WASHINGTON, April 19, 2015 – Michael Crichton, author of the genetic sci-fi thriller Jurassic Park, once said, “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”
Actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck would very much like to take a leaf blower and blast one leaf from his family tree off the sidewalk, into the gutter and out of public view. You see, Affleck is the genetic byproduct of an American ancestor who hailed from the deep South.
Oh, and this particular antebellum forerunner was a slave-owner, as revealed during the production, but not airing, of the PBS show “Finding Your Roots.”
The publicity-conscious Affleck was understandably shaken by the revelation and sought to suppress the finding least it diminish his usefulness among the left’s political glitterati.
In a 2014 interview with Playboy magazine, Affleck said he didn’t mind “being used as a prop to schmooze people and try to milk the teat of the donor for money,” especially since the candidate was leftist Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Warren, you may recall, claimed Native American ancestry based solely on “family stories.” The New England genealogical society “found no proof of Warren’s self-proclaimed Native American lineage,” said the Washington Post.
The Atlantic magazine was much more blunt, saying Warren “would not be eligible to become a member of any of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes based on the evidence so far surface by independent genealogists about her ancestry.”
While we are on the subject of identity, Affleck said members of the movie-going public might not be able to get past his hard-left politics, admitting he feels the same way when it comes to Hollywood conservatives. “When I watch a guy I know is a big Republican, part of me thinks, I probably wouldn’t like this person if I met him, or we would have different opinions. That shit fogs the mind when you should be paying attention and be swept into the illusion,” he told Playboy.
Affleck can’t get past the prehistoric tribalism of identity politics anymore than his slave-owning ancestor, for whom identity determined on what side of the line you stood—freeman or slave.
North Korean hackers, who are just as dedicated to identity politics as Affleck’s past and present, purloined thousands of internal emails from Sony Pictures in retaliation for its film The Interview. The film (spoiler alert!) satirizes North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-Un, ending with his spectacular death, engulfed by the explosive flames of a surface-to-air missile.
Communist North Korea didn’t like its totalitarian identity, inseparable from its Dear Leader, so thoroughly obliterated.
Amid emails stolen by the North Korean hackers was an exchange between Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard professor and host of PBS’s ancestry program “Finding Your Roots,” in which Gates asks Sony’s U.S. chief Micael Lynton for advice. Gates was agonizing over a request by Ben Affleck.
“One of our guests has asked us to edit out something about one of his ancestors—the fact that he owned slaves… We’ve never had anyone ever try to censor or edit what we found. He’s a megastar. What do we do?” asked Gates.
Lynton said to censor, uhh, edit out the Affleck revelation from the segment.
What is so surprising is that Gates, a renowned writer, lecturer and filmmaker on the subject of African-American history, was so easily cowed by a white, leftist Hollywood “megastar.” And so willing, it turns out, to perform a favor for an ideological member of his tribe.
And you thought identity politics only applied to race.