September 16, 2020
Trump’s new best friend in Hollywood and ultra right wing documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’souza has done it again.
Having just received a presidential pardon from POTUS himself, he’s out and about doing what he does best: shooting his mouth off. This time though he has gone grossly overboard making claims that are easily dismissible even by an amateur historian.
D’souza claims Adolf wasn’t a homophobe. That there were known gay men peppered about the Nazi top brass. Hitler didn’t have them executed or even demoted. Ergo, Hitler was an SJW snowflake.
Let’s think this through; D’Souza certainly didn’t.
The truth is under Nazi Germany every prisoner had to wear a concentration camp badge on their jacket, the colour of which categorised them into groups. Gay men had to wear the Pink Triangle. Other colours identified Jewish people (two triangles superimposed as a yellow star), political prisoners, Jehovah’s Witnesses, “anti-social” prisoners, and others the Nazis deemed undesirable.
While the number of gay men in German concentration camps is hard to estimate, a rough estimate of the number of men convicted for homosexuality “between 1933 to 1944 stands between 50,000 and 63,000.”
Putting aside his typically sloppy historiography, is he really saying that Hitler’s alleged LGBTQ tolerance disqualifies him from conservative circles? Has he accidentally let slip that, in 2018, much of the right remains homophobic? And isn’t he cherry-picking facts then arriving at a dubious conclusion that does nothing but suit his needs? Who would fall for this except someone who would unironically watch a film by Dinesh D’Souza? (Incidentally, D’Souza’s films are reliably lousy with faux-naive rhetorical questions.)
Death Of A Nation
Then again, watching Death of a Nation (a film that tries to compare Donald Trump to Abraham Lincoln), you might not get a chance to think anything through. Throughout D’Souza does what he always does: he drops a bombshell, then before you’ve had a chance to recover, he hits you with another, over and over and over, for nearly two hours. It’s a downright Trumpian move: exhaust your enemies (and your supporters) through the sheer volume of your nonsense. Thing is, D’Souza’s been doing this for decades, well before the world was hijacked by the tweeter-in-chief. Confusing through multiplicity has long been one of his favourite tricks. And he has a heaping bag of them.
Read here about other overturned promises and authoritarian moves by Trump after becoming President.
D’souza’s Early Years
Born in Bombay, in India, D’souza emigrated to the US as a teen and quickly made a name among the conservative intelligentsia for “going there” – saying anything to get a rise. At Dartmouth College, he was the editor-in-chief of the rightwing Dartmouth Review. Under his watch, the paper cruelly outed liberal campus homosexuals for fun, and it published a notorious piece known as the “jive column” – a takedown of affirmative action written in stereotypical black language. (The head: “Dis Sho’ Ain’t No Jive, Bro.”)
D’Souza showed no signs of slowing down as he got older. He’s relentlessly banged out books, some more appalling than others. In 1995’s The End of Racism, he defended Jim Crow, invented buzz terms like “rational discrimination” and casually dropped the words “the facile equation of racism and slavery”. The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and its Responsibility for 9/11, from 2007, argued just that, and not well.
The right side of the political spectrum coined the phrase ‘rational discrimination’. “Basically, it says whites are perfectly justified in fearing young black men because they’re the ones who commit the most robberies.”
Body Of Work
His cinema debut, 2012’s 2016: Obama’s America, is the fifth highest grossing doc of all time. Although it made $80m less than Fahrenheit 9/11. It hit pay dirt because, during an election year, D’Souza told his target audience (read: scared white Republicans) that America’s first black president was a Manchurian Candidate – a plant brainwashed by his anti-colonialist Kenyan father to scale the peak of the US government and destroy it from within. D’Souza unmistakably, enthusiastically preyed on racist fears. His next film in 2014, America: Imagine the World Without Her, claimed slavery wasn’t that bad.
Death of a Nation is classic D’Souza, only even angrier than usual. All his tricks are present, particularly his cut-and-paste argumentative style. Back in 1991, on the heels of his debut tome Illiberal Education, a flustered Michael Kinsley asked in his review: “Are you going to use the evidence to think through something, or as a weapon?” D’Souza has always used evidence as a weapon.
And so we get a handful of out-of-context FDR quotes. These make him sound like he admired Hitler (before going to war with him). We get D’Souza being casually offensive. But “Sounds like Bernie Sanders wrote the Nazi doctrine.” We all know Sanders’ ancestors died in the Holocaust. He speaks pure nonsense, like when he equates Antifa members shutting down “alt-right” speakers. This, too, with a recreation of the Nazis launching the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. According to D’Souza, the anti-fascists are really against themselves.
Playing The Blame Game
When his critics call out his falsehoods, all he’ll do is cry about it on social media. He makes it sound like the media is persecuting him. For D’Souza, the Trump age and its record number of suckers must make him feel elated like a kid. And yet he’s never been more mad, or made less sense.
Written by: Delshad Master