Monday, July 7, 2014

Movie Review: Dinesh D'Souza's 'America'

Chidike Okeem, a Nigerian-British conservative blogger living in California, takes Dinesh D'Souza's new film'America' to task for his "revisionist history," particularly with regards to slavery in the United States.

"Another startlingly silly argument from D’Souza is regarding the enslavement and stolen labor of African Americans. D’Souza tries to mollify this historical truth by pointing out that there were black slave owners and also white indentured servants from England who worked alongside blacks. D’Souza correctly notes that white indentured servants were not treated as horribly as black slaves were, but he does not see how this utterly discredits any point he is trying to make. So what is the point D’Souza is trying to make, except to posit the fallacious, “Everybody went through slavery!” line that is popular with black oppression deniers? Yes, slavery existed in different forms all over the world, but the American enslavement of blacks was uniquely brutal.

Pointing out that there were black slave owners who supported the Confederacy means nothing, too. Essentially, this is this historical equivalent of black oppression deniers’ favorite question today: “What about black-on-black crime?” There are black people today who obsequiously lick the boots of white supremacists. Does that make white supremacy any less morally opprobrious and harmful? Certainly not. D’Souza also accuses leftist historians of excluding self-made black millionaire Madam C. J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove) from history books in order to make America look bad. He argues that Madam C. J. Walker’s success is a symbol of American greatness and opportunity. Categorically, Walker’s success is not emblematic of how rich a land of opportunity America was for blacks during the 19th century. It was a testament to black resilience and perseverance through terroristic white American oppression. The notion that her success can be used to portray America as a land of opportunity for blacks during the 19th century is so nonsensical and insulting."

Read complete review here.