By Wayne Allensworth
Some thoughts prompted by viewing the movie The Sound of Freedom…
Observing post-American life is something like watching a train wreck. Some of you may remember those disaster movies of the 1970s — Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, and on and on. Disaster movies and horror films. There was the giant-critters-will-eat-you genre — think Jaws — and a spate of the demons will possess and destroy you movies (The Omen, The Exorcist, and their many imitators). We human beings are strangely fascinated with watching bad things happen to other people, maybe so we can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now. You’ve been spared and can even derive some measure of satisfaction from others’ misfortune. Better them than me. Or maybe you are bracing yourself for the inevitable. You watch the stories unfold, unconsciously observing models of how to behave in a crisis or taking away some moral from the story. That’s what stories are for, and why culture and the way we present our stories, real and imagined, is so important.
Then again, in today’s trainwreck in progress, with wreckage piling up on a daily basis, you may start to feel like Job, wondering what else God or Fate or the Devil can throw at you. And if you really have any sense of charity, you feel for the people who are suffering, both near and, yes, far away. But you can’t spend too much time on it. Pain is pervasive in this life, and you may be needed in your home, your own neighborhood, among your own friends. Marshal your spirit and prepare. This night, your soul may be required of you. So, a balance must be struck, or should be, between broad empathy and closer obligations, like a series of concentric circles reverberating when a stone is thrown into a still pond. Your first obligation is that first circle, and so on. Rings of diminishing degrees of responsibility.
Some 40 years ago, 24/7 news was in its infancy. Cable TV was new, and watching events unfold halfway across the globe on such a basis was a novelty. Sometimes it was as fascinating in a macabre sort of way as horror and disaster movies were. In Africa, Ethiopia was starving. In the course of two years in 1983-1985, something between 300,000 and a million-plus people died. The images were terrifying, and heart wrenching in a way that I found hard to take.
I mentioned to a friend how hard it was to go about my daily business, knowing that was going on. Out of sight, but not out of mind. I’ll never forget what he said to me, and he was entirely on target: A human being has only so much psychic energy to draw on to get through life, and a very limited ability to “do something” in all the crises that go on. You could lose your mind dwelling on horrors that you personally can do little or nothing about. We were teaching at the time, the both of us, and his words were a subtle reminder that I had an immediate responsibility, and an important one, that I had to focus on. I was needed here and now and could do little for those people living the Ethiopian nightmare. Western governments were marshalling resources, the U.N. was at work, and rock stars were gathering donations. Give some money if it helps but go about the tasks you have before you. And I did.
As it turned out, the massive Ethiopia relief efforts did little good, and may have prolonged the crisis. What the cable news people didn’t emphasize were some inconvenient and brutal facts concerning the corruption, incompetence, and greed of the Ethiopian regime, and the ongoing civil war in that country. Did all that money gathered by Live Aid actually get to the people it was intended to help? The answer seems to have been “no.” To fix Ethiopia would probably have involved far more drastic measures, like Western countries overthrowing the Ethiopian regime and installing something like a colonial administration. It would have meant staying for the long haul. Fixing an immediate problem would have involved fixing an entire country, or simply running the country for the good of its own people. That was unacceptable then and would be now. The problem was Ethiopia itself.
How many countries are like that? Remaking Iraq turned into a disaster, as some of us warned that it would, and transforming Afghanistan was a pipe dream. But large swaths of the American population are afflicted with terminal niceness, and that includes large numbers of Christians. The niceness is terminal because it attacks the faculties of reason and common sense as the afflicted society itself is dying. White guilt plays a large role in this, as much of the terminally nice folks’ efforts are aimed at non-whites. The poor whites of the Rustbelt and Appalachia don’t seem to count as much. Non-whites, especially blacks, are treated as persecuted Christ-like figures. They have suffered and are capable of redeeming us if we only believe and are willing to sacrifice all to that end.
With that affliction in mind, I recently went to see The Sound of Freedom, curious about all the hype surrounding the movie. I largely agree with the criticisms of the movie made by VDare’s Federale:
Sound of Freedom is about former ICE SVU Special Agent Tim Ballard, who is in despair over a case surrounding child pornography and smuggling alien minors into the United States for prostitution, which are all very bad and very illegal things. However, the Big Lie is that while commercial child sexual exploitation is a serious problem in the Third World, it is not a widespread problem in the United States.
Yes, children are molested and even kidnapped in the United States, but there are few, if any, commercial child sexual exploitation enterprises as shown in the film in the United States. There are teenage runaway prostitutes, there are prostitutes who chose to come to the United States, there are child molesters here. The real problem in the United States, though, is mostly open and public sexual exploitation and mutilation of children, by or for homosexual men, trannies, and the parents of children who support whatever deviancy is presented to them for public consumption and virtue signaling.
More from Federale:
From my 24 years professional experience with the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and with DHS, I never heard of any sex trafficking case, other than one-off cases in the news. Former colleagues, including those with long service at the land border, only know about the smuggling of minors coming to join family members here, not sex trafficking.
In fact, sex trafficking is a myth, at least in the United States. Yet the Left, seeking more immigration, and the Christian right, to virtue signal about non-whites, are in alliance here, and American border security is the real victim of this movie, though it does not directly lobby for open borders. The underlying message is clear to those who know about the obsession of the Deep State for imagined child sex trafficking.
Something tells me that Federale is probably on the mark in believing that the real aim of a media/regime focus on exploited children is to help build a case for open borders. As with illegal aliens, the optimal solution for the regime is an open border, with the Border Patrol and immigration bureaucracy simply acting to organize, regulate and bureaucratize the process of mass migration. It’s all for the good of the children, you know. The mechanism is the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, not coincidentally named after 19th Century abolitionist William Wilberforce. Playing the slavery card is always a winner with terminally nice Americans, who jump at every opportunity to show they are not racists and ready to atone for white guilt.
The hero of The Sound of Freedom spends most of the movie combatting child traffickers in Latin American hellholes, but as Federale points out, those children are not being shipped in large numbers to the United States. They are being raped and abused abroad. What we have here is another instance of Americans being urged to slay dragons abroad, and the movie may serve the regime’s purposes of campaigning for regulated open borders.
An attempt to save the entire world from itself is impossible but fits perfectly with the neocon/neo-liberal game of perpetual war for perpetual peace, of intervention anywhere and everywhere while our own house burns to the ground. Any trafficking problems would grind to a halt by closing the border. Terminally nice Americans, however, who are not allowed to defend their historic nation for its own sake — that would be “racist” — are willing to turn a blind eye to the most pressing problems facing their own rapidly disappearing country. They seek salvation by assisting in the termination of America.
Chronicles contributor Wayne Allensworth is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.