Skip to main content

You've likely heard of a new "documentary" film called "2016: Obama's America." The film is the brainchild of right-wing culture warrior Dinesh D'Souza. Last week it was the #9 movie in the country, and has taken in just about $20 million to date.

Before I go on to demonstrate how D'Souza flat-out lied, here is a brief discussion of the film from Richard Brody's article in the New Yorker.

The movie “2016: Obama’s America” is a work of propaganda that offers base innuendo in lieu of argument, but the parts of it that are authentically engaging and account for its slender cinematic appeal likely have as much to do with the film’s popularity as its anti-Obama message does. They’re also inseparable from the film’s most scurrilous insinuations.

(snip) In the movie, D’Souza (adapting his book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage”) accuses the President of sharing the anticolonialist doctrine of his father, Barack Obama Sr., and of planning to weaken and impoverish the United States in furtherance of that doctrine. He suggests that Obama didn’t act more directly to these ends in his first term because of the need to get reëlected, but that, if he does, the mask will drop and Obama, having bamboozled many American voters, will put his nefarious plan into motion.

What D'Souza has done here is part and parcel of the right-wing's campaign to paint Obama as, in the words Mitt Romney used to describe the President's ideas, "extraordinarily foreign." The right seeks to "other" Obama in various ways, from the low-brow of birtherism to the high-brow of a supposedly serious film by a conservative intellectual.

D'Souza summarized the aforementioned The Roots of Obama's Rage in a Forbes article called "How Obama Thinks." In addition to making a series of simply absurd claims -- the best was the charge that, regarding NASA, Obama has sought to "convert a space agency into a Muslim and international outreach" -- D'Souza sought to explain Obama's overarching political worldview:

Clearly the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. goes a long way to explain the actions and policies of his son in the Oval Office....In his own writings Obama stresses the centrality of his father not only to his beliefs and values but to his very identity.
D'Souza described how Obama told of weeping at his father's grave and feeling his father's pain. D'Souza then summarized:
In a sense, through the earth itself, he communes with his father and receives his father's spirit. Obama takes on his father's struggle, not by recovering his body but by embracing his cause. He decides that where Obama Sr. failed, he will succeed. Obama Sr.'s hatred of the colonial system becomes Obama Jr.'s hatred; his botched attempt to set the world right defines his son's objective. Through a kind of sacramental rite at the family tomb, the father's struggle becomes the son's birthright.
As evidence, D'Souza quotes straight from the metaphorical horse's mouth, Barack Obama himself:
"It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself." Even though his father was absent for virtually all his life, Obama writes, "My father's voice had nevertheless remained untainted, inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval. You do not work hard enough, Barry. You must help in your people's struggle. Wake up, black man!"
"Wow," the reader must be thinking. This D'Souza has nailed Obama. There's no way that rascally Obama can get out of this one. He actually wrote those words.

And he did. But, having read Dreams From My Father  -- not to mention every other word President Obama has published or uttered in public -- in researching my own book, which I'll call the real Obama's America, I knew right away something was wrong with D'Souza's quote.

I went back to the source, and found the quotation, which begins on page 334 (in the 2nd edition) and goes on to the next page. That's when I knew D'Souza was a liar.

The thing is, D’Souza doesn’t include the very next sentences after "Wake up, black man!" In those sentences Obama tells of how he learned of his father’s failures and then says of his father's image -- the image D'Souza quoted as proof that the son was and is devoted to his father’s ideals: “that image had suddenly vanished….To think that all my life I’d been wrestling with nothing more than a ghost.…The King is overthrown….The emerald curtain is pulled aside.” The son then spoke of his “newfound liberation.”

But D’Souza tells nothing of that. The quotation taken in whole was about how Obama was now free of the need to try and emulate his father, or what little he had known of him growing up (this event took place in 1988, when Obama visited Kenya). D’Souza, by providing only the first part of the quote, gives the exact opposite impression. That’s called lying.

In fact, it’s the exact same thing Mitt Romney did last November. Romney ran an ad built around video of Obama saying, "If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose." Of course, the full quotation was:

"Sen. McCain's campaign actually said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose.’"

What is it with conservatives and falsely editing other people's words, anyway?

So, the next time someone tries to tell you about how the "real" Barack Obama is revealed by Dinesh D'Souza in his book or in his new movie, I hope you'll remember to come back with this evidence.

It is crystal-clear, 100% incontrovertible evidence that Dinesh D'Souza is a liar.

Originally posted to Ian Reifowitz on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 06:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by Jews For President Obama, The Federation, Invisible People, and Barriers and Bridges.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, AdamW, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Angie in WA State, Mimikatz, Sylv, jo fish, TXdem, Joe Willy, hazey, ssmt, filkertom, Radiowalla, tundraman, teacherken, Timaeus, daninoah, Gooserock, mimi, PeterHug, bosdcla14, Emerson, Shockwave, Pescadero Bill, Wintermute, SanJoseLady, hyperstation, Jay C, shayera, eeff, Mnemosyne, Poika, bostonjay, niemann, concernedamerican, missLotus, EricS, wonkydonkey, whenwego, highacidity, themank, rabel, chimpy, roses, Arun, retLT, scotslass, jjhalpin, Nate Roberts, Glinda, rioduran, griz4u, splashy, navajo, TheCrank, Cedwyn, sidnora, WeNeedKerry, revsue, Quege, ammaloy, kharma, caseynm, Getreal1246, Nag, sockpuppet, NYC Sophia, Dr Colossus, Ophelia, niteskolar, samoashark, KateCrashes, zerelda, Sembtex, mungley, tomjones, vacantlook, Sassy, Armand451, Gowrie Gal, sb, davidkc, Dirk McQuigley, Skennet Boch, Los Diablo, kbman, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, 3goldens, jrooth, Jeffersonian Democrat, Unit Zero, UncleCharlie, Sparkalepsy, Seldom Seen, sc kitty, PBen, Alice Venturi, basquebob, terrypinder, Tod, Brooke In Seattle, Praxxus, Gary Norton, eru, Beetwasher, JoieDe, sofia, skyounkin, stevemb, blue jersey mom, Steve in Urbana, markdd, alabamaliberal, onanyes, davidslane, rb608, Savvy813, Shotput8, leftynyc, sodalis, distraught, JanF, Box of Rain, Alan Arizona, zozie, bently, Jim R, ThatSinger, alrdouglas, Nowhere Man, Mother Mags, third Party please, K S LaVida, BalanceSeeker, teharper428, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, 417els, Mr Bojangles, Clytemnestra, BlueInARedState, tonyahky, Cartoon Peril, Gorette, seefleur, mooshter, kestrel9000, smokeymonkey, dougymi, Son of a Cat, MJ via Chicago, eglantine, StrayCat, gpoutney, bubbanomics, LibChicAZ, Dinclusin, middleagedhousewife, llbear, rage, democracy is coming, breakingranks, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Texdude50, Stripe, Statusquomustgo, kurious, Bernie68, bstotts, Temmoku, slksfca, AllanTBG, markthshark, cpresley, The Knute, tegrat, Tamar, pgm 01, zipn, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, Loudoun County Dem, jhecht, weneedahero, gloriana, edsbrooklyn, Mary Mike, Ticonderoga, Matt Z, Dave in Northridge, Mangrove Blues, newpioneer, NoMoJoe, SeaTurtle, jnhobbs, millwood, Bridge Master, carpunder, CT Hank, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, leonard145b, South Park Democrat, sand805, MKinTN, aishmael, skymutt, rogerdaddy, JayC, Justus, TX Freethinker, wayoutinthestix, Sixty Something, bigtimecynic, mcthatch, jamess, rssrai, pamelabrown, triplepoint, catly, glendaw271, petulans, costello7, Blueslide, Nica24, dmhlt 66, Diogenes2008, statsone, JBL55, legendmn, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, prettygirlxoxoxo, enemy of the people, multilee, artmartin, litoralis, mjkellett, ProfJonathan, juca, shortmama, stchasen, CanyonWren, Don Enrique, Nebraskablue, Zotz, indres, jennylind, I give in to sin, shalca, Obama Amabo, TheOpinionGuy, papahaha, Leslie in KY, Denise Oliver Velez, IreGyre, KenInCO, stevenwag, sfarkash, haremoor, jfromga, MizKit, citisven, Leftcandid, collardgreens, susan in sc, Larsstephens, BlueOak, tambora, Amber6541, commonmass, smileycreek, brooklyns finest, marabout40, Laurilei, FogCityJohn, NJpeach, eXtina, estreya, Tea and Strumpets, vixenflem, jethrock, catwho, eb23, Camcallie, klompendanser, Crabby Abbey, Anak, Simple, NM Ray, Eddie L, JoanMar, gulfgal98, ItsSimpleSimon, Mariken, anonevent, ffour, Betty Pinson, ericlewis0, dalkman, wwjjd, stevenaxelrod, wrpereir, catlady, dpwks, no way lack of brain, Onomastic, renbear, Jasel, mama jo, spooks51, Bob Duck, slowbutsure, Quackerz, OldGrammy, imokyrok, FightingRegistrar, princesspat, EquityRoy, trumpeter, Haf2Read, marleycat, BarackStarObama, RfrancisR, MPociask, createpeace, fbw805, volleyboy1, MinistryOfTruth, Imhotepsings, Vatexia, blue aardvark, rscopes, stlsophos, r fisher, ParkRanger, Davui, No one gets out alive, AnnetteK, ridemybike, stormicats, JTinDC, The Book Bear, bluezen, StonyB, leathersmith, cwsmoke, angry marmot, Siri, molecularlevel, IndieGuy, dance you monster, S F Hippie, Deep Texan, AreDeutz, Trotskyrepublican, exatc, CA ridebalanced, Reformed and trying to be reasonable, carolanne, belinda ridgewood, Arahahex, dianamherrera, MagnanaMouse, MartyM, pittie70, doroma, wxorknot, tytalus, avsp, arizonablue, Glen The Plumber, Spirit of Life, Gale Hollis, wasatch, Marjmar, databob, HistoryCARD, CalBearMom, Captain Chaos, Shawn Russell, Lily O Lady, ebailey, Dancun74, The grouch, newinfluence, pilotron82, EliWery, leeleedee, paccoli, Icicle68, DemInDuluth, Abby Hemani, The Beet, Jim Domenico, garme01

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site