Taking a break from its usual offerings of “birther” propaganda, gay-bashing, and End Times prophecy, Joseph Farah’s online publication WorldNetDaily (WND) is promoting a new film, “Gates of Hell,” a propaganda piece supporting the Christian right notion that abortion is a vicious plot to destroy black America.
“Gates of Hell” is a feature-length pseudo-documentary set in a dystopian near future in which a group of “black power extremists” set out to terrorize and murder abortion providers. Its producer, frequent WND contributor Jason “Molotov” Mitchell, is a former wedding videographer who made a name for himself in 2008 with “Video Portrait of Barack Hussein Obama,” an online offering that accused then-candidate Obama of being a racist, Marxist and anti-Semite “discipled” in “quasi-Christianity,” and asked “[W]hen we are at war with Islam can Americans elect a man with not one, not two, but three Islamic names?”
If WND’s staggeringly offensive video teaser is any indication of its contents, “Gates of Hell” will be equally inflammatory. According to its website, the film “is a documentary from the year 2016 that chronicles the crimes of a band of domestic terrorists known as the Zulu 9. Finnish filmmaker Ani Juva travels to the United States to better understand the mysterious black power assassins, the unexpected eugenics conspiracy theory that drove them to commit extreme acts of violence and how America’s political landscape was transformed overnight. Blending real history and real public figures with a fictitious (yet plausible) future, it is safe to say that you have never seen a film like ‘Gates of Hell.’”
In keeping with Mitchell’s self-proclaimed expertise in “reaching the ‘under-40’ demographic,” the WND teaser is replete with special effects borrowed from MTV and the “Blair Witch Project.” It begins with a close-up of Mitchell who, clad in a beanie and black jacket and manipulated using computer effects to look like a comic book image of himself, screams “The Zulus are coming!” – a line that some (particularly the over-40 crowd) are more likely to associate with the 1964 feature film “Zulu,” widely criticized for its racist portrayal of blacks. Next, it cuts to documentary-style footage of a black man who traipses through the woods with a “documentarian” and then shoots an “abortionist” dead who is leaving the home of his mistress.
After that, we return to the computer-enhanced Mitchell, who tells us more about his latest work: “If you like debating politics, you will love it. If you're pro-life, you'll be mesmerized. If you're pro-choice, you just might crap your pants. If you're black, this is your movie. If you’re not black, buy the film anyway and watch it with your black friends – because first and foremost, Gates of Hell is a black film with a largely black cast, and focuses primarily on black issues.”
Mitchell’s claim that this film is about “black issues” is based on the Christian right meme that abortion is actually a genocidal tactic perpetrated by racist pseudo-liberals against black America. Like most conspiracy theories, it is based on a kernel of evidence: in this case, the fact that Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood in 1916, was in favor of eugenics and can be linked to racist organizations. (Planned Parenthood today has entirely divorced itself from this aspect of its history.)
Former presidential candidate Herman Cain did anti-abortion activists a favor by introducing this claim into the mainstream, asserting last fall that abortion clinics are deliberately built in black communities as part of a “planned genocide” against black Americans. A 2011 report by the Guttmacher Institute, an organization dedicated to sexual and reproductive health, firmly refutes this claim, noting that fewer than one in 10 abortion clinics are located in predominantly black neighborhoods. The fact that black women have higher abortion rates than white women, the institute said in 2009, is “directly linked to their higher rates of unintended pregnancy, which in turn reflect pervasive health disparities more generally.”
But such facts obviously don’t bother Mitchell, who, in keeping with his effort to pretend his film is about “black issues,” says in the WND teaser that the February release date is timed “to commemorate black history month.” (This isn’t the first time Mitchell has invoked civil rights to make a point: In a 2009 video supporting a proposed Ugandan bill that would have made homosexuality punishable by death, he quoted Martin Luther King Jr.)
The WND teaser features praise from some major players on the Christian right, including Matt Barber of the ultraconservative, anti-gay Liberty Counsel and Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group known for descending en masse on small women’s health clinics to harass workers and women exercising their right to reproductive freedom. It is also endorsed by a supposed former Black Panther who goes by the nickname “Trimelda.”
Though he isn’t listed as a fan of Mitchell’s film, another anti-abortion activist to embrace the “black genocide” concept is Rev. Donald Spitz, a longtime anti-black racist with a penchant for posting among his list of “Current News Stories for Christians” articles about violent crimes committed by blacks. Spitz, who is best known for his revolting Army of God website, celebrates as “heroes of the faith” violent criminals who, saying they were called to their work directly by God, have killed abortion providers, their bodyguards, and clinic staffers. As it happens – and contrary to the fantasy of Mitchell & co. – all of these celebrated murderers have been white.