The US Banned "Gone with the Wind" for Racism, Columbus Was Declared the Initiator of Genocide
On Monday, stunning news came from America. Although, what happened could seem trifle at first glance. At the Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Tennessee, it was officially announced that from now on the movie «Gone with the Wind» won’t be shown there. Although until now, the same Orpheum Theater in Memphis has traditionally shown «Gone with the Wind» in August during the Film Classics days.
For 34 years in a row. There won’t be a 35th season. What happened, in my opinion, is a national catastrophe for America. I'll try to explain why. To assess the scale of the disaster, it’s worth recalling something that everyone knows. The great movie of the great director Fleming, «Gone with the Wind,» I'm so glad to see you.
Melanie Hamilton, what a surprise! I hope you can stay for a couple days. I hope I can stay here longer to become your real friend, Scarlet. ...which premiered in 1939, is the most popular film in the US in the history of American cinema. It’s the absolute champion in tickets sales. Taking into account inflation, nearly $3.5 billion was collected. The current Hollywood blockbusters can’t even dream about it. Vivien Leigh is in the lead role, an English actress, selected for it out of 1,500 candidates. «Gone with the Wind» immediately brought her world fame. To the woods alone? Bu it's dangerous! Going all the way through the haven of scumbags. Don't worry! I'll shoot if I have to. What a woman!
Vivien Leigh is also remembered as the all-time symbol of British cinema. I'll find a way to bring Rhett back. After all, tomorrow is a new day. However, she received her first Oscar for the American movie «Gone with the Wind.» In total, this film has 10 Oscar awards. One of them was given to a black actor for the first time in history.
The highest award of the American Film Academy for the Best Supporting Actress was given to Hattie McDaniel, who played the maid, Mammy, in «Gone with the Wind.» Miss Scarlett, where are you going at night without a shawl? And why didn’t you invite these gentlemen to stay for dinner? You behave worse than any black girl from a plantation! And it's after all Miss Melly and I have done! Now, the film is accused of racism, an insult to the black population of America, and the romanticization of the South during the slavery period.
The love story of this film is told against the background of the Civil War between the South and the North in the 19th century. And, they say, the movie is painful for a significant part of the current US residents. The representative of the distribution company states the following: «As an organization whose stated mission is to entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves, the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of the local population.» In order to understand the context, I should add that the Negroes, this word is fine in Russian, are about two-thirds of the population of Memphis.
It’s them who are offended by the classics of American cinema. However, banning one film in only one city is only a part of the common process, which started during Obama's presidency. It provoked a new round of racial strife in the USA. It was during Obama’s presidency that it was decided to demolish the first monument to the hero of the South, General Lee, in New Orleans.
The decision was executed last May under Trump. But only as a result of interpreting the monuments to General Lee as a symbol of the superiority of the white race or, as it’s now formulated in a politically correct manner, «white supremacism.» However, it’s impossible to speak today in the United States about the atrocities of the northerners, in particular, about the tactics of «scorched earth» of General Sherman during the American Civil War. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, the monument to the president of the Southern Confederation, Jefferson Davis, has already fallen.
Followed by a monument to the fighters for the freedom of the South. Another general of the southerners, Pierre de Beauregard, lost its footing. Later, the monument to General Lee was demolished in Charlottesville. Then mass toppling of Lenin statues in the American way spread to Baltimore. There, they brought down the monuments to four generals of the Confederation and other figures of the South of the Civil War period. A monument to the soldiers of the South was removed in North Carolina. The process was so contagious that such a mop-up operation is now planned throughout the US.
Moreover, not only memorials and monuments to the southerners will be removed, of which there are more than 1,500 in the country, but also their names will be erased from the names of streets, schools, and public institutions. With red-hot iron against history. The cinema’s turn has come. Now, the brilliant movie «Gone with the Wind» runs the risk of disappearing from all American screens. The Memphis precedent will work. And they will certainly never ever show one of the first US full-length films, «The Birth of a Nation,» directed by David Griffith, who, by the way, is considered the father of American cinema. It was he who laid the foundations for sensible editing and even special effects. «The Birth of a Nation.» 1915. Three hours.
The historical period was the Civil War in the US and immediately after. Unprecedented battle scenes for those times. The drama of fratricidal war and the drama of the defeated caught up in a situation where «the white South must be crushed by the black heel of the North.» Without rules and sentiments. With all the brutality and unrestrained black revenge for the past. How can they show it now, if the birth of the awful Ku Klux Klan is shown in the movie? First as an organization of self-defense of the whites. And, the cavalry rides while the «Ride of the Valkyries» by Wagner is playing.
So, this picture is now permanently deleted from the lists of what is allowed in America. Although the US President, Woodrow Wilson, who is incidentally the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, but who is also known as an authoritative historian, called the film «The Birth of a Nation» a «terrible truth.»
President Wilson made this statement right after he organized a review of Griffith’s new movie in the White House, where he invited both his ministers and foreign ambassadors. Surprisingly, it turns out that a hundred years ago America coped with its past and was ready to comprehend it and accept it as it is. Now, this ability is being lost, and a war is declared on the past. And in a very primitive version, through the destruction of monuments and censorship. And it’s not known where they’ll stop. Why not then take a new look at the American Westerns? Is it worth saving their lives?
For example, those where the Indians are stupid and bloodthirsty, and they are voluptuously killed in great numbers. It seems that the fight against the Westerns is yet to come. But the monuments to Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of America, are already being defiled in the US. They say that it’s because he initiated the genocide of the indigenous population of the country. Last Wednesday, in the State of New York, a statue of Columbus was knocked down from the pedestal, and then split into pieces. Now, there are new heroes in the country.
American cinema represents them with all the sensitivity. The last Oscar for Best Picture is characteristic. It was «Moonlight», in which the main character is the son of a drug-addicted mother, a black gay man, a brutal gangster with gold teeth. But look at his wounded soul, and his difficult childhood. It's now beyond «Gone with the Wind.» This is also an example that America can’t cope with the real history of its own country.
The conflicts of the past, the wounds of which they never managed to heal, hit back today. And history seems to be coming to life and reproducing discord. We lived through something similar in our Soviet experience, when the entire society was ideologically forced to take the position of one of the parties in the conflicts of the past. We all support the red and not the bourgeois. We are for the rebels of Pugachev and Stepan Razin. We are against the landlords. We are for the insurgent officers, the Decembrists, and not for the Tsar. We are for the Narodnik terrorists and not for the tsarist police. And we are all as one against those enemies as if they were of today.
The same way in the US now, the confederates of a century and a half ago are turned into enemies of today. And, the relationship between the Negroes and the whites in those days can’t be shown as it really was back then. Political correctness is the instrument of censorship. Under its banner, they forbid films, demolish monuments. Under its banner, you can start destroying.
In Russia, we are already so fed up with all this that, thank God, we quietly write, publish, read, film and show our history, allowing ourselves to look at events from different sides. I can’t say that we are so pleased with ourselves, but at least unlike America, Poland or Ukraine, we don’t destroy monuments and don’t ban films. Otherwise, we would have to stop showing, for example, «And Quiet Flows the Don» or «Battleship Potemkin,» to ban the «The White Guard» or «Lenin in October.» Then, we would begin to destroy the monuments.
And then, we would get indignant because Chekhov romanticizes the old landlord life in the play «Three Sisters.» And do we need such Chekhov at all? And Pushkin was a landowner himself. He received 200 bond servants as a wedding gift from his father. Is it possible to give living people as a gift? And hundreds of them? And what should we do with Pushkin now? But this would mean applying today's norms to the past. We have already burned ourselves so much on that, that we don’t want to come close to this scorching heat anymore.
And we already want to heal all our past splits within us, to learn and accept everything as it was, and to go further with this experience. We don’t want new civil conflicts, while America creates them inside itself with inspiration. It turned out that the vaunted political correctness still worked only as a style, something superficial, while the old racial hostility and enmity driven into the depths, smoldered like a deep peat fire. Now, its tongues are already appearing on the surface. And the scale of the threatening fire is difficult to predict. When a society is split, when politics is saturated with hatred, and the rules are canceled one by one, then where is the common support point?