First it was British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, whining about how "The
Patriot" made the British look bad and demanding an apology.
This is, for the most part, another example of Blair’s gift for spin. In fact,
the movie showed the British, particularly Gen. Cornwallis, as being almost
ridiculously "civilized" and "gentlemanly", especially given
the fact that they were fighting a war. War is inherently uncivilized, remember.
I thought the British looked rather ridiculous out on the battlefields in
their velvet frock coats and powdered wigs. (Can anyone imagine what it must
have been like to be dressed that way during a South Carolina summer?!) These
days even our local police wear black ninja masks, kevlar vests, and urban camo
not to mention the ubiquitous "jack boots".
Yes, there was a "bad Brit", based on a real British officer known
as "the Butcher", but he was repeatedly condemned by his fellow
officers. Is Blair trying to maintain that all Britons are model citizens, even
No, the real reason Blair objects to The Patriot is that the American
colonists revolted for grievances rather minor compared to the abuses inflicted
on the victims of Mr. Blair and his socialist workers’ paradise. Modern day
Britons would no doubt rejoice at taxes as low as those imposed on 18th century
American colonists. And even King George would not have considered defending one’s
home to be first degree murder. (For a full list of grievances, read the Declaration
Now it’s director Spike Lee who’s upset. In the entertainment trade
newspaper "The Hollywood Reporter'', Lee, whose films include the racially
charged "Do The Right Thing,'' and "Malcolm X", wrote that he and
his wife "came out of the theater fuming". He labeled the movie
"pure, blatant, American Hollywood propaganda" and a
"whitewashing of history'' because it lacked depictions of slavery and
because Gibson's character, a South Carolina plantation owner, does not own
Read that again. Lee is complaining that Benjamin Martin (Gibson) did NOT own
slaves. I can only wonder how loudly he’d be screaming if the film’s hero
DID own slaves!
Personally, I thought the film was almost painfully politically correct in
its attempts to deal with slavery. The hero made a point of employing only free
men, not using slaves, as if to prove his worthiness to be a 21st century hero.
The "African-Americans" (or should that be
"African-British"?) were uniformly good, kind, generous and heroic.
Racist and racially indifferent colonists all got to apologize for their racism
and thank their darker-skinned brethren.
But what do I know? I’m just defending my rich, white, abusive,
slave-owning ancestors right, Spike? Well, no. Actually my ancestors were poor,
Ukrainian serfs who were treated worse than American slaves, and were routinely
exterminated any time some nobleman got it in his head that it was "time to
kill the Jews".
However, Lee does have a point. The Patriot did not pander to the selfish
whims of every aggrieved special interest group. So in the interest of providing
equal opportunity outrage, here’s a list of groups who need to call press
conferences and demand apologies:
- Native Americans
There was not a single Native American seen or mentioned in the entire film,
although the war was being fought on "their" land
Despite Ann Howard’s passionate defense of liberty, she, like all women,
was denied the right to vote, a fact never mentioned by the "misogynist
Black powder smoke filled the air. Plantations and crops burned. Rivers ran
red with blood. Rotting corpses littered the fields and forests. Yet the
film makers showed no concern for the environmental consequences of the
- Animal rights advocates
Livestock was burned and slaughtered. Horses were forced into battle where
they died without any understanding of why they were there. Starving
soldiers no doubt were reduced to eating "companion animals".
Apparently the heartless Americans considered their own rights more
important than those of the unfortunate animals.
While many liberals have expressed outrage that children were given (gasp)
rifles to defend themselves and their families, no one has yet expressed any
outrage at the British who murdered a child and planned to hang another for
While homosexuals no doubt fought and died for freedom, there was not a
single gay character, much less a gay hero.
"The Patriot" obviously slighted the contributions of colonists in
northern states such as Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York.
- Other ethnic and religious minorities
Not a single mention of Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, or
While this is hardly a complete list, it should keep the liberals occupied
for at least a few days. It’s a shame they’re so completely unable to
comprehend that "The Patriot" is about people willing to put aside
their petty concerns and differences in order to create a society where all
people would have equal rights.
In the interest of fairness, we also need to go back about a year to the July
2 release of Spike Lee’s "Summer of Sam". While I can't make any
legitimate claim to personal knowledge of the Revolutionary War, I do clearly
remember the "Summer of Sam". (To be honest, I never saw the movie
because I refuse to enrich racist, socialist, gun-grabbers like Mr. Lee.) But I
was there for the reality.
I was living in New York that summer, 1977. I remember the fear and the
hysteria, the nightly news reports, the growing body count. I remember the
helpful advice from city officials and law enforcement. "Stay home. Don’t
go out after dark. Don’t go anywhere alone. Keep your doors and windows
Of course this advice was worse than useless to me. I was in my mid-twenties,
single, and because of my work had to travel alone, often late at night after a
36 hour shift. I did my laundry late at night in a dark basement with no
security. I had to go out to eat or shop for groceries. Many other women in New
York faced similar predicaments.
So, we spent the summer alternating between abject terror and denial,
sleeping poorly, jumping at every noise and shadow, and suspicious of every
stranger on the street. Had we been "permitted" to carry firearms, we
would have been safer, and it’s likely fewer women would have died. But I was
young and stupid, and carrying a gun in New York was, and is, against the law.
(Not surprisingly, this did not deter "Son of Sam" from using a .44 to
murder his victims.) If I had it to do over, you can bet I’d carry a gun!
Murderers still prowl the streets of New York, and innocent people are still
killed. Just a few weeks ago, packs of young men assaulted women in public, in
full daylight, while the police watched and did nothing. It’s still illegal to
carry a firearm for self-defense in New York. And if Spike Lee has his way, it
will soon be illegal everywhere.
Mr. Lee, you’ve never been a slave, and I’ve certainly never enslaved
you, or anyone else. You, however, seek to make me the slave of anyone larger or
stronger than I am, or anyone willing to disregard the law and misuse a weapon.
You seek to make me a slave to suspicion and terror. You seek the rape, torture
or murder of innocent women like me - and the men and children we love.
Before you worry about the alleged mote in Mel Gibson’s eye, I suggest you
look at the beam in your own. You are wrong, Mr. Lee, and innocent people are
dying as a result of your evil agenda of victim disarmament.
I demand an apology.
(c) 2000, Sarah Thompson, M.D., Director@utgoa.org