Black Militants Blast Spike Lee For Not Blaming “The Man” in Chiraq
Spike Lee’s Chiraq opens in limited theaters Friday, December 4th. After a 17-minute preview of Chiraq in Miami back in October, a couple of angry Black militants with an agenda chose to angrily lecture Spike about the film and the black community instead of engaging in a substantive conversation during the Q&A .
They were both escorted out by the ushers, mainly because they were not interested in a discussion, just interruption.
From what I could decipher the guy was upset that Spike Lee didn’t make the film they wanted. I’ve heard interviews with Spike Lee on crime in the black community, he clearly believes that this is a large issue with many different fathers. However, that is not the film he wanted to make. The film that these Black militants wanted to see would take 4 seasons of television to cover, even The Wire didn’t touch on that much content.
This, once again, reflects the problem I have with a lot of Black Militants. They choose to attack people who already agree with or support them and their message instead of going after the policy makers and people in power who are keeping the status quo.
Instead of lecturing “The Man” about his supposed “system of poverty” that encourages young black men to kill their brown and black neighbors, they go after Spike Lee after seeing a snippet of a satirical film meant to help raise awareness, not to magically solve all of the ills of the community.
These are the same type of activists who angrily type away on blogs instead of campaigning and voting for the local leaders who could actually affect the change they seek.
The one point that I’ll give them is that Spike Lee himself admonished Quentin Tarantino’s film Django Unchained without having seen it. But look at how he did it:
This was not an loud and angry Spike Lee showing up at a Tarantino Q&A to scream his disapproval about a film he hadn’t yet seen (I haven’t seen it either, for many of the same reasons that Spike Lee refuses too). He was asked about the film and specifically said he couldn’t speak on it because he had no plans of seeing it.
Look, obviously I lean more on the side of Spike in this debate…especially since I haven’t yet seen the film. As the only black filmmaker to be brave enough to consistently speak on race and the plights of the black community in his work since his debut over 25 years ago, I think he’s earned the benefit of the doubt.
Also, I don’t expect a single 90-minute film to represent or solve all of the problems in the black community. I’m hoping that it does, in some small way, accomplish its goal of at least raising more awareness through entertainment. The 2500 year old Greek play, Lysistrata, that the film is based on was a satire of The Peloponnesian War that lasted over 30 years with casualties estimated around 300,000.
Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing is considered one of the hallmark films about race in America told by a Black Filmmaker. Even that film is filled with comedy and never dives into the political, historical and systematic origins for the racial tensions in that Brooklyn community. However it nonetheless influenced a late 80s/early 90s pro-black movement.
To each his own. Its easier to attack Spike Lee. He’s a welcome target. He seems to love getting into arguments. I’d like to see more Black militants be as brave as Mercutio Southall Jr. who was assaulted at a Donald Trump rally.
But we won’t actually see them do that because, y’know, that would make too much sense.
Read the full essay written by one of the activists on their opinions about the film here: 40 Acres and a Fool
Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.
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