Question: Why Do So Many People on the So-called “Left” Attack the Film The Birth of a Nation and Discourage People from Seeing It?
October 17, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Answer: Because this film depicts the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner, up against overwhelming odds, as something positive and heroic; and it clearly implies that such revolts, even if defeated and messy, are essential to the process of any oppressed people breaking off their shackles. Whatever reasons they may profess for attacking this film, the fear of and opposition to such revolts (and to the prospect of upheaval today), along with the mind-set of conciliating with oppression, at the very least strongly influences their thinking. This is also why such critics have suddenly been given such a major platform.
To gain genuine emancipation from ALL oppression—and such emancipation IS possible—we need more than revolts and rebellions, however just; and we need a vision encompassing all of humanity. But such emancipation will never happen without grasping what is genuinely liberating—not to mention profoundly just—about revolts like that led by Nat Turner. To oppose such revolts—and to attempt to suppress works of art which basically uphold them—only contributes to keeping the world as it is.
See the movie.
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