The Birth of a Nation, originally called The Clansman, is a 1915 American silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. The screenplay is adapted from the 1905 novel and play The Clansman, by Thomas Dixon Jr.
In a passage from Dusk of Dawn, W.E.B. Du Bois makes claims that freedom of expression was irrelevant as an excuse for distribution of the film Birth of a Nation because blacks did not possess the finances nor the resources to produce a film to combat it, and the screening of the film was directly responsible for the resurgence of grisly lynchings of black people.
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was an American sociologist, socialist, historian, Civil Rights activist, author, writer and editor.
The issue and his arguments presented are now more relavent than ever but not for the reasons most people would expect, but rather as a time capsule, or as Barbara Tuchman would say, “a distant mirror.”
Thus, I neither agree nor disagree with W.E.B. Du Bois. I think his arguments were the best one could offer in 1917. I have the luxury of looking back at the occasion as one of history and progress has afforded me a bigger worldview. Inasmuch as I conclude today that, yes, the State should have suppressed the film, Du Bois arguments are still inadequate given the nature of the beast, American imperialism.
There are no secrets that time does not reveal, said somebody. And there was plenty of secrecy going on with Birth of a Nation in some very substantial ways — about the U.S. Government, Hollywood, slavery, segregation and most importantly about the imperial aspirations of America.
The U.S. has been operating as a full blown empire since World War II, having ramped up before that. Hollywood has been serving the Empire since it was founded.
“The American Empire is theatre. Like how movies of the 20th century were able to take over minds for a few hours: a new experience for audiences previous generations had never known. In the 21st century, empires are the equivalent of movie studios and the production never stops.”
While the concept of empire is wholly contrary to the principles of the Founding Fathers and both liberals and conservatives today, a covert third persuasion, Neoconservatism, serves as agency for American imperialism. Some call this the “Israel Lobby.” And others say that most of the professionals in the American intelligence services are of Neoconservative persuasion.
Time after time, Neocons have revealed their policies as highly imperialistic. Never in form, but always in substance. Never in words, but always in action. From slavery to Jim Crow segregation, to the new Jim Crow, they alway support the most oppressive policies. We need to acknowledge this.
An examination of Neoconservative periodicals, including the National Review and Commentary, reveals that Neoconservatives reproduced the official South African political line in America. Far from subjecting South Africa to critical scrutiny, they openly supported apartheid.
South Africa collapsed at the same time as the Soviet Union. Like the USSR, it was the product of an ideology that claimed exemption from ordinary moral strictures. And while South Africa did not threaten the globe, it did espouse a universalist ideology of racial superiority.
Exposing the Neocon crusade for South Africa is not a matter of engaging in moral condemnation. Sure, the Neconservative case about apartheid was morally reprehensible. But speaking of morals will get us nowhere because they have none. Thus, we must call out bad policy decisions.
A racist is almost never going to admit he is a racist. But Neoconservatism is imperialism, and that is a very distinct and quantifiable policy. Leave the Jews out it.
The Neoconservative’s so-called “intelligence community” is not in the business of espionage. Rather, the intelligence services are in the business of influence, fabricating reality for subjects of the empire. Their grand productions are akin to movie making today or theatre in the Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire had its court Jews. The Soviet Empire had its Zionist politburo. The American Empire has Hollywood and the media. Everybody knows the Jews run the U.S. entertainment industry. It is a dirty secret that will get you accused of antisemitism if you speak the truth.
It is a tough fact to digest that a Jew is responsible for the most racist movie ever made, portraying African-Americans as drunkards, idiots, and sex predators, and then presents the KKK as a band of heroic do-gooders. And that this vile movie was screened in the White House, mind you. The State endorsed the most racist movie in American film history. Oh, yes. A precedent was set over a hundred years ago.
History informs us that the Confederate South was not racially hostile to every racial group that did not fit the mold of a white Christian, in fact, American Jews found an oasis in the antebellum and Civil War South, free of the anti-Jewish prejudice that was prevalent in the North at that time.
We can draw a straight line with the Neoconservatives to Jim Crow segregation, their subsequent backlash to the Civil Rights Movement, and the new Jim Crow segregation scheme. The Neocon foreign imperialist policy is easily identified at home with the racist oppression of blacks.
In 1911, an Italian, Ricciotto Canudo, coined the phrase, “the Seventh Art.” The five traditional arts were painting, music, architecture, poetry and sculpture. Canudo declared dance to be the sixth art, and cinema then became the seventh art —le septième art, as the French say.
The term is much more common in French than in English today. The French understand it is the Hegelian dialectic. The hateful German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel first classified the five arts in “Lectures on Aesthetics.” Hegel’s dialectic is inextricably intertwined with American imperialism.
It is Hegelian racist Protestant imperialism and underpins America’s globalism that still treats the rest of the world as the static “Other,” to be led by the progress of the White Christian/Protestant West.
Hollywood is the face of the Empire. Pretty much every popular movie you see revolves around the Hegelian dialectic. It’s also in the corporate media, 24/7. The media creates imagined communities by targeting a specific audience, generalizing and using images in specific ways.
The U.S. Dept of Defense, CIA and FBI have for decades used various means to manipulate content and even deny production of certain Hollywood projects, often using “national security” as a pretext to censor film and television.
The CIA are not in the business of spying. They are covert influencers of American culture. For example, the CIA has been actively engaged in shaping the content of film and television, especially since it established an entertainment industry liaison program in the mid-1990s.
The CIA wields significant influence in Hollywood. As such, the CIA has influenced public opinion both domestically in America as well as abroad. But that’s just soft stuff on the surface. The relationship between Hollywood and Washington DC goes much deeper.
The PR function that Hollywood serves for the CIA is well documented in books such as Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood. Similar to the CIA’s relationship with the media, neither relationship is honestly reported on by the media. It’s a problem.
It starts to get hazy here. Hollywood is perhaps organized by the “intelligence community,” financed by drugs, engaged in illicit sex and violence, to protect the status/interests of the military against threats from whistleblowers, religious groups, and our constitutional government.
The key here is to remember that America is run like an empire, not a nation state. Empires require big production entertainment to keep the public stupid. Hollywood is an outpost for the so-called “intelligence community.”
In 20th century empires, intellectuals rose to power in the systems of both fascism (both Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy) and the Leninist-Stalinist version of communism. Hitler and Stalin required the talents of writers, organizers, and, yes, actors to accomplish their ends.
In regards to the American Empire, social media network analysis revealed the transnational brokers maintaining it—transnational intellectuals, travelling writers and journalists, militarists and officers, artists, diplomats and politicians, youth leaders, and religious figures.
The “godfather” of Neoconservatism, Irving Kristol, himself was among the intellectuals who were funded and promoted by the CIA and a part of its singular most damaging influence operations, the Congress of Cultural Freedom, imposing on subsequent generations of intellectuals the idea of excluding any sustained discussion of authoritarianism, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy from discussion.
The CIA’s cultural campaigns created the prototype for today’s politically active intellectuals, academics, and even actors, yes, Hollywood.
Don’t blame the Jews, we are just part of the mix! Remember, Neoconservatism is imperialism. Leave the Jews out of it. In fact, the majority of Jews are always thrown under the bus by empires. Always. The minority court Jews see to that. Oh, yes.
France was the first country in Europe to emancipate its Jewish population. In 1807, Napoleon added Judaism as an official religion of France, with previously sanctioned Roman Catholicism, and Lutheran and Calvinist Protestantism.
Napoleon had little interest in the Jews until 1806 when faced with mounting hostility to the Jews in France, he turned to the issue of Jewish integration in the Empire, by reforming the regulations governing credit, an economic activity practised at the time largely by Jews.
Having already built the Empire on the religious peace brought about by the Concordat, Napoleon then decided, in 1806, to form an assembly of Jewish notables who would represent the Jewish community and be a consultative body with the aim of bringing Jews over to his policies.
In 1806, the Assembly of Jewish Notables sent a manifesto to the Jewish communities in Europe, inviting them – in vague terms – to participate in the activities for “revival” and “freedom” which Napoleon was preparing through the Sanhedrin for the benefit of the Jewish people.
The French Sanhedrin was an assembly of 71 members of the Jewish community convened in Paris during February–March 1807, at the request of Napoleon. The court Jews.
While America has flirted with French democracy, the U.S. has never been a democracy. You see, America’s foreign policies are tied to its domestic policies. We Americans just did not know it.
The American Empire was established and maintained with systematic plunder and exploitation and massive military and political “interventions” around the world that continue today. America’s foreign and domestic policies, while hidden, are, in fact, the same.
This remains our reality as Americans. The cowardice of imperialism. Falsehood is cowardice, the truth courage, said somebody once.
With Donald Trump’s recent departure from the White House, the American Empire has certainly not fallen. It just got a new emperor and imperial court.
Remember the story of Birth of a Nation. Inasmuch as I conclude today that, yes, the State should have suppressed the film, it turns out the State was behind the most racist film in American movie history.