Dinesh D’Souza has another undoubtedly idiotic documentary out and he’s making the rounds of the right wing fever swamps to promote it. In a conversation with One American News Network’s Rick Amato, who started by declaring that “liberals hate America,” D’Souza says that teaching accurate history is teaching young people to hate America.
He complains about teaching that Columbus was a “slaver.” Well, he was. One of the very first things he wrote in his journal upon arriving in the new world was that the natives would make fine slaves, and he shipped many of them back to Europe to be slaves. He also sold girls as young as 9 into sexual slavery. This and much more is all documented and verified. Apparently teaching the truth makes people hate America (even though Columbus had nothing to do with the founding of America, a country that did not exist until centuries after his death and in which he never set foot).
This is one of the main problems with the right wing version of patriotism. For D’Souza, patriotism means ignoring anything bad about the United States, pretending that we’ve never done anything wrong, that we are pure as the driven snow. For people like me, patriotism means acknowledging our sometimes terrible actions and taking steps to make sure that our actions are in line with our stated ideals. It’s mindless nationalism, not patriotism.