Can you think of anything more symbolic of The Current Year than a Hollywood remake of The Birth of a Nation about a runaway slave rioting against his master and slaughtering White women and children to rapturous applause?
It is 2016 and Barack Obama is the president of Black Run America (BRA). Django is unchained every other week on national television in Ferguson, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Charlotte, etc. It has been 150 years since the demise of slavery, 100 years since the release of The Birth of a Nation, and 50 years since the demise of Jim Crow. And yet, this country is still plagued by the face of the angry, sullen, rioting negro.
Just think about it … the original The Birth of a Nation was based on Thomas Dixon, Jr.’s The Clansman. It was a landmark film that sparked the rise of the Second Ku Klux Klan. It was a racially inflammatory movie that stirred the 100 Percent Americanism of White Protestant Nationalism. It was a notorious symbol of the Jim Crow South.
What does this movie say about Black Run America? It says that the only thing that was objectionable about the Ku Klux Klan is that it was White. Nothing in the original movie was anywhere near as violent or graphic or racially inflammatory as the actual events of Nat Turner’s rebellion. But this movie goes even further than that: it adds completely fictional scenes about slave catchers raping Nat Turner’s wife.
The existence of Black Run America, of course, cannot be acknowledged. We’re supposed to believe in absurdities like Barack Obama presiding over eight years of “systemic racism” and a world in which blacks are held back by “white privilege” when Hollywood is making movies like Django Unchained and The Birth of a Nation. In reality, something like this was only possible in the world in which we have lived since 1965.
As the system breaks down, it is coming into sharper view. Most people who lived through the Jim Crow South weren’t conscious of living through the Jim Crow South. What is so distinct to us was normal and mainstream to the generations who lived through that era. It was only outrageous to a deviant minority.
Decades from now, I think we will look back at Django Unchained and The Birth of a Nation (2016) and see them the same way we see The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Gone With the Wind now. The original movie was symbolic of the Jim Crow South. Gone With The Wind was symbolic of the New South. This era, too, shall pass.
As I said in my Arkansas speech, movies like Django Unchained and The Birth of a Nation and the new Ghostbusters are related to everything else that is going on. A large cultural chasm is opening up. There isn’t a common culture anymore. The old values and taboos are collapsing under the stress of the polarization.
I don’t think the center will hold for much longer. Whatever is on the other side of it will be something new.