So, technically speaking, if one was to give back land in the Midwest to Native American tribes, they would then have to return it to tribes that they stole it from in the first place.
No one has ever criticized the Native American tribes for their wars and they’re adoption of slavery. Only white people get that sort of criticism, which is an unfair characterization of history.
What is different about America, D’Sousa says, is not how it is alike to other nations in the world with the wrong that we do, it is what we have done to correct what is wrong that makes us different. There is no slavery in the US. You can’t say that about much of the world.
D’Sousa points out that the United States Government has conceded that they broke a treaty with the Natives in stealing their land and have offered the tribes compensation in the billions of dollars. The tribes to this point have refused. They want the land. I think they should get the land back on the stipulation that an agreement is made for the US government to rent the mineral rights from the Indians. That way, the Natives would be compensated justly for what happened to them and would be an integral part of making the US fuel and energy independent. I’d rather pay the Indians for oil than sheiks in the Middle East.
On the issue of slavery, D’Sousa makes an elegant point. Slavery is wrong, and is common throughout the world, a global atrocity. But it isn’t confined to white people. Some of the very worst slave holders were black, did you know?! In fact there were many, not just a few, black men who owned slaves. Africans took slaves in their wars and often sold them to Dutch traders, so you see, the African is just as much to blame for slavery as the white man. Indeed, whites were captured abroad and forced into slavery called indentured servitude for a period of years and often there were more of them than the African slaves.
D’Sousa’s most eloquent point about slavery and the treatment of the Indians is this, slavery and conquest isn’t unique in North America, it’s prevalent everywhere. What makes America different is our efforts to end such practices. Slavery has been ended in America over 100 years ago. You can’t say that for much of the world. And the Native Americans who survive in tribes, many of them engage in commerce in the form of Casinos and are doing quite well. They have their own autonomous governments and can do what they will with their own land. It’s not perfect but it’s much better to be an American than live anywhere else in the world.
Leftists criticize the US for attempting to dominate the world and steal resources. This is by far the weakest argument. If the US wanted to steal the oil from Iraq, we would still be there. Instead we crushed and evil regime, allowed the Iraqis to seek justice against their own former dictator, we supported them with infrastructure and a means to produce their own oil to support their own economy and then we got out. What is happening in Iraq is not the US’s fault. If Iraqis want to keep the freedom that American Soldiers bled and died for, then they are going to have to fight for it themselves.
Remember the left criticized the US for Vietnam?! That’s because the people we were fighting were their heroes, and we were kicking their asses! When the left finally convinced the US to leave Vietnam, they left the communists in charge. The communists ran rampant through that area, killing their enemies wholesale. People were murdered for having glasses for Pete’s Sake! Remember The Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge? The left blames the US for that too! The left blames everyone but themselves.
D’Sousa in his movie outlines the real reason for the attacks on America. The left is trying to get America to be diminished in the world through shame and guilt. They want to guilt us all into committing political suicide. D’Sousa quotes, in his book, philosopher Albert Camus, who felt that suicide was a valid moral argument. Camus reasoned that since the renaissance, man has discovered that there is no God and has stopped relying on the supernatural being for hope. So without God, man can only rely on himself for meaning in his life. So the question becomes, do you allow yourself to survive in this painful, ridiculous tragedy called life, or do you remove yourself from the rat race through suicide? Not a very pleasant philosophy!
The left is attacking our narrative that is America and causing us to despair unto suicide. They show us all of the bad, without the filter of what is good about America in an attempt to rob us of our hope. Two of the most prominent leaders of this movement were Howard Zinn, a historian, and Saul Alinski, a community organizer.
Zinn’s role was to rewrite the history from the viewpoint of the little guy, the oppressed Indians and Africans, the Mexicans and others whom America allegedly wronged. He eloquently paints the picture of America’s wrong without balancing it with the good. This is on purpose, because Zinn hates America and what it represents and wants to remake it from the ground up. His form of history is called History from Below. It’s very effective, in fact it is taught in most high schools and colleges in the US.
The second figure D’Sousa is Saul Alinsky, author of the book Rules for Radicals. Alinsky is famous for organizing the left to take hold of the American governmental tools and aiming them back on themselves. Indeed, Alinsky was the mentor of many on the left, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. D’Sousa points out that Obama isn’t really the creator of this movement, but is a product of it because of people like Howard Zinn and Saul Alinsky.
There are several examples of “the little guy” who made good in America mentioned in this movie, despite the left’s assurance that “the little guy” is constantly being held down by American Capitalism and greed. I found those stories to be inspiring and I think you will too.
I took my girlfriend to this movie and she liked it as well. A legal immigrant from the Philippines, we’ve been trying to get her educated on American history in preparation for her citizenship test. We learned a lot of things about America that I did not previously know. This movie is great for your friends who come here from other places. I recommend you take your immigrant friends to see this movie as a basis to start a discussion on what it’s like to live in other countries. If America is so bad, why are so many attempting to come here, legally and illegally?
I would also recommend this movie to your friends just coming out of high school and college who are confused about the role of America for good in the world. I recommend the movie and the book, and in fact, I’m going to give this book to my nephew when I’m done with it.
If you love America, and you are willing to take the good with the bad, with the challenge to change what is bad, then you will like this movie very much.
D’Sousa ends the movie with a quote from Ronald Reagan, former conservative president, who said, “The National Anthem is the only piece of music representing a sovereign nation that ends with a question. (Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave. . . or the land of the free and the home of the brave?) We should fight for our country as if the effort depended upon us alone.” And that is the challenge of this movie. Are we satisfied with the left ending the good that is America by removing us through political suicide, or do we love this nation enough to preserve it for a thousand years and more!?
Go see, America. I think you will like it.