World Without 'America'

Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza and Prof. Michael Eric Dyson debate D'Souza's new film "America."
5:54 | 07/06/14

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Transcript for World Without 'America'
without her" taking on liberal critiques of the country's past and present, but some are calling the movie historical revisionism. Here's Jeff Zeleny with a preview. What if George Washington had been killed by a sniper's bullet? Reporter: Could this provocative take on American history be this summer's box office smash? What would the world look like if America did not exist? Reporter: Controversial filmmaker dinesh d'souza offers a striving defense against the country's critics. On historical issues like slavery and land taken from native Americans and against charges today of the excesses of capitalism and America's role in the world all pushing back against what d'souza calls the shame narrative. If America is a force for good, why are they trying to make us feel bad? Reporter: The movie's other targets, president Obama and Hillary Clinton. Hillary wanted the radicals to become the government. Reporter: It's a one-sided view of history that the right wing filmmaker hopes will equal the success of his last movie, "2016: Obama's America." That took in over $33 million as one of the highest grossing documentaries ever. It's not a rah-rah patriotism that uncritically celebrates America. Reporter: On this Independence weekend, a controversial look at America. New fireworks for the old partisan divide. For "This week," Jeff Zeleny, ABC news, Washington. And dinesh d'souza joins us live, as well as Georgetown university professor Michael Eric Dyson, who is interviewed in the film. Welcome to both of you. Mr. D'souza, let me start with you. The majority of this film seems to be a defense against those who question anything about this country's history. Don't you have to look back, especially at something like slavery, acknowledge what happened before you can move forward? Absolutely, and actually in the beginning of the film we have numerous critics of America, you included, noam chomsky, a native American activist, and we lay out the case against America very passionately and without me making any defense, but I think that the film then turns around and addresses the critics and makes points that get neglected. Pretty quickly it moves on. I watched it, as I told you. I watched the entire film. It moves pretty quickly. The reason is that the critique is so well known. In fact, it's drummed into young people endlessly in schools and in colleges. What's missing is the answer to it. So, for example, when martin Luther king said I'm submitting a promissory note and I demand it be cashed, what was he talking about? Actually he was talking about the declaration of Independence, and the reform movement in America to change things have not been breaks with the America founding but that's what the film is, the same spirit that brought me to America as an immigrant to live a life unavailable elsewhere in the world. Well, look, to say there's not a discontinuity between martin Luther king Jr. And the larger America compact and project is absolutelily right. It's not progressism that has made that claim but people on the right. Now they'll make an exception for martin Luther king Jr., but those of us who are critics of the American state don't believe America is a nation doomed to its own -- hoisting its own tarp. We say, look, if you love America like James Baldwin said, he said "I love it more than any other nation in the world, therefore, I reserve the right to criticize her relentlessly." Those who are critics of America don't hate the nation, they love it. They want to love it into a better future. Martin Luther king said before he was murdered, America, be true to what you said on paper. If the litmus test of authentic patriotism is the commitment to an ideal and a goal that furthers the conversation about all people participating equally then that's the kind of conversation we have. He shouldn't be demonized or others who succeed in his -- you know, who are successors to him should not be demonized for their questioning. Professor, I want to move on quickly. We don't have too much time. At the end of your film you make a turn to politics more directly and you essentially have a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama turning this nation into a socialistic nation, something you said started when Hillary Clinton was in college. Yeah, it's not a conspiracy theory. Rather, a lot of people think that Hillary is like bill, they go, we kind of want billary back in the white house because -- and the point we make in the film is, no, there's actually a bridge connecting Hillary to Barack and that bridge is Saul alinsky. Many 6 us develop our political ideas in our formative years. I was a young reaganite in the early '80s. Obama talks about standing at his father's grave and having a sort of moment of revelation. Hillary met Saul alinsky in high school and brought him to wellesley college and wrote her thesis on him. We're not inventing a connection between them. The connection is well documented. What we show in the film is rare footage of alinsky. Professor Dyson, quickly, we have about 30 more seconds. Here's the reality. Yes, she has interpreted and interpolated alinsky, but not given the suspicions of Mr. D'souza, somebody who is trying to bring down American government. She's trying to make that rare act of a politician in public, to bring ideas to bear upon the forces that prevail that help the nation become its best self and to work against the demons that are bespeaking, if you will, a negative impact on America, so alinsky in terms of his impact on Obama and Hillary Clinton, I'm sure the alinskyites would say it's barely discernible now in their political lives. Thank you, both. It's a very interesting movie. Everybody should go see it and

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