Do the Wrong Thing Part Three: Spike Lee–Head Nigga in Charge

It was Rachel Jeantel, the prosecution’s star witness against George Zimmerman, who has given me, even as a plain dumb white guy, complete permission to use the terminology, “Nigga.” She asserts it has absolutely no racial or negative connotations whatsoever. And Ms Jeantel has recently graduated from high school. So obviously she’s qualified to represent the best and brightest of the “black community” on the matter.

Jeantel’s academic progression mind you, took what her benefactors themselves admit was a “village.” It was more like an entire industry dedicated to making good on the mid-trial boasts of her race-based defenders of honor. This again, due to the response of the jury and the public, and much of the “black community” itself, to her moronic demeanor and belligerent performance in the Zimmerman trial. It became a matter of racial pride to “prove” that she wasn’t just a “Dumb Nigga.” And fine, I’ll take 1111mages_thumb1nothing away from her or the multi-incorporated nation-state of Afro-Americanica that spent billions of dollars and thousands of man-hours (person hours) to get her through the 12th grade. (She and Ricky from Trailer Park Boys can be proud—though Ricky completed his grade 12 in jail on his own…) Praise the Lord. The combined efforts of America’s entire “black community” got Rachel Jeantel through high school. That’s a good thing.

OK, let’s be totally honest now: the boast made by Rachel Jeantel’s black social-working mafia was to actually guarantee a full college scholarship. But then, nobody wants to be accused of beating up on the “retarded” kid. (Even though that’s her terminology.) By the same token, it’s incomprehensible to me that that the “black2a0c30e0634163bbfccf5de28e7e98cdc8e8 community” or any subset of it would take upon itself the likes of a Rachel Jeantel to rub in my ruddy white face as the vanguard of the new Black America. Rachel Jeantel is not an ensign signaling the brilliance of African-American potential to all nations. No. Let’s be fair. Rachel Jeantel is not the brightest bulb in the magnificent, sparkling bright theatre marquee of black America. America–nay, the world, is filled with brilliant minds, bodies, talents, wisdom and artistry possessed by fellow human beings of black, African descent. Rachel Jeantel just isn’t one of them.

How is it then, that so much of the “black community” so obviously feels that admitting that 9ed950ac2b8a7cc0fa8e430b08adf87199fb[1]Rachel Jeantel is an idiot and a bad witness would be confessing the inferiority of the entire “black community?” That’s easy. It’s because, somewhere in the mid-1980’s, the children of the original Civil Rights activists, having benefitted from all the Constitutional, legal, and governmentally-enforced “progress” fought for by their parents, developed as a result, a total sense of “entitlement,” based upon the sentiment, “you exploited my people for four-hundred years, now it’s payback time…” All the educational curriculum changes, the “black history” or “black studies” texts that evolved, much of which was intended to establish parity and equality, only reinforced this sense of entitlement, and taught subsequent generations of black youth why they should hate white people and expect special treatment.

http://llenrad.com/its-a-nigga-thang-maybe-you-would-understand/

While this generation of young black Americans hasn’t personally suffered any significant legal or Constitutional, much less physical persecution, they “read about it.” Or more accurately, had it read to them. Or they saw it in a movie by geniuses like Spike Lee. They were told in highly dramatized and overly-romanticized intonations about all the great black people who ever lived and how the world would be living in caves without them. (Yes, literally.) download_thumb1They are still taught however, that second-class citizenship and institutionalized “racism” in America is a permanent fixture, not a thing of the past. They have been told it all just went underground, and the American dream is still just for white people. Oddly enough they’re still hearing that from billionaires like Oprah Winfrey, and multi-millionaire cinema directors like Spike Lee, while enjoying a two-term, soundly re-elected black president of the United States.

http://humor.gunaxin.com/al-sharpton-idiot-racist/69264

In the “Great Society,” there developed a myth in the “black community,” a doctrine enforced by a sort of “Stockholm Syndrome” of ghettoi-see-you-learned-ebonics-my-nigga_t fellowship, that there’s nothing at all wrong with being a “Dumb Nigga.” Nigga-ness was canonized. Nigga-talk became “Ebonics,” and the “thug life” became “black male culture,” or a “fashion statement.”

http://llenrad.com/its-a-nigga-thang-maybe-you-would-understand/

Except for backwater, redneck rural pockets and a few ignorant urban trailerparks, does the “black community” really think there is a whole nation of white dudes out there who watch Jesse breaking-bad-jesse_thumbPinkman in Breaking Bad and says to itself, he’s just disadvantaged? He’s misunderstood. What a brilliant young man! He just needs a chance. And then there’s Badger and Skinny Pete. A couple of potential Rhodes Scholars? Is that what the average white Americanimages-8_thumb5 would think? Do these obvious dolts only need a “village” to get them on the road to enlightenment and wisdom? Or, to make a finer point of it, moving down the dumbass evolutionary chain, we come to Todd. A-moral, quasi-autistic, sociopathic white-supremist, yeah, but a quick study with lots of potential? Does he just need to be pointed in the right direction? Or do we, the common, white, core-demographic of the show write him off as an ignorant hick without a lick of common sense, 36120_thumb1and a danger to himself and others? Is “white America” mourning the loss of his whole clan of moronic, Aryan master-goofs?

Not really. No.

Spike Lee, actually is one of “black America’s” best and brightest (so I’m told)  He was also one of the first major cling-ons to grasp the chance to get his irrelevant face back into the media after the Trayvon Martin shooting, and he likewise immediately clinged-on to the sad ending of Michael Brown. You wouldn’t think so to listen to him talk, but Spike Lee had a humble, but pretty idyllic childhood and followed a pretty smooth career path to major success.

Shelton “Spike” Lee is an African American filmmaker who adamantly believes that “racism is woven into the very fabric of America.”
Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia on March 20, 1957. Soon thereafter his family moved to Brooklyn, New York, where Lee was raised. His fatherspikelee060814_2_198 (1) was a jazz musician, his mother a teacher. After graduating from Morehouse College in 1979 with a BA in mass communication, Lee attended the graduate film program at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. There he began producing short, independent films and earned a Master of Fine Arts in film & television.

Lee is immensely wealthy, with a net worth of approximately $40 million. In 1998 he and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, purchased a three-story, five-bedroom, 8,292-square-foot New York City townhouse for $16.6 million. The dwelling has original-detail fireplaces, an interior courtyard, a library, an elevator, and staff quarters. In 2013 Lee put his home on the market, with an asking price of $32 million.

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1990

Spike’s mother taught African-American literature at an all-white school. Spike resented her for that. Lee is also still harboring father issues, related to all the stereotypes you might expect from having a black jazz musician for a father. These tensions were exacerbated after his mother died and his father remarried a white Jewish woman.

http://monmouthu12.blogspot.com/p/freudian-analysis-of-spike-lee.html

Lee was asked about this topic in a 1991 interview with Playboy magazine 181195960and said: “I never see black men with fine white women. They be ugly. Mugly, dogs. And you always see white men with good-looking black women.” When the interviewer then made reference to a prior statement where Lee had vowed never to become romantically involved with white women, the filmmaker replied: “I don’t need the trouble. Like I don’t go for that, don’t like that sh*t. I just don’t find white women attractive, that’s all. And it’s way too many fine black women out there.”

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1990

Spike Lee’s own wife, Tonya Lewis, was an exercise in marrying “up.” She comes from a circle of New York elite black families that go back generations in their money and influence. And to be honest, for all Spike’s protestations, she’s lighter skinned than George Zimmerman. But not quite as light I suppose as his step mother.

Bill Lee has said their problems started with his son’s intolerance of his interracial second marriage. The family feud began in 1976, when Spike Lee’s mother Jacquelyn died of cancer and Susan Kaplan moved in with 01LEE-nyregion-articleLargeBill. Spike has been quoted as saying, “my mother wasn’t even cold in her grave.”

Bad feelings intensified with Jungle Fever, Spike Lee’s film on White-Black romantic relationships.[6] “That’s directly talking about me and my wife in a negative way,” said Bill Lee, who has a son, Arnold Tone Kaplan Lee, by his present wife.[6] Mrs. Lee has said, “I’ve never been a Spike Lee fan.”[6] In 1992, when Bill Lee asked his son for a few thousand dollars to cover household expenses, Spike turned him down “and his attitude was very insulting,” said Bill Lee in 1994.[6]

Asked if he would give his side of the story, Spike Lee stated, “Why should I dignify comments my father said, or play it out in a public forum?”[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Lee_(musician)

But of course, Spike Lee had just given his side of the story in a very public venue when he made Jungle Fever.

In spite of most of Lee’s film work being awkward, b3a65a6eb88007329d854b664ca6455b_xla[1]cheesy, clumsy and smothered in a thick bag of “blackness” deliberately designed to pander to the “Negro” while490x490xspike-lee-trayvon-ebony.jpg alienating the “White-o,” Spike Lee emerged as the only serious “black” film maker of the 1980’s generation. He made his money essentially being the hip-hop artist of feature films. He’s most famous for Do the Right Thing, which is something of a primer on how to be a faithful and true “Dumb Nigga.” His career benefitted from cultural timing heavily, like the popular rise of “blackness” and “gangsta rap” in the general American social and artistic communities. His actual writing and overall filmmaking skills have been, and remain, somewhat rudimentary. His ability to focus and deliver his “vision” in his work is chiefly hindered by the fact that clearly, the overall message he wants to convey to the world is “F**k You Whitey.” The sentiment leaks through everything he does, so most of his work tends to smell like rotting cheese here and there.

Spike Lee’s transparent Oscar bid Miracle at St. Anna isn’t good, but its criclint-eastwood3_thumb1tical drubbing reveals the cultural underestimation of a great director.

Every once in a while Spike Lee likes to say “fuck you,” or, as one of his characters says in his latest movie: “Progress? Nigga please.” Do the Right Thing was something of a cuss-out, as was Bamboozled and School Daze. One could argue When the Levees Broke is too, but I’d argue it’s a poetic cry for justice, an opera of sorts.

This time Lee almost literally said fuck you to Clint Eastwood, one of cinema’s reigning Great Directors, bashing his “white” Flags of Our Fathers and seemingly dismissing his Oscar-l080930_miracle_spike_thumb1nominated Letters from Iwo Jima. Why go after Clint? Maybe Lee wanted buzz for his new movie, Miracle at St. Anna. Or maybe he simply tired of Eastwood and Scorsese winning Oscars while his masterpiece Do the Right Thing sits at #96 of AFI’s Top 100 movies—just added last year, almost a decade after the list’s inception. I think he’d prefer to be off the list entirely. Surely Lee has a right to be a sore winner. He’s by far the most well-known and critically respected black director living today; there aren’t many to begin with, and this is the thanks he gets?

http://splicetoday.com/moving-pictures/the-angry-black-man

Spike Lee has long been openly critical of mixed race couples, and has frequently taken to pissing and moaning about other “race” films and their directors, notably Quentin Tarantino and his Django Unchained, which he refused to see. Samuel L Jackson, who was featured in the film, answers Lee in a playboy interview:

Spike saying “I’m not going to see Django because it’s an insult to my ancestors”? It’s fine if you think that, but then you have nothing else to say about the movie, period, because you don’t know if Quentin insulted yourreg_634.ab.samuel.041112_thumb1 ancestors or not. On the other hand, Louis Farrakhan, who these blackest of black people say speaks the truth and expresses the vitriol of the angry black man, can look at the movie and go, “Goddamn, that’s a great fucking movie. Quentin Tarantino told the truth.” Dick Gregory’s seen the movie 12 fucking times. I respect what they have to say more than anybody else, because they’ve been through it. They walked the walk with Dr. King. Some of the bullshit criticisms about Django come from people who don’t understand the genre and who didn’t live through that era. They think they need to wave a flag of blackness that they don’t necessarily have the credentials to wave.

http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2013/09/samuel_l_jackson_on_spike_lee_and_quentin_tarantino.html

Jamie Foxx, who starred in Django Unchained had a word for Spike as well:reg_634.django3.mh.052912_thumb2

“The question for me is: where’s Spike Lee coming from?” Foxx asked. “He didn’t like Whoopi Goldberg, he doesn’t like Tyler Perry, he doesn’t like anybody, I think he’s sort of run his course.”

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/jamie-foxx-calls-spike-lee-irresponsible-criticizing-quentin-tarantino-73731/

Where Spike Lee is coming from was plainly detailed in a great scene played by Denzel Washington in X.

Spike Lee’s alter ego

 

Simply put, Spike Lee imagines himself to be the dues-paid, ascended cinematic spokesman for all black people everywhere. He may not have Oscars on his shelf, he may be banging his head against the “white ceiling” of the Academy, his career and earning potential may be hampered by the racism of the box-office, but he’s damned-well notimages (87) going to be upstaged in the portrayal of “black history” by some pasty white Italian-American boy from Tennessee who’s only filmmaking credential is he worked in a video rental shop. He’s damned well not going to have to hustle for dimes on the rough streets of South Central to get a film together, while Tyler Perry’s “coonery and buffoonery” rolls in the big bucks and Hollywood producers and dirstributors beg for more.

Spike Lee may have had street cred in youth. Obviously he wants to hang onto that more than anything in the world. But that was a long time ago. That was a lifetime ago. Mostly what he is now is called a, “bougie black.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X0x1Pra3tQ

While Clint Eastwood might be conditionally faulted for not randomly throwing a token black face in either part of his WWII filmic duo, Flags of our Fathers, and Letters from Iwo Jima, Eastwood is quite right when he responds to Spike Lee’s complaints, to point out that the former focuses on the small group that raises the flag in the famous photo and film sequence of that war, none of whom were black. At the time, black servicemen fought in segregated units so nobody in their vicinity would likely be “colored” either. The latter film is all from the Japanese perspective. There are obviously no “colored” Japanese troops. Lee argues that some black servicemen actually did land on Iwo Jima. But that’s not the point. The point is, what were they doing and where were they doing it?

 

Lee’s argument is this:

“Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total, and there was not one Negro actor on the screen,” Lee said at the Cannes Film Festival. “In his version of Iwo Jima, Negro soldiers did not exist.” Eastwood’s counter: “Has he ever studied history? [African-American soldiers] didn’t raise the flag,” he {Eastwood} said. “If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, they’d say, “This guy’s lost hisdownload (34) mind.'” Eastwood also told Lee to “shut his face,” prompting Lee to amplify the racism charge: “[Eastwood] is not my father and we’re not on a plantation, either,” he fumed. “I’m not making this up. I know history.”

History, as it turns out, is on both their sides. Lee is correct that African-Americans played an instrumental role in World War II, in which more than 1 million black servicemen helped defeat the Axis Powers. Those efforts include significant contributions to the fight for Iwo Jima. An estimated 700 to 900 African-American soldiers participated in the epic island battle, many of whom were Marines trained in segregated boot camps at Montford Point, within Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Those soldiers were restricted from front-line combat duty, but they played integral noncombat roles….

Eastwood’s portrayal of the specific battle is, if narrow, also essentially accurate. Flags Of Our Fathers zeroes in on the soldiers who hoisted the clinteastwood2U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, and this task, memorialized in a famous staged photograph, was accomplished by five white servicemen and a sixth, Ira Hayes, of Pima Indian descent. (His other entry in the Iwo Jima category, Letters from Iwo Jima, is told largely from the perspective of Japanese soldiers.)

Eastwood is also correct that black soldiers represented a small fraction of the total force deployed on the island. That argument doesn’t placate Yvonne Latty, a New York University professor and author of a book about African-American veterans. Black soldiers “had the most dangerous job,” she says. “If you were going to show the soldiers’ landing, you’d need to show [African-Americans] on the beach.” In Flags of Our Fathers, which shows the landing in significant detail, African-Americans appear only in fleeting cutaway shots and in a photograph during the film’s closing credits.

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1812972,00.html

In Spike Lee’s world of black self-importance, the main thing is to throw positive black role models into the faces of black audiences, whom he presumes are just dying to spend their ticket money to be educated. I suppose that’s why he’s known as the greatest black USMC-C-Iwo-p17bdirector in the world, and not the greatest director in the world.

Now, there’s nothing stopping some rich black investor from giving Spike Lee a ship-ton of money to make an Iwo Jima movie about Thomas McPhatter, Lee’s primary source for the deep inside story of the black American experience of single-handedly taking that Island from the Japanese.

Mr McPhatter, who went on to serve in Vietnam and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the US navy, even had a part in the raising of the flag. “The man who put the first flag up on Iwo aaaaaJima got a piece of pipe from me to put the flag up on,” he says. That, too, is absent from the film.

“Of all the movies that have been made of Iwo Jima, you never see a black face,” said Mr McPhatter. “This is the last straw. I feel like I’ve been denied, I’ve been insulted, I’ve been mistreated. But what can you do? We still have a strong underlying force in my country of rabid racism.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/oct/20/usa.film

With all due respect for Mr McPhatter, the cinematic story of the black ammunition and support images (84)units at Iwo Jima would consist of two hours of “colored” Marines getting blown up and shot all to hell trying to haul stuff onto the beach, highlighted at the end, by some white guy wandering down to ask Thomas McPhatter if he’s got a pipe or a pole or something handy to put a flag on. As the flag is raised moments later, all the black Marines wold look up the hill to see Old Glory rise on Mount Suribatchi.

“That’s my pipe!” McPhatter would shout. (All the Negroes cheer.)

Roll End Credits.

http://www.montfordpointmarines.com/Rev%20McPhatter.pdf

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/utsandiego/obituary.aspx?n=thomas-h-mcphatter&pid=126998223

Spike Lee did of course, counter efforts from grumpy old war-film directors like Clint Eastwood with a would-be WWII epic of his own: Miracle at St Anna. It did a piddling boxoffice, got very mixed reviews, mostly bad, and in general approximated what you’d end up with if yourimages (92) main goal was to show black soldiers in combat roles in WWII, and all other facets of the film, like a plot, dialogue, entertainment value, or an intrinsic, universal reason for anyone having any interest in the story, were secondary.

Miracle at St. Anna premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival before it was released on September 26, 2008. It was met with mostly negative reviews from critics and drew controversy in Italy over its historical accuracy. During its theatrical run, Miracle at St. Anna was a box office disappointment, grossing only $9.2 million worldwide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_at_St._Anna

There was one film you may recall, that did put black servicemen in exciting combat roles, was fairly historically accurate, and put a lot of positive black faces on the screen. That would be 220px-African-americans-wwii-058Red Tails. It was a major work of love for George Lucas, who ended up putting a bunch of his own money into it to get it made. Much preemptive race-baiting was tendered by old George as it was due for release in 2012. He claimed it had been rejected by all of Hollywood’s distributors and production companies because they didn’t know how to market it without any white people in the film. But Lucas hung in there, elicited the benefits of the new social media circles of hype as the film became a “progressive” and “black” social cause, and eventually the film found a decent market and a small amount of critical success. However, though it got an overall positive recommendation, this Rotten Tomatoes review explains:

Critics Consensus: Despite a worthy fact-based story and obvious good intentions, Red Tails suffers from one-dimensional characters, corny dialogue, and heaps of clichés.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/red-tails/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/10/george-lucas-hollywood-download (36)di_n_1197227.html

Red Tails received a nomination at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards for “Choice Action Movie“,[50][N 6] and was also nominated at the 2012 BET Awards for “Best Movie”.[51]

Later, in February 2013, Red Tails won the NAACP Image Award in the categories of “Outstanding Motion Picture” and “Outstanding Independent Motion Picture” at the 44th NAACP Image Awards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Tails

But not all students and defenders of black history were so happy with it:

Adolph Reed, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, said the film “trivializes segregation in the military by reducing it to a matter of bad or outmoded attitudes. The ironic effect is significant understatement of both the obstacles the Tuskegee airmen<sic> faced and their actual accomplishments by rendering them as backdrop for a blackface, slapped-together remake of Top Gun.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Tails

Don’t be silly. It was a blackface, slapped-together remake of Star Wars, not Top Gun.

A lot of black voices on blogs and black media cry out for Spike Lee to keep setting tspike-lee-black-power-700x400hese sorts of “white” entertainment industry “offenders” straight, to answer back and correct the historical record. Show us the struggle of emerging black lesbians in the urban northeast they cry—not this Hollywood Red Tail nonsense! (Yes, I actually read that here: ) And while Lee whines constantly about other major directors not including black faces in big Hollywood productions, it’s clear that when black casts are included, even when the whole cast is black, or major, featured stars are black, it’s just never good enough for Spike Lee.download (38)

The Magical Negro is a supporting stock character in American cinema who is portrayed as coming to the aid of a film’s white protagonists.[1] These characters, who often possess special insight or mystical powers, have been a long tradition in American fiction.[2]

john-coffeySpike Lee, while discussing films with students at Washington State University and at Yale University, said he was dismayed at Hollywood‘s decision to continue using the premise; he noted that the films The Green Mile and The Legend of Bagger Vance used the “super-duper magical Negro”.[3][4][5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_Negro

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Magical_Negro_occurrences_in_fiction

http://www.yale.edu/opa/arc-ybc/v29.n21/story3.html

Cuba Gooding Jr was something of the Jackie Robinson of WWII movies. He was on deck at MV5BMTIzMzk4NjQ2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzc3ODI4._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_AL_Pearl Harbor, a major blockbuster. He played the first black Navy diver in Men of Honor. He was in Tuskeegee Airmen. When he finally won an Oscar, Spike Lee essentially called him an Uncle Tom for thanking Jesus and doing a back flip onstage at the ceremony. Spike also took a shot at Ving Rhames for giving his Golden Globe award to Jack Lemon as a token of his respect.

Lee, whose latest film, Bamboozled, satirizes the media’s depiction of blacks, says that there’s no longer any excusedownload (35) for African-Americans to degrade themselves on national television. “My people have to wake up and realize what’s going on and our responsibility in it,” he says. “I mean, back in the day we didn’t have a choice. Hattie McDaniel and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson didn’t have a choice. Nowadays we don’t have to do this stuff. So anything you do is on you.” A UPN rep had “no comment” on Lee’s remarks.

…In the Newsweek article, on sale this week, Lee also slams Ving Rhames and images (85)Cuba Gooding Jr. for the way they accepted awards. (Rhames gave his Golden Globe to Jack Lemmon and Gooding did a back flip after winning his Oscar).

“When you give an award to a man you never met in your life, what do you expect? That sent chills down my spine, to see him do that to an award he earned,” groans Lee. “The same with Cuba spinning on his head. What was that? But you notice neither has stopped working since. That kind of entertainment will keep you working.”

http://www.tvguide.com/news/spike-lee-friend-40450.aspx

Spike Lee doesn’t live in the ‘hood. He’s picked for himself an extremely light-skinned wife hooked into an imageselite social circle of longtime-affluent black New York socialite families. He’s produced a family of light-skinned, spoiled-rich children. He lives in an exclusive compound with a central courtyard and servantsdownload quarters, in the most expensive part of Manhattan. He lectures other black artists nonstop about their portrayal of black people in racist stereotypes, and yet he’s eager to run down to places like Ferguson Missouri, play the homey, hang out in the street with black thugs losing their drawers, underpants hanging in the breeze, drinking malt liquor and Purple images (1)Drank, cheering on their rioting and looting as if that’s model “black” behavior. His own work is filled with racism, vulgarity, cartoon-Negroes and all-‘round bad black role models. Spike can’t even decide for himself which way he wants it: “Dumb Nigga,” or wealthy, educated, refined socialite and entrepreneur. He thinks if he loses all of the “Dumb Nigga” in himself it would be turning “white,” so he clings desperately to that angry, damaged little black boy inside. He wants his lifetime courtside seat at the ballgame, but he wants to pretend he’s still humping pizza’s around for Sal’s Famous Pizzeria to make ends meet at the same time. He enters forums of higher education and delivers profanity-based lectures against the “white” encroachment on “black culture” featuring the NBA’s favorite epithet every other word and his student minious in the halls of learning applaud his crude diatribes as if it was a combination of poetry and scripture. That’s being “authentically” black. That’s the image Spike Lee imagines to be the standard of black excellence.

Maybe Cuba Gooding Jr just loves Jesus and likes spinning on his head. Maybe Ving Rhames actually admires Jack Lemmon and thinks the old master of the craft should have a trophy of some sort before he kicks off. Maybe Spike Lee just refuses to accept the notion that black people might actually like images (96)the burlesque “blackness” of Tyler Perry’s comedy and when Perry performs it, it’s because he chooses to perform it, and when his very large audience of fans watch it, they’re choosing to support it. Or perhaps it simply blows Lee’s mind that both black and white audiences find something universally enjoyable about Perry’s work, Gooding’s work, Rhames work, Tarantino’s work, and the combined creative product of all those others he chooses to pick apart, whereas, in his own work, he’s having to settle for playing to what he himself terms a “niche” audience. Maybe the “black community” and black entertainers he chastises are very well-aware they have a choice, and that choice simply isn’t Spike Lee. Whatever his motivation, it appears that Spike has essentially appointed himself to the permanent office of divine arbiter of all people, places and things related to being black and entertaining.

At a Harvard panel on race on Monday, Spike Lee criticized Will Smith for agreeing to play a mystical caddy to Matt Damon’s golden boy in The Legend of Bagger Vance.

According to the New York Post, Lee referred to the movie as “Driving Mr. Damon” for painting such a pretty picture of racial relations in the images (93)Depression-era South.

In real life, black men were being “castrated and lynched left and right,” the Boston Globe quotes Lee as saying. “With all that going on, why are you [expletive] trying to teach Matt Damon a golf swing?”

Could it be that Lee is still miffed that Smith chose to back Michael Mann, instead of Lee, as the director for Ali?

Smith told Mr. Showbiz in a recent interview that he couldn’t initially get past the “Yes, sirs” his character had to say in the script, but finally decided that the role and the story were intriguing enough for him to commit. The Robert Redford movie has so far seen so-so reviews and middling box-images (94)office business.

Lee made similar criticisms earlier of The Patriot, which he accused of “whitewashing … history,” saying that the Revolutionary War flick “dodged around, skirted about, or completely ignored slavery.”

Those who have met with Lee’s wrath before include Quentin Tarantino (for liberal use of the word “nigger” in Pulp Fiction) and “Show me the money” Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (who is parodied in Lee’s film Bamboozled).

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=113438

And of course, we have this observation in rebuttal from one of Spike Lee’s frequent targets:

I spoke to Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. about his role in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” as Carter, a colleague and friend of Cecil, the character played by Forest Whitaker.images (95)

The whole idea behind it and reason I was so attracted to this screenplay was that it is an expose of the times all the way back from slavery to the inauguration of Barack Obama, and specifically the turmoil of the era after JFK and Martin Luther King were assassinated.  There were different thoughts about how best to respond to racism.  One was the view of Martin Luther King, Jr. mindset download (40)that we should be seen as accessible and approachable and lead by example, and the other more aggressive frame of mind, the “by any means necessary” views of the Black Panthers and Malcolm X.  What’s beautifully expressed in this movie is how it doesn’t alienate people but shows these two approaches in a way that’s accessible and open and un-opinionated.  That’s what makes Lee Daniels such a brilliant director.  I always say to him, “If Spike Lee did this movie, no one would see it.  He would have had his opinions and his personal beliefs encroaching on it.

http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/moviemom/2013/08/interview-cuba-gooding-jr-of-lee-daniels-the-butler.html#ixzz3HDCkAJFZ

Lee’s best film in my opinion however, would be X, the story of Malcolm X. To be fair it was a well told, shot, edited and conceived story with a couple of notable exceptions:

First, Lee couldn’t resist over and over and over again the awkward, film-school contrivance of foreshadowing Malcolm’s assassination by the constant intrusion of exploding, echoing, thundering flashbulbs from the cameras of reporters. Bang. Bang. Pop. Pop.  Boom. All through the damned movie. Yeah yeah, we know he’s going to get shot Spike… And then, just when you were ready to forgive the flashbulbs, instead of ending the movie like a normal human being spike-lee-hobbit_thumb2would, at the end—he abruptly digresses into a flash-ahead, flash-nowhere, confuso-flash to a bunch of kids in elementary school standing at their desks saying, “I am Malcolm X… I am Malcolm X… I am Malcolm X.” Well, no you aren’t. And Spike Lee for one, didn’t apparently learn a damned thing from his so-called research of El Haj Malik El Shabazz.

For one thing, Malcolm X didn’t die “Malcolm X.” So not even Malcolm X was “Malcolm X” by the time he’d completed his earthly mission. It was as if Spike thought the “Dumb Niggas” out in the theatre weren’t going to get the point so he had to throw in an Obama-style community organization meeting at the end to explain it to Rachel Jeantel and her friends. He wanted the local hoodies to be coming out of the theatre with a memorable catch phrase. I’m sure that’s a great marketing gimmick that in its day played well in the “hood.” Today’s youth however, are starting to consider it a joke:

I am definitely not Malcolm X

 

That said, still, every good Leftist, neo-hippy, guilted-out white liberal will be right there with Spike on the protest-era bandwagon, download-6_thumb1back in a nostalgic euphoria full of chanting and sloganing and picket signs with clever snippets of sophomoric wisdom hastily scribbled on them in Sharpie. Hence, today we have a veritable renaissance of little Trayvon marchers dressed in hoodies waving Skittles and iced tea, and riot-monkeys in Fergusson taunting the local trayving200_thumb1cops with their hands up, begging them not to shoot. Civil disobedience. Street theatre. It’s the Left’s gift to American culture, a holdover from the great riots and protests of the 1960’s. It’s passive-aggressive genius of course, designed to get the cops to shoot you. The object is a riot. The object is to get photographic evidence of police brutality, even if you have to spend all night and burn down your own neighborhood to provoke it.

The sole “Spike Lee Joint” I absolutely loved, and have no complaints about whatsoever, for which I have nothing but praise, is download-3_thumb1Passing Strange. That has everything to do with its actual writers, performers, and its real director, (Mark Stewart, who goes simply by, “Stew,”) and almost nothing to do with Spike Lee’s contribution, which was to record the finished product and make money off of it.

But, let’s look at Spike Lee’s real claim to fame: Do the Right Thing. Frankly, it should have been titled: Do the Wrong Thing. And yes, I know I’m not the first, nor will I be the last to make that pun. It could also have been titled:

Nigga’s got a Right!

In Do the Right Thing,  Spike Lee plays Mookie. He’s a deadbeat dad and malingering loaf, who works for Sal, the last of a generation of the Italian-American residents of the ‘hood. Sal runs a pizzeria, in which he hopes to maintain his heritage via posting pictures ofimages_thumb10 famous Italian-Americans on his wall, playing Italian music, and in general maintaining an Italian theme to his Italian premises. He’s got a strict rule about no boom boxes–a very big period fad in the “black community” when the film came out 25 years ago as of this writing–and he’s resisted leaving the neighborhood for years in spite of the urging of his sons who think he’s too nostalgic for his own good.

You can skip the entire first part of the movie because its just a lot of poorly lit, shot, do-the-right-thing-1989-rosie-perez-spike-lee-spike-lee-top-movieswritten and acted, aimless ambiance about Mookie’s environment, his eccentric neighbors and charming friends, intended to show us all how harmless and loveable they all are. It’s the part of the disaster movie where we meet and get to identify with all the characters who are going to end up trapped in a burning building or in an inverted ocean liner under the sea. Yeah-yeah. Slice of period black culture. Consider your childhood validated Spike. By the end of the film however, a handful of his pals become very aggressive social agitators. It becomes a matter of honor to images-11_thumb1bend Sal’s will until he concedes to get some “brothers” up on his trophy-photo wall, which is covered with the faces of famous Italian-Americans. One evening, this little posse bursts into his premises and confronts Sal with a lot of threatening demands about how he’d better get some black faces on his wall pretty soon, screamed right into his face, over the grating thump and wail of a very loud boom box. Sal argues with them for a long time, and then, after repeated warnings, when they refuse to shut off the boom box, Sal smashes it with a baseball bat.

The box’s owner, a “Gentle Giant” named Raheem, pulls Sal across the counter and begins to trounce him and choke him with insane impunity. A riot ensues and spills out into the street. The cops arrive to find Sal being strangled by Raheem, and it takes two cops and Sals’s1-gOu9NlRaMLouBd8oY4RcUg_thumb1 boys as helpers to eventually pull the “Gentle Giant” off of Sal, but then, apparently because even in Lee’s depiction, Raheem is still far from surrendering peacefully, one of the cops uses a baton to choke Raheem down and apparently teach him a lesson, though not apparently actually wanting to kill him. The cop continues the choke hold, even as his partner protests that Raheem has had enough. Consequently, Raheem is killed in front of what is by then the whole neighborhood.

Raheem_Police_Club_thumb1After the cops are gone and Raheem is hauled away and it’s all over, while the crowd has started to calm down, Mookie takes the very calculated opportunity to go over, get a trash can, calmly walk up to Sal’s front window and throw it through—thus sparking the complete pillaging of Sal’s shop, culminated by its torching by Smiley, who serves essentially as the village idiot.

Spike Lee’s message is clearly: Be true to the “Dumb Nigga” Inside You.

Did Mookie do the right thing?

Movie watchers have argued whether or not Mookie did the right thing by throwing the garbage can through Sal’s window. Though he destroyedo-SPIKE-LEE-facebook_thumb1 Sal’s pizzeria, it also distracted the mob from killing Sal himself. Spike doesn’t take too kindly to the question. In Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, a book about the political, social and history of the movie, Lee noted that only white viewers have ever asked him this question, revealing, in his opinion, that they value white property (Sal’s Pizzeria) over the black life (Radio Raheem).

http://madamenoire.com/213236/bet-you-didnt-know-secrets-behind-the-making-of-do-the-right-thing/9/#sthash.cZnq5O6H.dpuf

There is only one way to characterize Spike Lee’s claim that only white viewers ever ask if Mookie really did the right thing. He’s lying. Here’s one of many “credentialed” or “authentic” black reviewers that proves him wrong:

Do the Right Thing is still a powerful movie. But today many of the scenes that elicited cheers seem off the mark.

Sal’s racist son Pino tries to persuade his father to leave Bed-Stuy because black people didn’t want them there. Sal, played by Danny Aiello, defends the neighborhood, expressing spike-lee1_thumb1his pride that the people there had grown up on his food. Didn’t Sal have every right to be there?

And what of the supposed triumph at the end of the movie when Smiley pastes up a photo of MLK and Malcolm X on Sal’s Wall of Fame?

Watching it this time around, I found myself wishing to the very end of the film that the inevitable wouldn’t happen, that Sal’s pizzeria would not go up in flames at the hands of a black mob.

I am not immune to the charms of black nationalism. I’m a proud Howard University graduate raising my family in the middle of a blackdotherightthingjordans_std.original_ neighborhood in D.C., the Chocolate City. But I am also keenly aware of black nationalism’s lingering contradictions. Today, Bloomingdale, my D.C. neighborhood, is in the throes of gentrification: Yoga studios bump up against public housing projects; cafes clash with methadone clinics; farmers markets displace bodegas. Today, I see dozens of proverbial white men in Celtics jerseys, laying their historic claim to the neighborhood where their ancestors settled but where a black majority has lived for decades.

http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2009/06/why_mookie_did

_the_wrong_thing_in_spike_lees_film_do_the_right_thing.html

Speaking of gentrification…Spike had this to say about that:

Nah. You can’t do that. You can’t just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you’re motherfuckin’ Columbus and kill off the Native Americans. Or what they do in Brazil, what they did to thedownload-8_thumb2 indigenous people. You have to come with respect. There’s a code. There’s people.

I mean, they just move in the neighborhood. You just can’t come in the neighborhood. I’m for democracy and letting everybody live but you gotta have some respect. You can’t just come in when people have a culture that’s been laid down for generations and you come in and now shit gotta change because you’re here? Get the fuck outta here. Can’t do that!

And we had the crystal ball, motherfuckin’ Do the Right Thing with JohnSpike-Lee-Kickstarter_thumb1 Savage’s character, when he rolled his bike over Buggin’ Out’s sneaker. I wrote that script in 1988. He was the first one. How you walking around Brooklyn with a Larry Bird jersey on? You can’t do that. Not in Bed Stuy.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/02/spike-lee-amazing-rant-against-gentrification.html

Spike Lee has the insight to be the “crystal ball” of urban renewal, but obviously doesn’t have the insight to see that he’s taking Sal’s side of the argument. That makes him a liar and a hypocrite.

Let’s review the plot so far:

images-18_thumb1Did Sal kill Raheem? No. It was Raheem nearly killing Sal.

Did Sal start a fight with Raheem? No. Raheem started the fight. Sal didn’t even call the cops. He was too busy getting strangled, and his sons were too busy trying to save his life.

Who’s place was it? Sal’s.

Who’s neighborhood was it? Sal’s. It was founded by Sal’s parents and grandparents and his ethnic people in general going back probably to the laying of the first cobblestone.

Who were the newcomers, the interlopers with no respect for the history and tradition of the neighborhood and its founders? Who’s “Bogarting” the ‘hood in Do the Right Thing? Who’s telling the founding residents of the community what music they have to listen to, and what ethnic icons of adoration they have to revere? Well, since the characters he depicts in Do the Right Thing are all his own  creation, thatimages-19_thumb1 would be Spike Lee. So again I say, by definition, that makes Spike Lee both a liar, and a hypocrite. And deaf, blind, and dumb as a post, not to see it. Or just completely disingenuous. And here’s another blaring legal and ethical point Spike Lee still can’t see, or for that matter, neither can the reviewer examining the film here:

Lee’s script marshals a rich cast of supporting characters, chief among them Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), who paces the streets, blaring Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” on a never-ending loop at full volume, and Buggin’ Out (Giancarlo Esposito), the would-be revolutionary who sits down that afternoon to eat his slice and suddenly notices that the “Wall of Fame” in Sal’s Pizzeria is inhabited only by Italian-Americans (Sinatra, DiMaggio, DeNiro, Pacino). He asks why “there aren’t any brothers on the wall.” Sal replies, not unreasonably, that it’s his place, and when Buggin’ Out gets his own place, he can put whoever he wants on his wall. Buggin’ Out retorts, also sensibly, that there aren’t a lot of Italian-Americans buying pizza in Sal’s joint, so maybe the wall of fame should include some black folks. (“Two valid points,” Lee maintains, on a recent audio commentary.)

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/08/when-spike-lee-became-scary/261434/

Well, no Spike. Those are not both valid points. Buggin’ Out is not a partner in
Sal’s Famous Pizzeria. Kids who walk in off the street and occasionally purchase pie are not co-owners of the establishment. Not even if it’s “Nigga’s” ‘hood now. Random local youth have no legal or moral or ethical say in how a neighborhood proprietor decides to market his operation. Sal defines what is or isn’t a valid design scheme for his own wall. Sal has a valid point. Buggin’ images-21_thumb1Out has a point that might be valid if he actually had anything to say about what goes on Sal’s wall—which he doesn’t. Sal might deem Buggin’ Out’s point to be valid, and adopt his suggestion voluntarily. This of course depends upon what Sal feels might best attract his target clientele, or perhaps discourage a type of customer he’d rather not have to deal with. (That’s why they sometimes pipe loud classical music outside those convenience stores after dark…) Buggin’ Out may not have a valid point at all, because Sal is the validator and invalidator–Sal has God-like power and authority over the “validity” of what goes on his own wall. Spike Lee has no apparent understanding of, or respect for “property rights.”

Nigga’s” got a right…. that, he understands.

From his perspective, obviously Spike thinks he made his case clearly. But, even the way Spike Lee concocts it, Radio Raheem and his posse entered Sal’s restaurant while Sal was peacefully minding his own images-13_thumb1business. It was Raheem and his  friends, who  started a threatening, provocative argument, and blasted annoying music in Sal’s face until he couldn’t think straight. Sal was triple-ganged by Raheem, Buggin’ Out, and Smiley—two “Dumb Nigga’s” and a “Crazy-Ass Nigga.” Yes, they had tried reasoning with Sal briefly earlier in the day. They tried organizing a boycott to get Sal to give in to their demands, all to no avail. (This peaceful and legal strategy lasted for only a couple of hours before they got impatient and frankly, found no support in the community.) This time they announced that they were there essentially to physically force Sal to put up some pictures of black role models on his wall or there would be hell to pay. After many warnings to shut off the boom 4453424506_a6004c15cf_o_thumb1box, Sal destroyed the source of the music. It was not Sal who assaulted Raheem. It was Raheem, who clearly had a “Nigga Moment,” in which he decided it was worth his own life to avenge the lost of his “music,” and teach Sal that “Nigga’s got a right…” and “Don’t nobody disrespect this Nigga…”

What Spike Lee actually points out in Do the Right Thing, is that a “Dumb Nigga” values his ghetto blaster more than his own black life. But neither Spike Lee nor the “black community” wants to admit the fundamental truth of this proposition, nor will they allow any such notion to be entertained outside of “black community” circles.

That’s clearly “Dumb Nigga” thinking. That’s Spike Lee’s thinking. And that obviously makes him just another “Dumb Nigga.” A very rich “Dumb Nigga.” But Spike Lee’s even dumber than that. Spike Lee went to college and got multiple degrees to be as dumb as he is. Spike Lee as an MFA in being dumb. In Lee’s fantasy world5086663_std_thumb1 of “blackness,” Mookie shows up in the morning on Sal’s freshly burned-out doorstep while Sal’s cleaning up the ashes and debris, demanding his wages for the last pay period. In real life Sal would have beaten his head in with the nearest blunt object. In Spike’s personal black wonderland, however, Sal says, “You burned down my shop,” and Mookie replies, “They killed Raheem.” In Spike Lee’s ethical system, that’s even. It’s perfectly sensible. That explains it all. In Spike Lee’s all-wise black fairy-tale, the big bad white man is humbled by Mookie’s simple logic, learns his lesson, concedes the point, and pays up. Sal admits quietly to himself that he brought this all down on himself. No hard feelings.

Watching that scene play out as a plain dumb white guy however, even as Spike Lee wrote them, directed them, I see plainly that Mookie is a weaseley little chiseler. And Sal is a big man with a big heart who realizes that Mookie really is just that stupid. Sal pays up as a point of honor, because Sal has honor, and Mookie doesn’t. But mainly, the kid just isn’t bright enough to ever understand what a self-centered little dickweed he is.

Yeah, you took a stand Mookie. You showed the evil white man. Now man-up and live with the consequences. F’…k your payday.

Back-pay my ass.

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Now, there’s a much easier way to get into “justifying” burning down Sal’s pizza parlor: White cop kills black man. Sal’s the nearest white guy. Take revenge on nearest white guy. It’s blatantly racist, but that works too, for the “Dumb Nigga.” Though Spike Lee ql-0013-lee_thumb1has argued openly that a “Nigga” ain’t capable of racism, in Do the Right Thing, racism is clearly at play when the black mob is dissuaded from going after the Korean shop across the street, because the owner begs them away claiming “I’m just like you.” Spike Lee very clearly shows us a “black community” that is not only markedly racist, but eager to act out their hatred for all non-black races even when

michael_berg_2these neighbors had nothing to do with the dispute at hand. (Take that Reginald Denny…)

http://www.eurweb.com/2012/04/damien-football-williams-who-beat-trucker-reginald-denny-in-la-riots-breaks-silence/

Upon visiting South Africa in the early 90s, Spike Lee told London’s Guardian newspaper that “I seriously wanted to pick up a gun and shoot whites. The only way to resolve matters is by bloodshed.” And if we’re thinking of chalking that crazy remark up to Lee being carried away in his early 30s, not so fast. Flash forward to the present and we can see that Spike Lee has never met a racial metaphor or racist statement he didn’t like to use.

Lee saw Obama’s triumph in the Democrat primary as a chance to move Bill Clinton Democratic Conventionbeyond “massuh Clinton.” As Spike put it, “The Clintons, man, they would lie on a stack of Bibles…I voted for Clinton twice, but that’s over with. These old black politicians say, ‘Ooh, Massuh Clinton was good to us, massuh hired a lot of us, massuh was good!’ Hoo! Charlie Rangel, David Dinkins—they have to understand this is a new day.” Clarence_Thomas_official_SCOTUS_portrait

Of course, Lee has no use to Republican blacks including Justice Clarence Thomas and Gen. Colin Powell, both of whom he accuses of “think[ing] like whites.” Nor does he have any love for tyler-perry-in-madea-goes-to-jailsuccessful black moviemakers like Tyler Perry who he chided for producing “coonery and buffoonery.” Spike’s beef with Perry seems to originate in the fact that Perry is doing something Lee has seemed incapable of doing over the last decade—creating movies that actually make money and draw a crowd. download (44)

Spike Lee has even lashed out at Eddie Murphy, insinuating that he was a race traitor and Uncle Tom for selling out to a movie business dominated by white interests, as well as African American actors Ving Rhames and Cuba Gooding Jr. for behaving in a “servile” way.

http://humanevents.com/2012/03/26/spike-lee-hollywood-hatemonger/

Sounds pretty racist to me. The truth is, Spike’s overtly racist remarks and snide, bigoted personal attacks could fill volumes.

Films like Bamboozled (2000) and Mo’ Better Blues (1990) portrayed Jews as manipulative, evil racists…When Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape beat out Do the Right Thing for the Cannes Film Festival’s Kobal 002coveted Palme d’Or award in 1989, Lee blamed racism, saying, “They’re always looking for their white golden boy.”

In 1991 Lee publicly reflected on how deeply he despised Lilies of the Field, the classic 1963 film depicting a respectful and loving relationship between a black handyman named Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier) and a convent of white nuns. “I hated that movie,” said Lee. “… I felt like putting a rock through the [TV] screen. Later with these nuns! You [Smith] better get outta here before one of ’em [nuns] says that you raped ’em! But we owe a lot to Sidney Poitier, because in order for us to get to where we are today, those films had to be made. And Sidney had to do what he had to do. He was the perfect Negro.”download (45)

In 2004 Lee told Playboy magazine that the NASCAR auto-racing association was a racist enterprise because there was a paucity of blacks among its fans, employees, and participants. Said Lee, “I just imagine hearing some country-and-Western song over a loudspeaker at NASCAR: ‘Hang them ni**ers up high! Hang them ni**ers up high!’ I’m not going to no NASCAR.”

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1990

In fact, in justifying Mookie’s final actions in Do the Right Thing, Spike himself has long owned-up to the overtly racist subtext he claims drives Mookie to start the riot:

There’s balance to it but no justice. Radio Raheem didn’t deserve to be killed for attacking Sal, while burning Sal’s Pizzeria to the ground onlydownload (47) makes sense if you remove Sal’s humanity and see him as a symbol of his race, a representative of the white establishment. Yet, according to Spike, that’s how Mookie sees him. In the director’s commentary, Spike explains it this way: “Sal’s Famous Pizzeria represents everything that oppressed [Mookie] and black people.” The irony with this kind of racial myopia, the reduction of Sal from man to symbol, is that, along with Troy from “Crooklyn” and Jake Shuttlesworth in “He Got Game,” Sal is probably the fullest character Spike Lee has ever created.

http://www.today.com/id/11965382/ns/today-today_entertainment/t/spike-lee-wakes/#.VExj2fldV8E

OK, so let’s pretend all Sal did was call the cops and wait. Sal patiently puts up with the rap music at 140db and the shouting in his face. Then in come the cops. Wouldn’t Raheem have ended up choked to death anyway? You know he was going to throw his “Nigga Moment” one way or another when they arrived to arrest him. Sal had essentially no input into the course of events. Raheem, and Spike Lee, fixed the end of the scene from the beginning. For the purposes of making whatever the hell Spike Lee thought his point was supposed to be when he wrote that film, those white cops were vlcsnap-2011-02-10-17h41m51s213_thumgoing to kill that black young man one way or another and the “black community” was going to call it unjustified no matter what. That’s the hereditary, legendary, mandatory “black community” narrative. I know if you go back far enough it used to be true more often than not. But this film, Spike Lee, and far too much of the “black community” are frozen in a time warp of irrelevance. Some of his growing lash-outs at other directors and motion pictures may have something to do with an impending realization that he’s got nothing worth saying any more. (And he says even that very poorly.)

Basically what Spike Lee is arguing in Do the Right Thing, is: “Nigga’s” got a right to throw a violent fit—a “Nigga Moment”—and when the cops come upon “Nigga” in his “Moment,”images (78) the cops have no right to meet black violence with white violence. Or more specifically, cop violence. (Cops, parents, and white folk are virtually the same thing in Spike Lee’s world view of black arrested adolescence.) White folk have to learn to respect the “Nigga Moment.” Yet, the matter of a vicious white, racist cop fatally choking out Raheem, trying to interrupt his fit of black homicidal lunacy, is almost inconsequential to the Spike’s actual message. Spike wrote that cop as a deliberately brutal thug to cover his own thesis, but in his mindless state of rage, Raheem in real life could have met his death a thousand other ways, including at the hands of an officer attempting to restrain and arrest him, quite accidentally. And cops might never even be involved in his death at all until long after he had met it. Raheem in real life could have assaulted Sal, and Sal could have stoved his brains in quite legally in self defense. He even had a bat handy. It could been a gun just as easily. Sal’s sons Vito and Pino could have whacked him on the back of the head with a chair or two, trying to get him off their father, and he could have slowly and painfully died from blunt force trauma hours or days later.

But’s that’s what real life holds in store for an angry young black man, and we’re talking Spike Lee here—not reality.

Spike Lee doesn’t pop up all that often in his films anymore, which is one reason why his brief appearance in his new film Red Hook Summer is so surprising. The other is that he’s carrying pizzas and sporting a “Sal’s Famous Pizzeria” t-shirt, returning to the role of “Mookie” that he played in Do The Right Thing 23 summers ago. Lee has gone out of his way to insistMay_ComingOfAge_04_480x340_thumb1 that Red Hook, in limited release now, is “not a motherfucking sequel to Do the Right Thing,” but the pictures are very hard to separate, and not merely because of Mookie’s return. Red Hook has polarized audiences and critics in a manner reminiscent of its predecessor (albeit on a smaller scale). “Lee’s latest rambles through almost two hours of unfocused drama, burdened with endless didactic editorializing, before lurching out of nowhere into ugly revelations and violence,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter, a quote which could well have been pulled from a negative review of Do the Right Thing.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/08/when-spike-lee-became-scary/261434/

In Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee and all of his cultural or cinematic apologists keep telling me he presents a finely crafted and complex study of the state of “racism” in America. All I saw was a movie about a “Dumb Nigga” who got himself killed over a pointless dispute about the wall décor of somebody else’s restaurant.

Spike Lee will tell you he’s showing you “black reality,” but, at best what Spike Lee is selling is his romantic childhood impression of “black reality.” Though he surely doesn’t see it himself to this Mookie_thumb7day, what Lee exposes is that even when Spike Lee completely controls the narrative, his black martyr Raheem still deliberately creates a violent scene for no legal reason, and dies at the hands of the cops only because he is in the middle of an uncontrolled rage, while willfully engaged in the process of attempted murder. Maybe Spike Lee really is just that stupid and thinks he made a really profound statement about “being black in a racist America.” Or, maybe he’s just making money off the brothers. But the only clear message the film offered to my white eyes and ears was: When push comes to shove, take that one calm moment where you could make it all better if you wanted. Think it over. Then, firm in your resolution, pick up the nearest garbage can and throw it through Sal’s window.2014-08-20-1b774aa2_thumb2

Do the Right Thing.

Have a “Nigga Moment.” You know you want to. Go ahead. Chimp out. You’ve been a good boy for a long time now. You earned it. Give the struggling KKK and other dwindling White Supremist groups of America some concrete evidence that they’re right. Show all those white racists, like Pino, Sal’s bigoted eldest son, they’ve been right all along. Justify their racism. Go ahead. Do it.

Spike Lee today, is a walking anachronism. He’s mixed up universal youthful violence and stupidity with “blackness.” The sight of black folk and white folk looking, eating, living, earning, loving, laughing together makes him physically ill. He’s part of a mentality that entirely gave up on images (73)“being white” or having equal status with “whites,” just as it was coming into reality. He’s settled on a defeatist, black separatist vibe that tells itself the “Negro” will never be equal with the white man, so the only permanent solution to racial inequality in America is to forcefully and voluntarily segregate the “black community” from the greater “white culture,” ethnically cleanse the black neighborhoods, encourage black youth to be as “black as you can be,” strive not to become president of the United States of America, and seek rather to become the “Head Nigga in Charge.”

Here’s what Spike Lee didn’t tell you about how Mookie’s story really ends:

Sal made out like a bandit off Mookie’s little riot. He collected insurance, and moved his business to an affluent white suburb where he tripled his profits in his first month andslideshow_1158071_do_the_right_thing[2] expanded into a growing franchise that his sons inherited and manage today worldwide. Mookie on the other hand, put himself out of a job, and in the real world Sal would have told him to piss off, probably kicked his skinny black ass, and kept his back wages. Mookie’s dying neighborhood was out its favorite hangout and yet another employer. The Korean shop moved out two years later to avoid the constant threats, robbery and vandalism, and tumblr_inline_ml9q93YRGI1qz4rgp_thumboth that shop and Sal’s old husk of a pizza shop sit empty still today, along with most of the other former businesses that followed suit in a tide of economic flight from Mookie and his little playmates. The entire district has been condemned and is soon to be vacated forcibly and destroyed–inhabited now only by a generation of infestation by drugs, gangs, and a population exclusively dependent upon the public dole, living out their fading lives in the squalor provided by rich slumlords and paid for by my taxes. It’s due for “Urban Renewal” and has been sold for pennies on the dollar to a developer based in the Cayman Islands who will purge all remaining occupants, convert it to fashionable condominiums, bike paths and green spaces, and sell them to wealthy young, white hipsters.

So, thanks Mookie. You screwed yourself and your whole neighborhood. And made a few more white guys rich in the process. You did the right thing.

Director Spike Lee has just started the clock on a 30-day attempt to raise $1.25 million through Kickstarter.com for an untitled movie about human beings who are addicted to blood that he calls “funny, sexy, and bloodyphoto-main_thumb1 (and it’s not Blacula).”

On the project’s Kickstarter page, Lee gives almost no details about the project. The moviemaker does not reveal the title, nor does he give more details about the film.

However, he does mention that there will be a lot of sex and that if we are fans of the work he’s done  in the past, and believe in him and his abilities as a filmmaker, he won’t disappoint. He welcomed all contributions to the campaign.

http://atlantablackstar.com/2013/07/23/spike-lee-launches-kickstarter-campaign-to-raise-1-25-million-for-unknown-film/

[Editorial update: Yeah, it was unwatchable…]

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/da_sweet_blood_of_jesus/

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About Royce Lerwick

I have a lot to say about a lot of things. This is probably because I have a brain the size of a small planet. To prevent my cranium from exploding from the sheer mass of intelligence it is forced to contain, I am compelled to spew it somewhere. This is where I have chosen to spew it. My apologies. Get over it. Move on.
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