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The Un-Patriots
by Sarah Thompson, M.D.

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 in battle?

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 of Independence.)

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 slaves.

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
  • Feminists 
    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 film makers".
  • Environmentalists 
    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 Revolutionary War.
  • 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.
  • Children 
    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 treason.
  • Gays 
    While homosexuals no doubt fought and died for freedom, there was not a single gay character, much less a gay hero.
  • Yankees
    "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 Italians.

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 locked."

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., Dr. Thompson is the Executive Director of Utah Gun Owners Alliance, and also publishes The Righter column,


Printer Version

If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country I never would lay down my arms, never! never! never! — William Pitt, Earl of Chatham (1708-1778) Speech, Nov. 18, 1777

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