By Ben Howling
As both an expert in Propaganda, and a film buff, I feel it my duty to point out the various subliminal prejudices contained in the 1962 film, The Longest Day. This movie was on television a few weeks ago as part of a salute to the uber-militaristic Memorial Day holiday, wherein we celebrate the killing of people, many of them non-whites, by a predominantly white military force. Two days ago was the subjectively named “longest day of the year” aka the summer solstice, which marks the subjectively named, “first day of summer.”
In 1944, the dates of the summer solstice were: June 21 in northern hemisphere time zones west of and including UTC + 10 hrs.June 22 in northern hemisphere time zones east of and including UTC + 11 hrs.Dec. 21 in southern hemisphere time zones west of and including UTC.Dec. 22 in southern hemisphere time zones east of and including UTC + 1 hr.
You can refer to the time zone map for the details, but since the so-called invasion took place on June 6, 1944, this was at least two weeks away from being the longest day. But, the film was produced by FOX, so what else should we expect?
Now, the first example of bias is from assuming that just because the large majority of ethnically white people live in the Northern Hemisphere, that an event occurring on June 6 is close to being the longest day for everyone in the world. But of course, we don’t want to think about those Black persons living in sub-Saharan Africa! Or the Hispanics living in South America! For them, June 6 is closer to being the shortest day of the year! And closer to being the first day of Winter!
But not only are Blacks and Browns snubbed in the title, their dismissal continues into the film itself! Look at this list of subjectively-named actors:
Hans Christian Blech
On and on the list goes and nary a Black actor in the bunch, and only one near-Hispanic, Mel Ferrer, who was of mixed Irish and Cuban (by way of Spain). This is the sneakiest kind of Propaganda—Propaganda by Omission! Black pilots flying p-51 Mustangs could have been put into the film, but NO! This was a white folks only deal. The most expensive black and white film ever made, but there were no Blacks!
I plan for this to be a 14 part series delving into the nooks and crannies of the film, and exposing every cultural bias, every racist slant, and every white anglo-saxon attempt to marginalize the contribution of Blacks and Hispanics to the war effort. It may take me some time to write this, but I will keep plugging away!