Even “Spiderman” isn’t immune to the endless push for political correctness.
Another attempted reboot for the superhero franchise, “Spiderman: Homecoming,” is receiving attention for its deliberate attempt to incorporate diversity into its casting. And while that isn’t so unusual, an incongruous critique of the Washington Monument as the product of slave labor is raising eyebrows among some theatergoers.
In the scene, the character Michelle Jones, played by biracial actress Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman, refuses to enter the Washington Monument with the rest of her decathlon team because it was supposedly built by slaves.
The team’s coach, who is white, protests it was not built by slaves, but a nearby security guard makes a gesture suggesting it probably was.
Joseph Curl, writing at the Daily Wire, observes the sequence is “really weird.” Protesting how it adds nothing to the story, Curl says “it serves no purpose whatsoever except to denigrate one of the world’s great engineering feats (especially in the mid-1800s) and disrespect America’s first president.”
David Barton, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Jefferson Lies,” is a well-known critic of how leftists abuse history to achieve their political ends. He says it is not even clear the Washington Monument was built by slaves.
“The claim that the Washington Monument was built by slaves is part of the intensely negative misrepresentation that has come to characterize the progressive presentation of history related to anything from the Founding Era,” the historian told WND.
“Consider a few facts that immediately undermine their overall premise on this particular point. The construction of the Washington Monument began in 1848 and stopped in 1854 due to lack of funds. The monument had reached a height of 152 feet, or about 27 percent of the full height of 555 feet it would later attain. The initial construction occurred at a time when Washington, D.C., had slavery, and so some of the work could have involved slaves, but likely not much since that type of work required a particular type of skilled masonry craftsmen, which most slaves at that time were not.
“In 1879, after a 25-year hiatus, work resumed on the monument and was largely finished by 1884. That work involved not only the new construction but also a reworking of much of the work previously done (such as a reconstruction of much of the foundation, which was unable to support the heavy structure) as well as the internal work needed to be able to accommodate tourists/visitors. So perhaps some 80 to 85 percent of the entire monument, counting inside and outside, was constructed after 1879.”
As Barton observes, American slavery was only a memory by this point in history.
“Since slavery ended in 1865 through the addition of the Thirteenth Amendment, none of the work that occurred from 1879 to 1884 involved any slaves – not one,” he said.
“So even if one accepts that the entirety of the work done from 1848 to 1854 was performed solely by slaves, which was definitely not the case, then it would still be the case that about 80 to 85 percent of the work was not done by slaves. However, since most of the early work was not done by slaves, it is possible that from 90 to 95 percent (or even a higher percentage) of the monument was not done by slaves. Those who claim that the monument was built by slaves insinuate that the entire structure was a result of slave labor, when in reality it’s likely closer to only 5 percent or less.”
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Such attacks on the Founding Fathers and the iconic structures in Washington, D.C., designed to honor them are now commonplace in American culture. Former first lady Michelle Obama, in a June 2016 speech that was a thinly veiled attack on then-candidate Donald Trump, moaned about how she woke up every morning “in a house built by slaves.”
WND founder Joseph Farah, author of “The Restitution of All Things,” accused her of possessing “bitterness” toward a country that had rewarded her so richly.
But Michelle Obama’s comments are mild compared to what academics and historians typically say about the Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson is regularly denounced at the College of William & Mary, his alma mater; the University of Virginia, the school he founded; and even at Monticello, his own home.
Scott Greer, who deconstructs multiculturalism and political correctness in his book “No Campus for White Men,” suggests the radical ideologies found on college campuses are now spreading into the entertainment industry.
“The comments from the latest film reveal the enthusiasm for denigrating America’s past from Hollywood elites,” he told WND. “Ten or 20 years ago, that comment would have been made in jest and not taken seriously in a movie. Now it is the words of a wise character taking a stand against oppression.”
Though monuments to Confederate heroes are being torn down today, Greer warns it will be the Founding Fathers who are targeted tomorrow. And messages like the one in “Spiderman: Homecoming” are paving the way for stripping Americans of their identity and heritage, leaving the nation with nothing to hold it together but bland corporate creations.
“It’s not hard for this standard to be applied to George Washington himself and other Founding Fathers,” Greer warned. “If a monument is not worth reverence because it was built by slaves, what about the men themselves who owned slaves? Who are we supposed to venerate if we apply the standards of today to the heroes of the past? The implied message of ‘Spiderman’ is that America and its founders were racists whom we shouldn’t pay homage to. Instead, let’s revere an imaginary web-slinger whose visage is used to sell Starbucks coffee.
“Hollywood thinks it’s profitable to cater to the ‘woke’ crowd, and ticket sales show that the rest of America isn’t going to care enough (as of now) to protest.”
Indeed, marketing for the “Spiderman” reboot has heavily featured the racial diversity of its cast as a supposed reason to see the superhero movie.
Nonetheless, the film has not been able to avoid criticism from leftist websites, with The Root sneering that the film’s attempt to achieve diversity is “an utter fail.”
Barton suggests Hollywood is simply aping the radical leftist identity politics found on college campuses and argues fealty to actual history has been all but abandoned.
“They have shown themselves willing to fully embrace any attack, no matter how ridiculous it would otherwise be, if it disparages America’s history and founding,” the historian noted.
“American entertainment both shapes and reflects the culture. Progressives dislike America and are happy to point out everything in our history they believe to be negative, even if they have to concoct it. Good historians tell the good, the bad and the ugly, but progressives focus only on the bad and the ugly, remaining completely silent about the good and even denying that any good ever existed. On this particular issue, Hollywood is merely repeating what is commonly taught in American education today, particularly in American ‘higher’ education (which has become an oxymoronic description).”
Ultimately, Barton says, it will be up to consumers to change the incentives for entertainers by patronizing films which promote a positive view of the country, and refusing to subsidize those which do not.
“There will always be some movies that promote a bad view of America’s past, for there will always be some writers, producers, and actors who vehemently dislike America and openly speak against American exceptionalism,” he said.
“However, there are many in the entertainment industry who believe otherwise, and thus we have had movies ranging from ‘The Patriot’ to ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ from ‘Amistad’ to ‘Glory,’ from ‘Captain America’ to ‘Band of Brothers.’ Americans respond well at the box office to such movies, and many in Hollywood certainly take notice of this.
“Polling consistently shows that those in media and education are the two most liberal and progressive professions in America, and that their beliefs are almost the exact opposite of those of the American people. Consequently, the product they produce is more akin to indoctrination than information or knowledge. But fortunately, there are those in both media and education who are more mainstream, and the public regularly rewards them with higher ratings, higher viewership, and higher box office returns.”
Political correctness is just the beginning. The situation on college campuses is worse than you could ever imagine – and America’s future is at stake. Don’t miss the political blockbuster of 2017 – “No Campus For White Men” by Scott Greer.
The movie trailer: