The Hollywood Reporter on Friday reported that a Florida state senator named Alan Hayes intends to introduce a bill this November to require all students in that state’s middle schools and high schools to watch the Dinesh D’Souza documentary “America.” The popular film is a polemic in defense of the United States against many of its left leaning critics such as Howard Zinn and Ward Churchill. It depicts the United States and its history in a primarily good light. The movie is playing now in theaters.
Hayes’ purpose seems to be to counteract what he views as politically correct teaching of American history and social studies that exists in modern American schools. Students have been exposed to such films as Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and the various polemics produced by Michael Moore. Howard Zinn, whom D’Souza takes on in his movie, is the author of “A Peoples’ History of the United States,” which examines American history from a Marxist perspective. Despite its somewhat controversial nature, it is required reading in many American schools and universities.
Hayes intends that various charities would be recruited to supply Florida schools with copies of the movie. Parents who object would be able to have their children opt out of seeing the movie. Hayes has expressed no objection to having schools pair “America” with more leftist films in order to spark classroom discussion.
While liberals might object to having the movie shown in Florida public schools, the bill stands a pretty good chance of passing. Both houses of the Florida legislature and the governor are Republican. Those who object to the film will likely point out, along with their more ideological objections, that D’Souza has been recently convicted of a campaign finance violation and may serve time for it. D’Souza deals with the issue in his film.