Director Spike Lee never shies away from speaking his truth. During a recent appearance on Fusion TV, Spike Lee blasted the idea of a post-racial America by sharing with host Jorge Ramo the message about race that he’s imparted on his two children, Satchel 20, and Jackson, 17.
“[I tell my children that] I don’t care who you are, if you’re African-American in this country, you know what the deal is… You’re black,” said the Brooklyn native, 57. “The people who get in trouble are the people who forget they’re black. You can’t just think ‘I’m so successful that I’ve reached another realm.’”
Referring specifically to the phrase ‘post racial,’ Lee said, “Yeah, that bullsh*t where now that we have a black, African-American, president that race no longer matters. There are times, even today, it’s hard for me to catch a cab.
“I can’t predict the future,” he added. “But there are a lot of people who believe that when our president put his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s bible that hocus pocus, abracadabra, poof, we are in a post-racial world.”
Lee also spoke about the recent death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot to death on August 9 by police in Ferguson, Missouri, igniting weeks of protests, and that of Eric Garner, 46, who was killed by a police chokehold in New York on July 17.
Lee compared Garner’s killing to the death of the fictional character Radio Raheem, played by Bill Nunn, in Lee’s seminal 1989 film Do the Right Thing. This summer, Lee released a pointed video on Instagram in which he edited together footage of the Garner takedown with the graphic scene of Raheem being similarly murdered in Lee’s film.
Always one to infuse his messages with humor, Lee also openly criticized the media for promoting negative stereotypes of African Americans. He asked audience members if any of them watched Real Housewives of Atlanta, which the director later lambasted for “bringing about the destruction of the modern world.” When no one in the packed house raised a hand, the director got up from his seat pretending to exit the stage in anger. When he sat back down, he surveyed the crowd with a grin, “We got some lying people in here,” he said. “Oh, you lying!”