TCM is showing "Birth Of A Nation" tonight at midnight. If you have never seen this 1915 film, watch -- although it is painful to do so. Imagine the Civil War has only been over for 50 years, and if you are white, you likely have a family member you can recall (or that your elders can) who fought in it. If you are a rural white, Northern white or recent immigrant from Europe, this film might be the first time you have ever seen African Americans "live" (although most or all such parts in the film are actually played by whites in blackface). Unless you are wealthy and/or live in a large city, this might be the very first movie you have ever seen. Even if you are a sophisticate, D.W. Griffith used an array of new movie-making techniques in making this film that would have sent shockwaves through any audience. If you are black, it is very unlikely there's a theater anywhere that will admit you -- so you never get to see the film, though black communities in many cities neverthless did discover the hateful message of the film, and protests took place. And what is the message? Blacks are not "like us". They have "strange beliefs". They "do not value their families" or even "their own lives" as we do. They "cannot be trusted" to run their own lives. They are "oversexual" and the men are all wanna-be rapists. They "pose a threat" to civilized people and "must be restrained". Now riddle me this, folks.......how is that message *any different* than the one spoken today by so many in our media about American Muslims? GLBT people? The propaganda machines we're exposed to now may be far more sophisticated in technology....but their messages of hatred are just as simple and corrupt as the message of D.W. Griffith's obscene film circa 1915.