Really. I'm not sure you can reconcile it, or even have to. It's a work of great beauty and great ugliness. There's no doubt it's racist and offensive. It's been scorned as much as it's been celebrated. But it's a creative marvel and pretty much laid the groundwork for the modern film language. It expanded the scope of cinema into a great artform. It's a sobbering historical document about the politics and attitudes (ignorance) of America and of it's director. A powerful film which cannot be ignored. The attitudes to a large extent have changed but the cinematic techniques that Griffith contributed are firmly entrenched.