Movie Review: America: Imagine the World Without Her

Posted: July 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: VOC Essays | 10 Comments »
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la-la-et-0701-america-03-jpg-20140702 A still shot from one of the many pointless reenactment scenes in this soporific film.

Earlier today, since the World Cup is on a two-day break, I went to see Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie that has been relentlessly raved about by so many in the mainstream conservative media. This film by D’Souza is unmistakably one of the worst documentaries I have seen in many years—and I watch a lot of documentaries. It was dreadful.

D’Souza’s movie starts out by making you believe that he is about to deliver a monumental counterfactual history movie. From the onset, one would think that D’Souza was going to deliver a Niall Ferguson-esque look at the history of the world without America. The thesis of the documentary is supposed to be “What if America didn’t exist?” The movie did not answer this question. The movie essentially tries to answer “leftist” (read: historically accurate) claims such as: the enslavement of Africans existed and their stolen labor built the American empire, the extermination of Native Americans actually occurred, and California and Texas once belonged to Mexico. These are not controversial or disputed historical facts. Perhaps D’Souza’s documentary would be more appropriately titled Trying to Dispute Historical Facts.

D’Souza fulminates against Howard Zinn’s infamous historical work A People’s History of the United States. He points out there are many inaccuracies in the book (without ever telling us what any of those inaccuracies are). However, regardless of whatever anyone thinks about Zinn’s left-wing politics or his books, his work is inestimably better than the “scholarship” that led to this shambolic movie. America: Imagine the World Without Her packs the intellectual heft of an average troll video on YouTube. Unlike D’Souza who just tells you to hate books while using ad hominem attacks against their authors, I will tell you why D’Souza’s movie is nonsense.

D’Souza starts by pointing out the arguments that leftists make about America. He then says he is going to refute them. The problem is that he never does. His idea of refuting historical facts is by providing alternative facts that have little to no bearing on the facts that he is trying to refute. For example, to “refute” the claim that Native Americans were systematically destroyed by Christopher Columbus, he points out that Christopher Columbus predates America and was not American, ergo there is no way any of his actions can be an indictment against America. What D’Souza craftily omits to deceive his credulous audience is that Christopher Columbus is a national hero in America today. We are indoctrinated into believing the risible and fictitious history of Columbus being a great explorer who “discovered” the “New World” (despite the “New World” already having inhabitants). We still have a day devoted to Christopher Columbus. Trying to distance Christopher Columbus from America should also mean the jettisoning of Columbus Day. I doubt D’Souza would think that is a good idea, but he blithely dismisses Columbus as someone who predates America, while ignoring the unmerited god-like worship he receives in American society today. This nonsense from D’Souza is not scholarship or logical argumentation that can appeal to anybody with a triple-digit IQ. This is casuistic jingoism that appeals to unlettered rubes.

In a similarly obtuse “rebuttal,” D’Souza’s answer to the historical fact that California and Texas were once a part of Mexico is an interview with a young Hispanic law student who said he would move to Minneapolis if Texas ever becomes a part of Mexico again. If that’s not convincing enough, D’Souza also speaks to a border patrol agent and asks him if he has ever seen a Mexican-American trying to cross the border to go back to Mexico. The border patrol agent answers, “No.” This is the intellectual depth of D’Souza’s counterargument.

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 is 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.

As if the movie was not bad enough, after D’Souza finished “refuting” (read: glossing over and ultimately ignoring) historical facts, the documentary turned into weird political commentary regarding Saul Alinsky, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. Towards the end of the movie, there was actually a reenactment of Hillary Clinton meeting Saul Alinsky and him giving her a copy of his book, Reveille for Radicals. For a few minutes, the movie incongruently turns into a Hillary Clinton biopic. That portion was clearly just slapped on at the end to make the documentary long enough to justify it being in movie houses and not on YouTube for free (where it truly belongs).

After this, D’Souza is pictured wearing handcuffs in a cell, dramatically taking off and putting on his spectacles, and he lachrymosely presents himself as a martyr of Obama’s political witch hunt. I was surprised that the next scene didn’t show D’Souza hanging on a cross and with his dying breaths saying, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” That’s certainly the direction the movie was taking.

That is basically the movie in a nutshell. Nowhere did we see the answer to the movie’s alleged thesis: “What if America didn’t exist?”

The fact that nobody informed Dinesh D’Souza about how horrid this film is before its release says a lot. Nobody bothered to tell him how ridiculous and unconvincing his arguments were, and that the movie doesn’t answer its thesis. I was the only non-white, non-geriatric person in the theater hall when I saw the movie. This is not a film that has the potential to influence the broader culture. The arguments are moronic. It’s the cinematic equivalent of the bad college term paper you slap together the night before it is due.

Surely, one can be patriotic without having to be a casuist for one’s country. No country is perfect. Every country has its problems that it works to overcome; however, mainstream conservatives seem to think it is an entirely acceptable practice to lie about American history, or to try to distort the historical record using casuistic reasoning. This is as morally reprehensible as supporting slavery, segregation, and the annihilation of indigenous peoples. An ideology that cannot stand without the aggressive falsification of history is a pitiable ideology.

With its casuistry masquerading as sober scholarship, D’Souza’s movie is a perfect reflection of modern mainstream conservatism. Mainstream conservatives keep themselves busy trying to rewrite history and disprove the historical fact of black and brown oppression. They would be formidable if they used that time thinking of innovative ways to expand their movement by making it more appealing to black and brown people.

To enjoy this movie and learn from it, you need to know precisely nothing about American history, care nothing about honesty, and be about as conversant with Aristotelian logic as a New York City rodent. (In other words, an ardent Sean Hannity listener and viewer!) If you understand logic, respect honesty, and know something about American history, this movie is not for you.

My advice: Skip this trash. Enjoy your Fourth of July BBQ parties and watch the quarterfinals of the World Cup instead.

  • @fission73

    I agree with just about everything you have said here, but I disagree with your overall attitude toward the movie. Now the trick is to see if I can make that comment make sense. 🙂
    When I walked out the theater I thought to myself, very simplistic, many inaccuracies, and I hated that such a movie had to be made, but still found it necessary.
    If you are truly conservative (I have never heard of you or read your stuff till today), then likely, hundreds of times over, you have seen ridiculously simple minded liberal memes and arguments that literally made your head spin. You didn’t even know where to begin in addressing them.
    Obviously those simplistic things weren’t meant for you. They were meant for the masses. And as painful as it may be to admit….THEY WORK! So for that reason, I am happy that DSouza made this film, and also happy for it’s simplicity. Conservatives, IMO, over complicate things in getting their message across. This film was needed, I think. I hate my own opinion on that, but I do believe it.
    None of this is to excuse the inaccuracies. But that said, I don’t think there was much in the movie that was totally untrue. Not enough to complain about. DSouza simply used bad facts to make his point. Being misused doesn’t make them untrue, however.
    There’s more, but that’s the gist of my opinion. And frankly I’d like to read more of your stuff. I’ve already read the two posts below this one. Possibly, time permitting, I’ll comment. Take care 🙂



      I think you’re experiencing cognitive dissonance. That’s definitely a good thing. It means my arguments are making you think—as should be the case with any logical person.

      The fact of the matter is that Dinesh D’Souza has turned into a casuist for his country. America doesn’t need to be subjected to casuistry in order to be great. With all of its flaws, imperfections, and historical blemishes, America is still the greatest nation on earth. D’Souza’s movie is dangerous. It presents the notion that only a whitewashed, apocryphal version of America is worthy of celebrating. That’s a very toxic form of patriotism.

      Thanks for reading,

      – Chid

  • Ben

    Haven’t seen the movie, but your arguments are predictable (based on the exposure I’ve had to your thoughts on Twitter/blogs). Slavery was terrible, but to say that ‘their stolen labor build the American empire’ is factually inaccurate, is the manifestation of the racial grievance industry and the American Left as the ‘saviors’ of American blacks (and their modern oppressors), and does nothing to improve race-relations or the state of black folks’ experiences in America. Slave labor was certainly a factor in establishing the cotton, rice, and other agricultural industries in the early history of America, but to say that slave labor built the American empire is grossly overstating its historical impact.

    The vast majority of Native Americans were decimated/’exterminated’ by alien diseases brought by the Europeans (smallpox, etc), not warfare. Sadly, throughout history, entire populations of indigenous peoples were wiped out inadvertently simply by means of human-to-human contact.

    Columbus DID predate America, and he is not worshiped here in the US in any kind of god-like way…not really sure where you got that impression.

    Would you care to provide any evidence that ‘the American enslavement of blacks was uniquely brutal?’ You can’t just make stuff up (just as you are taking Dinesh to task over).

    I’d also like to see how you can support your contention that the conservative ideology seeks to aggressively falsify history…that one is way out there!

    I appreciate that you present yourself as a conservative, and Lord knows conservatism is and should be the political persuasion of all minorities (all people, for that matter), but based on reading your tweets and some of your bog posts, I’m not seeing conservatism, I’m seeing race-based grievance politics oozing through your every political thought, which isn’t conservatism in the least.
    Regarding your thoughts about conservatives thinking of ‘innovative ways to make [conservatism] more appealing to black and brown people,’ do you have any suggestions? Perhaps if more minority conservatives, like you like to call yourself, focused more on Conservatism and the conservative messages of self-sufficiency, entrepreneurship, liberty, limited government, colorblindness, etc, rather than constantly rehashing historical racial issues (which the Left uses as a grievance industry to pitch more government as the solution), more black and brown folks would understand that conservatism is really the only political approach that broadly benefits them and their communities.

    I’ve noticed, also, in much of your writing, you try really hard to project an image of intellectualism. This comes off, to me, as elitism, which is another tell-tale characteristic of the Left. Nobody likes a know-it-all, which is how it comes off.

    Happy to continue the debate/discussion if you care to.


      On slavery and the American empire: Only in right-wing fantasy land is my stating a historical fact—i.e., slave labor built the American empire—evidence of my thinking leftists are the saviors of black people. How does that even follow? There is no rule of logic that can support such a nonsensical assertion. I know many on the right have deluded themselves into believing that historical facts that point out the truth about the evils in America’s past are leftist conspiracies, but you’re going to need to get over that. Also, I am not suggesting that slave labor was the sole reason for the success of the American empire, but it was an inextricably important factor.

      On Native Americans: You and Dinesh D’Souza can continue to pretend as though Native Americans were not exterminated and given smallpox-ridden blankets in order to kill them off, but that doesn’t change the historical record or make it any less a fact. I don’t see why you people think your revisionism will ever have any cultural impact. Not only is it pathetic, but it’s morally reprehensible.

      “Indian Removal Act of 1830/Trail of Tears? A liberal myth. Smallpox blankets? More liberal folklore. Native Americans just died of natural causes.”

      You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

      On Columbus: You completely misapprehended the point I was making. Obviously, Christopher Columbus predating America is not in dispute. My paragraph on Columbus points out Dinesh D’Souza’s casuistry. D’Souza conveniently paints Columbus as having nothing to do with America, while curiously forgetting to note the fact that we still celebrate Columbus Day in America today. What’s even more pitiable is that school kids are indoctrinated into the fiction of him being a great discoverer and explorer. Columbus was a murderer, a thief, a liar, a fraud, and massively incompetent, yet he is still greatly venerated today in America. Whether you want to quibble with my word choices, the point remains the same and is incontestable.

      Yes, mainstream conservatives love falsifying and revising history, as evidenced by this preposterous film by Dinesh D’Souza. I could point to other examples, but what’s the point? You are a conservative and you’re defending D’Souza’s revisionism, yet want me to prove that conservatives like revising history. Try looking in the mirror for the evidence.

      As for whether you see my conservatism or not, I couldn’t care less. My political ideology does not exist to be pleasing to white onlookers (or ethnic minority conservatives who suck up to such white onlookers). As you demonstrated early in your comment, “grievance politics” to you is simply acknowledging historical facts about black and brown oppression. I actually think it’s a badge of honor that I am detested by mainstream conservatives. My conservatism will only be agreeable to you and your ilk if it doesn’t coincide with me being a self-respecting African man. Any kind of conservatism that does not allow me to be a self-respecting African man is not a kind of conservatism I have any interest in adopting. Conservatism and color-consciousness are not mutually exclusive. Your notion that attacking racism and white supremacy is incompatible with advancing a message of small government, entrepreneurship, and liberty is risible.

      As for projecting an image of intellectualism, I have no clue what you’re talking about. I don’t “try really hard” to project anything. I just write. I don’t come off as a know-it-all. I’m actually one of the few writers on the Internet who will tell you I don’t know it all. Do you see me commenting on every issue, like these brainless, overconfident, know-nothing pundits do? No. I stay in my lane and only talk about what I know. What I do know and believe, I articulate forcefully. Something tells me you’re just mad because I drop literary bombs on your ideology. Don’t hate the player…hate the game.

      Thanks for your comment,

      – Chid

  • Jonathan

    At the beginning please let me note that I read your blog post all the way through before responding, lest my response style imply anything different.

    1) “What D’Souza craftily omits to deceive his credulous audience is that Christopher Columbus is a national hero in America today.”

    While Columbus Day is of course a national holiday (calling him a ‘hero’ is a bit of a stretch), that doesn’t disprove the point that Columbus isn’t American. If there was a popular historic misunderstanding that led to people celebrating Hitler day, that wouldn’t make the US responsible for the killing of 6 million Jews, it would make society just historically ignorant (and make teachers massively irresponsible for not correcting such an atrocious problem). Thus, D’Souza’s point stands. Columbus belongs to Spain, not America. And in a response to your further comments on the matter: D’Souza is defending against improper accusations against America – the fact that he didn’t mention a fact that you wanted him to mention doesn’t make him a casuist, it makes him pragmatic (or maybe he just didn’t care, who knows). Personally I found out that Columbus was a dick (in shorter words) rather young, and have no problem whatsoever with the removal of Columbus Day.

    2) “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.”

    The American enslavement of blacks was NOT uniquely brutal – in fact it pales in comparison to the middle east’s treatment of all slaves during the same time period, where most slaves (who managed to survive the trans-sahara journey, that is – and it’s not many) had a lifespan of under ten years. In the Middle East there were no slave children, because adult slaves were worked to death, raped to death, or killed before they managed to have any children of their own – and let’s not even get started on the castrated male slaves. It seems to me the strongest of ironies that the people who actually have a legitimate right to claim a “uniquely brutal” form of slavery generally have no progeny to make that claim, because because of the extreme barbarism of the culture that enslaved them. You can confirm this in a number of books, one such being “The Trans-Saharan Slave Trade” by John Wright. Ironically, this is an implied point that D’Souza was responding to – the supposition that America was responsible for the most, worst, longest, hardest, whatever-it-is-est, slavery, ever. America did have slavery, and it was terrible. That does not mean that she is automatically the worst, most evil, most horrendous, etc.

    Coincidentally, the point D’Souza is making is that while America does have the shame of having had a slave trade (and slave trade IS shameful), America *did have the moral courage to change, and to do so to the point of war, instead of simply waiting until slavery was economically a non-issue (Britain) or continuing to be pro-slavery even today (the Middle East). Ironically, America is ALSO the only country I know of which has a number of people who continually bring up the slavery of the past and claiming that we’re still not over racism yet on the whole. (note, I’m not accusing you of this. I’m referring to people like this,, and the mindset that goes behind it). PS, I was angered that D’Souza trivialized slavery as simple “theft of labor.” It seemed completely trivializing of the pain, suffering, deaths, and in some cases torture that many slaves experienced in colonial and early America.

    3) “If that’s not convincing enough, D’Souza also speaks to a border patrol agent and asks him if he has ever seen a Mexican-American trying to cross the border to go back to Mexico. The border patrol agent answers, “No.” This is the intellectual depth of D’Souza’s counterargument.”

    I didn’t see anything regarding D’Souza’s point that the Indians were also ruthless in killing each other and thus don’t really have a claim to the land; the same being true of Mexico. These are the most profound arguments on his part. However, with your comment that I reference: D’Souza doesn’t really need to provide statistics for this point. If anyone needs *actual* convincing that Mexicans want to be in America, not Mexico, they probably have a concussion and need a good bit of bed rest. Similarly goes for anyone who thinks that there are currently Americans building rafts to paddle over to Cuba. The interviews are just adding a human touch to something that’s widely recognizable as fact. You could demand statistics on the matter, but it’s obvious how the statistics would turn out.

    As for your other criticisms, yeah – I was a bit surprised that D’Souza didn’t actually paint a picture of what the world would be like without America. I went into the theater half expecting a counting of world events reimagined as if America didn’t exist – I was looking forward to what I imagined would be a really interesting historical narrative. That being said I wasn’t entirely disappointed with the movie, even if D’Souza was often sophomoric and got sidetracked with that whole bit about Hillary (I’m willing to bet that that whole section is in part due to the upcoming presidential campaigns). I would call this for what it is: an amateur documentary-style movie intending to respond to critics who seem to see only the negative in America, and restore some faith in this country’s greatness – not a blind faith ignorant to the scars and shames that have occurred, but one that recognizes that despite the flaws, America is still a great country that works to redeem herself, and shouldn’t be discounted or destroyed based solely on fraudulent charges. Does D’Souza disprove all charges? Of course not. Slavery is an undeniable part of American history, as it is with nearly every nation in existence. But I think he does a fantastic job of showing that America is NOT the evil power of death and destruction that many in the vein of the critics he interviewed would imagine it to be. In this sense I find myself agreeing with fission73…. This film really won’t matter a whole lot to a history buff, or anyone who has spent a lot of time understanding the roots of this country. But it will make a difference for a lot of other people, even if it’s just to emotionally uplift those who are already conservative.

    I found this article regarding Howard Zinn’s book; a pretty condemning read I think. Interestingly enough, Howard Zinn seems largely guilty of the casuistry you accuse D’Souza of (though I have no idea how much stock you put into Zinn’s history book).


      On Christopher Columbus: Again, intentionally or not, you’re missing the point. The point is not to dispute that Christopher Columbus predates America. The point is that trying to separate his actions from America should coincide with being honest about who he was and ending the preposterous reverence of him in society today. I don’t understand why this is such a difficult point, nor do I understand why simply restating that Columbus predates America acts as a refutation of my point. Nobody is arguing the anachronistic point that Christopher Columbus was an American. D’Souza even including that point in the film just shows he’s trying to knock down a straw man argument. Columbus can’t be Spanish with no connection to America when it comes to discussing his savagery and atrocities, but a hero worthy of unyielding American veneration on Columbus Day. Also, let’s not act as though mistreatment of the Native Americans ended with Columbus. Christopher Columbus also predates the Indian Removal Act of 1830. That act is firmly a part of American history. Of course, D’Souza doesn’t address that in his documentary. He even falsely claims that Native Americans died of natural causes. His casual revisionism is immoral and repulsive.

      On Slavery: Your picayune quibble with the term “uniquely brutal” is pointless. Do you think I can’t rattle off the reprehensible acts that occurred under American slavery, too? The ghastly conditions of the American enslavement of blacks and the added acute element of ferocious racial dehumanization made American slavery a uniquely brutal experience. I stand by that statement. That doesn’t mean that other forms of slavery weren’t brutal, or even uniquely brutal by some other metric. “Unique,” in the context I’m using it, means “distinctive.” The context should also be pretty clear that I am not downplaying the enslavement of Africans by Arabs. Also, please note that I was responding to D’Souza’s absurd comparison of white indentured servants to black American slaves.

      To quote Senator Charles Sumner in 1860:
      “Unhappily, there is Barbarism elsewhere in the world; but American Slavery, as defined by existing law, stands forth as the greatest organized Barbarism on which the sun now shines. It is without a single peer. Its author, after making it, broke the die.”

      I agree with Senator Sumner.

      Just quickly, because I don’t have time to respond to everything in detail:

      – I see nothing wrong with people bringing up slavery in order to have a productive discussion. The video you posted is obviously not productive, but that is not how most black people talk about slavery. People still bring up the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide (as they should). They’ll still be talking about it 300 years from now. It’s peculiar that it’s only black people who aren’t allowed to discuss their historical oppression. American history, to such people, should just consist of worshiping the Founding Fathers. All the negative parts of American history ought to be whitewashed. I utterly reject that.

      – You missed the point regarding D’Souza’s segment on Mexico. Pointing out that people like living in America doesn’t refute the historical truth of Texas and California once being part of Mexico, which D’Souza was supposed to “answer.”

      – As for Zinn, I’m not suggesting that there aren’t inaccuracies in his work. I am simply saying that D’Souza does a poor job of highlighting any of them in his movie. Thus, his segment on Zinn sounded like, “Communist! Agitator! Dangerous!” There were no real criticisms. I also think that irrespective of whatever anyone thinks of Zinn’s work, his book is of better scholarly quality and utility than D’Souza’s documentary. I think even you would agree with that since you called the documentary amateurish.

      Thanks for reading and your comment.

      • Jonathan

        Columbus: I caught the point, and addressed it previously: the question of the celebration of Columbus day isn’t directly related to the question of whether or not America was responsible for Columbus’s actions. As we both agree with the fact that D’Souza was a bit meandering, it seems that your criticism here is not that he was going in irrelevant directions, but that he didn’t meander in the direction that you wanted him to. In light of his coverage of Columbus, I’m quite certain that D’Souza himself is against Columbus Day.

        Slavery: “Your picayune quibble with the term…” Since it’s a worthless point, you don’t feel the need to write a couple paragraphs on it, right? Okay. I’m not interested in getting into a debate on brutality vs. brutality (though I’m pretty sure a society that literally works/rapes its slave population to death every few years has a decent chance). What I oppose is the emotional thought behind the description of American slavery as being uniquely bad that I’ve encountered over the years. It goes vaguely like this: “Sure every country had slavery, but America’s was especially bad, and so America is especially bad, and so it’s punishment must be especially bad. It’s so bad that its shame must go on through the ages despite no one really talking about the slavery used by any other country. It’s so bad that even though my last ancestor to be a slave died over a hundred years ago, I still feel like America is bad for its past, and because of that America is still oppressive and owes me.”

        Granted the above is a massive exageration, and what I’m saying is CLEAR projection based on my interpretation of what many people aside from you have said about American slavery – but what I don’t see are online videos of Israelis freaking out at modern Germans about the holocaust. I don’t see people with Irish ancestry going on babbling tirades about their enslavement. I recently had a conversation with a German friend, and the topic of the holocaust came up for a bit. What was most interesting to me was the burden he felt of it, an unspoken weight that I only noticed after the fact – he felt a level of unspoken shame regarding the holocaust, despite having no control over where he was born or what year he was born in.

        I have no problem with black people talking about slavery. But as the unproductive video demonstrates, the problem isn’t the talking, but the message. People like that woman are clearly a fringe; having taken a message to an extreme – but the message is still there. For Christians, Fred Phelps takes the narrative of “homosexuality is one of many sins” to “God hates fags and wants you to burn in hell.” In the face of individuals like the woman in the video, and Jeremiah Wright, I think a lot of people are justified in thinking that the narrative is a bit more than “Geez you guys why are you telling us to get over slavery?”

        Mexico: D’Souza implicitly answered the question of ownership when he pointed out the brutality of Indian tribes conquering one another over and over again. Bill Whittle also addresses the Mexican argument perfectly starting at 5:35 in this video:

        On the rest: I can’t comment on Zinn’s qualities, but the comparison doesn’t really matter to me, since D’Souza’s point wasn’t to have perfect scholarly quality, or to cover every base – it’s not even a real documentary.

        In the end, I don’t think it would be inaccurate to call D’Souza the Conservative’s Michael Moore. Except that D’Souza does abuse his camera crews, live in multimillion dollar houses, or cozy up


          Columbus: No, my criticism of D’Souza is that he attacked a straw man argument, and he craftily elided the pertinent arguments that people make against Columbus. One is not a casuist just because one doesn’t address points that I like. Deliberately attacking weak arguments that nobody has proffered in order to obfuscate an inability to answer actual arguments does, however, make one a casuist.

          As for your being “quite certain” that D’Souza is against Columbus Day, you’re probably wrong. In his book “The End of Racism” D’Souza defends Columbus’ “exploratory genius.” He also penned this absurdist Columbus-praising essay in 1995. (It’s probably an excerpt from his book, because some of the paragraphs are familiar.)

          Slavery: I did think your quibble was pointless, but the topic is definitely worth discussing. Unlike most writers who think they’re too important to answer comments on things they write, I engage with reasonable (and sometimes even unreasonable) people who leave comments on here. You’re a reasonable person — even if I didn’t care for your argument.

          As for what you’re saying about black people talking unreasonably about slavery, I agree with you. However, if all (or even most) of the black people you’ve encountered are like the woman you posted in that video, you really need to get acquainted with more black people, because I know black people of various backgrounds, and I know nobody like her. That’s the truth.

          To be honest, D’Souza’s documentaries can’t compare to Michael Moore’s. There’s a reason why Moore’s movies have massive cultural impact and D’Souza’s don’t. D’Souza will never win an Academy Award for a documentary like Moore did. (And it’s not just because of “liberal bias.”) I thought “Fahrenheit 9/11” was propagandistic nonsense, but it was a well done film. D’Souza has no talent as a documentarian. None whatsoever. His movies are atrociously bad and barely watchable.

  • Dana Davis

    “D’Souza correctly notes that white indentured servants were not treated as horribly as black slaves were…” You”re kidding right? Aren’t you yourself “whitewashing” American history? Because that statement is terribly inaccurate. And there’s no real excuse for that ignorance when literally dozens of books have been written on this subject supported by primary documents in the form of town and court records.


      Your comment is literally worthless. You failed to make a point.