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For 20 interminable minutes in "Amistad," Steven Spielberg lingers over scenes of whites torturing black slaves with the lurid attention of a pornographer. The rest of the film--the fine courtroom oratory, the black & white solidarity, abolitionist "idealism"--is all window-dressing to persuade the liberal intellectuals in the theatre audience to feel good about Spielberg's anti-white horrorshow.
But the core message of "Amistad" can be summed up in two words from the ghetto: Hate Whitey.
With Amistad, Steven Spielberg, hailed as a latter-day secular Jewish saint, has set the cause of harmonious race relations back decades.
He perpetrated a similar ruse in "Schindler's List." His stratagem in that flick was to demonize the German people but to do so within the framework of a humanist gloss. So the putative hero, Schindler, is a German and nominally, a Christian.
From there, Spielberg was able to mount a demonic stereotype that no one but a Jew could get away with in these hyper-sensitive, "human rights" times. Spielberg stereotyped the entire German army--every one, to a man--as black-jacketed minions of Satan.
Amistad is equally pathological. If we shed the window-dressing, it's a sado-masochist ritual. Sadistic whites torture noble blacks. Noble blacks retaliate, and we watch them dismember trembling and quivering white villains who are shown on their knees begging for mercy.
An honest film about slavery is needed, but Spielberg will never be the one to furnish it. Such a film would entail three components, all of them forming the critical element missing from Amistad--context.
Amistad producer Debbie Allen calls this destabilizing fact a "rumor." She'd better. If the thinking public, black and white, discover that "noble" Cinque later sold his own people in the very manner he condemned, then there will be a second mutiny, this time against Spielberg and his shameless hoaxing.
Here is Samuel Eliot Morrison, one of the most
distinguished of American historians, writing in his "
"The most famous case involving slavery, until
eclipsed by Dred Scott's, was that of the Amistad in 1839. She was a Spanish
slave ship carrying 53 newly imported Negroes who were being moved from
"He stealthily steered north, the Amistad was
picked up off Long Island by a
"Lewis Tappan and Roger Sherman Baldwin, a Connecticut abolitionist, undertook to free them by legal process, and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. John Quincy Adams, persuaded to act as their attorney, argued that the Negroes be freed, on the ground that the slave trade was illegal both by American and Spanish law, and that mankind had a natural right to freedom.
"The court with a majority of Southerners, was so
impressed by the old statesman's eloquence that it ordered Cinqué and the other
Negroes set free, and they were returned to
(End quotation from historian Samuel Eliot Morrison)
Any time German-Americans or white Southerners try to advance a truthful historical thesis that happens to be revisionist we are wrongly smeared as being "just like Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels."
Now that we know
--Michael A. Hoffman II Copyright©1997
Hoffman's illustrated, 137 pp. paperback history book, "They Were White and They Were Slaves: The Untold History of the Enslavement of Whites in Early
$9.95 single copy. Two for $18. Three for $25. Plus shipping.
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Hoffman is available to debate, on talk radio or
online, the subject of white vs. black enslavement in early