The newly released Netflix movie, “Beasts of No Nation,” about the horrors faced by child soldiers in Africa strikes an eerie comparison to our own child soldiers; inner city youths indoctrinated into the horrific world of gang violence. Perhaps this is why Liberals don’t want you to see the movie, as theaters across the nation rejected the movie.
The main character, Agu, is a child in a village of a war torn country. His father and older brother are killed by a militia, who accuses the village of collaborating with a rival group. The attack on the village forces his mother and younger siblings to flee and he is thus separated from his family as he flees into the jungle.
In the beginning of the movie, Agu is good kid. A New York Times movie review by A.O. Scott points out:
“Agu, who describes himself as ‘a good boy from a good family,’ seems perfectly harmless — a skinny preadolescent whose capacity for malice doesn’t extend beyond pranks directed at his vain, girl-crazy older brother.”
Fleeing for his life, he encounters a rebel militia led by a charismatic leader, the “Commandant.” The Commandant becomes a father figure for Agu, as well as the young boys who constitute his army. He exposes them to a world of murder and savagery.
The film brings a striking comparison to the movie, “Menace II Society,” made in 1993 about an innocent boy who loses his mother to a drug overdose and watches his father go to prison after witnessing him murder another man over a card game. The famed movie critic Roger Ebert had this to say about the movie:
“Caine, the young man at the center of ‘Menace II Society,’ is not an evil person in the usual sense of the word. He has a good nature and a quick intelligence, and in another world he might have turned out happy and productive. But he was not raised in a world that allowed that side of his character to develop, and that is the whole point of this powerful film.”
Caine is taken in by a neighborhood gang leader, who takes him in and becomes his mentor. He is exposed to the world of guns, drugs and violence in the ghetto. In essence, he becomes a child soldier in an American city.
My comparison is shared by other critics. In a 2011 Huffington Post by Aldo Civico titled “Our Own Child Soldiers,” he writes:
“What if we look at the life of gang members through the experience of child soldiers in Africa? Is the experience of children manipulated and dragged into war in Uganda all that different from the one of teenagers recruited by gangs in our own cities? Are the fears and the fight for survival and the sense of power that comes with carrying a weapon of a child soldier in Somalia different from the ones of our teenagers patrolling the neighborhoods of our cities with a gun under their shirt?
These questions spun in my mind a few days ago while witnessing the first encounter on Rutgers University’s campus in Newark between Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone and author of A Long Way Gone, and DaShaun “Jiwe” Morris, author of War of the Bloods in My Veins, a compelling memoir about his life as a gang leader.
In a room filled to capacity by students and faculty, Ishmael and Jiwe compared notes about their lives. How, still children, in an environment surrounded by violence they were recruited by armed groups. How that at the time seemed the best choice if one was to survive. How they both embraced violence fully, moving around at ease in the space of death.”
You will never see the mainstream media draw these comparisons. But the fact is many young blacks have no heart for America. They stand with hands down, as the Star Spangled Banner is played. They say things like “F the Flag.”
Boys in the Hood exposes the destructive Leftist policies of Democratic controlled major cities, where gang violence is robbing our youth of their innocence every day in the ghettos. The Left largely ignore the gangs that indoctrinate young blacks into a life of violence that usually ends in death or prison. It’s easier to turn attention to movements like #BlackLivesMatter, with the cries of institutional racism, when it’s been the policies of Democrats since before slavery that have done nothing but oppress blacks in America.
It’s ironic that the mainstream media show compassion for Africa’s child soldiers, while doing nothing to show compassion for America’s child soldiers. These children fight and die on the battlefield of inner city streets daily, and the silence is deafening.
Follow James on Twitter @NY_2_Carolina