Republican Florida state senator Alan Hays plans to introduce a bill that would require Florida students to watch Dinesh D’souza’s movie, “America: Imagine A World Without Her,” reported Talking Points Memo.
“America” is a documentary illustrating what right-winger D’Souza believes the world would be like had America not been founded. The film, which received an 8 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was decried by critics but heralded by the site’s audience with an 88 percent rating. Those who praised the film were right-wing conservatives who say that whoever didn’t like the movie was obviously a communist.
“It is important for our students to learn how to think instead of what to think, and otherwise, what they’re teaching in school becomes nothing but a bunch of dogma,” said Hays.
The problem with Hays’ reasoning is that he wants employ the same tactic he’s looking to dismantle by forcing kids to watch “America.” Hays argues that by watching the film, students will learn how to think critically, but the film, according to discussions on the web, outlines a conservative-slanted retelling of America’s history.
Critic James Rocchi of TheWrap said “‘America’ would be simply annoying if it were just preaching to the choir; what makes it unendurable is the fact that D’Souza . . . can’t craft a sermon that would keep even the choir awake, interested, and entertained.”
Considering that D’Souza is a well-known author and conservative political commentator, it’s evident that his right-wing rhetoric would trickle into the film’s narrative. This is obvious because he directly targets Noam Chomsky. According to the Daily Kos, “D’Souza is trying to show the viewing audience that Chomsky’s diplomatic analysis [of American exceptionalism] can’t be trusted because he spoke to the Occupy Movement people.”
Hays wants to avoid dogma, but his push to make “America” required viewing in Florida classrooms is just perpetuating the very thing he thinks he’s fighting against. This isn’t teaching students to think critically and independently; it’s an attempt to mold their young, malleable minds into thinking in line with a conservative viewpoint.
Not to mention, Hays is pushing a film created by confessed criminal who pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.