Jun 8, 2008

Spike Lee is a racist

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


Anonymous said...

Racism is "discrimination based on racial group," according to Wikipedia. It doesn't say it is a person of any particular race discriminating against any one other particular race. So, you are totally, 100% correct. And I am in total agreement with you. Great and well thought out post!

Avitable said...

Yeah, I think you're right.

RW said...

This disappointed me because I think Spike Lee's movies are fantastic. Malcolm is one of my top rated all-timers because it portrays Elijah Mohamed as a sham. Spike should just shut his pie hole. Even if he didn't have enough white guys in the Nation of Islam.

Seals said...

I understand the concept of a black person being frustrated because of years and years of hatred and discrimination, but that doesn't give someone the right to talk shit about someone because of the color of their skin.

Yes, Spike Lee is a racist. Fuck him.

Verdant Earl said...

Teeni - Thanks, but like everything here it wasn't "well thought out". Just a brain-dump.

Avi - Like a monkey throwing darts, I'm bound to score once in a while. ;)

RW - I didn't like "Malcolm X" all that much. I've been able to stand back and appreciate many Spike Lee Joints. I really liked "Do the Right Thing", "Inside Man", "She's Gotta Have It", "25th Hour" and "Mo' Better Blues". But when I thought about them afterwards, it is the pervasive racism against white people that really stands out. In ALL of his films.

ajooja - As white folk, we can't begin to know what it is like to be a black person in America. But two wrongs don't make a right. I'm sure I've read that on a fortune cookie somewhere.

Karl said...

While he makes some good movies, I agree that Spike Lee is a racist. His comments just go to show how much this is true. They're ignorant.

Jon said...

His name is 'Spike Lee'.

If you re-arrange the letters, take some out, and a few in, you can spell 'fucking cock'.

How mad is that?

Verdant Earl said...

Karl - Heya, and spot on. Ignorance is the backbone of racism.

Jon - I'm against abbreviating it, but that just made me LaughOutLoud. Thanks!

Bruce Johnson said...

This opens up a whole can of worms regarding the concept of black racism. Surely, we have wronged the black community in the past, and we have made strides to correct those wrongs, civil rights, voting rights act, quotes for certain instiutions. However, it appears to almost anyone that isn't African American, that some blacks use racism as a crutch to lean on with times are tough or things don't go there way. I don't see Colin Powell, or Condolizza Rice or Barrack Obama saying they were held back by bigotry and racism. Yet I see the black community promoting 20 million dollar basketball player and rappers advertising gang violence and adultery instead of telling young African Americans to study hard and go to school to get ahead.

It seems that the African American Community promotes racism, they don't combat it with action, they promote it by their inaction.

(once again, I am ahead of the curve, I wrote a blog about this whole 'blacks in cinema' almost 2 years ago...damn I am good!)

check out Revisionist History

Verdant Earl said...

Lotus - Fuck! You finally found out that when I have nothing to say I steal stuff from your archives. Crap! Back to the drawing board. ;)

Anonymous said...

RACIAL DIVIDER Spike Lee is a guy who feels that people need to be made aware that there are white racists. In Africa they would look at him as a mixed-race person. Africans would say to him, "you not real black man" as they do to other black Americans who aren't as dark as them. This guy needs to wake up and stop trying to get others to "wake up". Know your facts about history, be aware but don't focus on the negative in just about every film. Spike Lee has excelled as a divider who has put out plenty of sub-par films.

Verdant Earl said...

Anon - I enjoy some of his films, but I agree that his catalog on the whole is sub-par.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, black people keeps racism alive by playing the worn out card of slavery and suppression. Spike Lee is just another black person keeping it alive and thriving. Most of the "others", anyone who is not black, agree with this. We don't give a shit what they think!! And we don't support them, we don't buy his movies, go see them, or buy cd's, etc.

Verdant Earl said...

Anon - Hmm. Well I really don't believe that black folks are keeping racism alive. I think that racists are keeping racism alive. So I will have to respectfully disagree with you there.

The Rabbit said...

It would not be fair to say that blacks are the reason that racism is still alive today. However, I do agree that they do not help the situation AT ALL!!! Many blacks today keep talking about slavery as if they lived through it. THEY DON'T KNOW SHIT ABOUT SLAVERY!!! They keep blaming their problems on white people instead of growing a pair of balls and taking responsibility for themselves and making the world better for EVERYONE and not just their own race. Do they know that without the help of whites, they'd probably still be slaves?? Yeah, think about that you racist fucks! And just so you know, Lincoln didn't free the slaves. If you didn't know that, do a little research and you'll find out that the 13th Amendment did that. Lincoln didn't have shit to do with it! Blacks need to wake up and get a fucking education instead of using their dumb-ass ghetto talk that makes them all sound like a bunch of douche bags. They thinks they're selling out to Whitey dawg? Well that might fucking get you somewhere if you grew a fucking brain you black fucks!!!

Verdant Earl said...

Rabbit - Well, Lincoln had A LOT to do with the 13th Amendment, even though it was ratified after his death. He and others in his administration were concerned the the abolition of slavery as called for in non-Union States by the Emancipation Proclamation might be considered a wartime measure and they wanted to ensure that it became the law of the land in every State. Hence the need for an amendment.

Once again I'll say that it is racists who keep racism alive. No matter what the color of their skin is.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in Europe for 15 years, I can say Spike Lee would never get his movies on the big screen over there if he were to portray white Europeans as he does white Americans in his movies. In fact, racism is a CRIME no matter what your skin color is over there.
I think the one thing we Americans do wrong here is to classify minorities as "protected" with special status/rights and so racist acts against them is a crime, but the opposite is not true. This gives the so-called "minorities" a sense of immunity. This is crap. If we are ALL Americans, then we should all have the same rights. Yet, I'm having a walk in the park one day, and an idiot (happened to be hispanic) says "this dude is so white, he's got to be the leader of the fucking KKK". And in the eyes of the law, that is not a racial comment... What did i ever do to that idiot?? What would happen to me had i said something equivalent about a hispanic, or an african?? But if we think about it, what IS an Afro-american, or a Latino-american, or a white-american???? There's no such thing!! Just stupid artificial racist divisions created by losers who feel the need to blame others for their failures and stupidity!

All racists out there can take their racist ideas, shove them up their own asses and set fire to it. :-)

Jen said...

Okay so Spike Lee is definitely a racist. He always quotes people like MLK and who quotes Ghandi in saying "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind," yet here he is doing exactly that, white people are racist to him, so he can be racist to them. Whatta hypocrite.

infernal said...

well, for a response to jen,
ghandhi was also quoting the judaic bible. and, sadly, he did it poorly. the phrase actually translates an eye is an eye no matter who's eye it is.

did yall know that lincoln was a republican? and that a democrat, woodrow wilson, was the man who instated de jure segregation?

conflicting strongly with the whole "republicans are racist white fuckers" because the republican party was foudned on the sheer principle that all forms of discrimination are wrong and that slavery needed to end before immediately.

there is no such thing as the kings english, because the kings would speak french! (later on, german)
all the same, i do think that the "black vernacular" is a hindrance to black people and an annoyance to white people. it just sounds so ungodly uneducated that it reduces succes chances. its even worse than a southern drawl (also terrible, isn't it my fellow northeasterners?)

to sum it all up, spike lee is a whore, and racism of all forms is not only wrong but bordering on sinfulness.

Anonymous said...


"republican" and "democrat" took on fundamentally different meanings after the Civil War and again after WWII.

It's not fair to say Lincoln = Republican so all modern republicans can share his racial bona fides.

"Republicans" today are just as unrecognizable to their forerunners as democrats are.

Here's another example:

The word "Liberal". Liberalism was once the choice word to describe a strong belief in individual responsibility with little or no outside intervention.

Now, "Liberal" has become a hot-button word used to paint a person as a redistributionist radical.

The meaning to the average person now is so very different than it might have been to an Enlightenment philosopher.

(Also, yes, many months late, slowpoke.jpg etc.)