Spike Lee had the following to say about Clint Eastwood and his two recent WWII films:
"He did two films about Iwo Jima back to back and there was not one black soldier in both of those films." "Many veterans, African-Americans, who survived that war are upset at Clint Eastwood. In his vision of Iwo Jima, Negro soldiers did not exist. Simple as that. I have a different version."
Dirty Harry had these wonderful quotes as a response:
"Has he ever studied the history?" And on the lack of African-Americans in Flags of Our Fathers, he said there was a small contingent of black soldiers stationed at Iwo Jima "but they didn't raise the flag. The story is 'Flags of Our Fathers,' the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn't do that. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people'd go, 'This guy's lost his mind.' I mean, it's not accurate."
And he continued with "A guy like him (Lee) should shut his face."
And finally about his film Bird, "He was complaining when I did 'Bird' [the 1988 biopic of Charlie Parker]. Why would a white guy be doing that? I was the only guy who made it, that's why. He could have gone ahead and made it. Instead he was making something else."
Doesn't Spike Lee know that it's not wise to piss off Clint? Clint could fuck Spike Lee up! It wouldn't even be a contest.
Listen, I'm a bit sick of Spike Lee. In all his movies all the good people are black and all the bad people are white. His thoughts on race were most obvious in his film School Daze. There were two sets of black students attending an entirely black university in the South. The lighter-skinned "wannabes" and the darker-skinned "jigaboos". They were wannabes because they straightened their hair and, in Lee's eyes at least, acted white. All the wannabes were morally awful and the jigaboos were righteous. What a dick!
But he's not racist. No way. You know why? Because he has stated that is impossible for a black man to be racist. That only white people can be racist by definition. Read a little about that argument here. Me? I don't buy it. It's not reverse racism, non-racism or any other bullshit term...it's racist when he applies stereotypical behaviour of any race to his protagonists and/or antagonists. One can glean from his films that all white people (Jews especially) are bad and all black people (except those trying to "act white") are good. I can't come up with any term to describe those broad characterizations besides "racist".
I know that the awful reality of racism against African-Americans is cemented into our country's history. There is no denying that. White America can never make it up to Black America for the horrible yoke of slavery that occurred when we were a young country. Nor can we make up for the 150+ years of bigotry that has occurred since slavery was ended, and sadly it still goes on today. I'm not saying that black people in this country haven't suffered. They have. And a lot of it has to do with racist attitudes and behaviour of white people.
I just don't believe that racism is a one-way street. It's entirely possible for a black person to have racist thoughts, attitudes and actions towards a white person. Or an Asian person. Or a Hispanic person. When you make judgements regarding a specific person based upon the color of their skin, that makes you racist. At least in my opinion.
But what do I know? I'm just a silly white dude writing a blog.
EDIT: It's been a while, but I'm still getting the occasional random (mostly anonymous) comment on this post. I'm kinda over this, so I'm closing comments now. Thanks everyone! - Earl