I kind of like Spike Lee as a filmmaker. Do The Right Thing is a complex tale that looks at racism and groupthink from all sides. Malcolm X is a damned interesting story about a fascinating figure who was larger than his times. And I mind a time when I really liked 25th Hour.

But in all his public pronouncements, Spike Lee has demonstrated a shallow, by-the-book liberalism that seems to undercut his art. It’s as though he can only think as an auteur, and never as a man.

So to hear that he posted what he thought was George Zimmerman’s street address surprises not at all. And that he refused to take it down even when the innocent man and woman surnamed Zimmerman begged him to correct it.

Because Spike Lee doesn’t have to moderate his anger or engage in self-control. He’s an Angry Black Man™, and his rage is righteous.

Because.

UPDATE: Via Ace, Spike Lee has apologized and made amends with the family. So never mind all that righteous rage business. His or mine.

9 Comments

      1. I’ve never claimed the moral high ground, just the desire to remove societal threats and make their deaths examples to others – Jackson & Sharpton come to mind – who think they’re untouchable due to their celebrity.

      2. I hears you, but the idea “this one more body, here on the pile, that’ll show ’em!” leads to a very dark area. Blood has this tendency to beget more blood. The answer to bad speech should be better speech — not a bullet.

      3. I’m afraid that history is not on your side in this. How much bloodshed throughout history could have been averted by the judicious application of force upon the key figures inciting that violence?

  1. Exactly none. When you kill someone’s leader, the rest are incited to fight the harder. James Earl Ray shot Martin Luther King in order to silence him. The result? Jesse Jackson.

    1. You’re quite wrong, even the odd example that you use.

      Hitler? Stalin? Mao? Pol Pot? One bullet each early on and much violence could have been avoided.

      You have to remember that the majority of the rank and file of any group are not “true believers” and are dependent on a strong, central figure to motivate and guide them. Take away the leader and, even if they do want to fight harder, they have little or no effectiveness in doing so.

      One could even say that about MLK and Jackson, though there was little real violence in MLK’s movement.

      1. So who’s in your crosshairs then?

        Killing Hitler might have done something, IF fascism would have not simply found another way in, and IF Goebbels and Roehm and Goering did not exist, and IF the lack of a powerful Nazi party did not simply mean that Germany would have gone Communist in the 1930’s, as they very nearly did.

        Killing Stalin would have been a waste of time if you did not first kill Lenin. And Trotsky. And most of the rest of Bolshevik hierarchy, all of whom possessed the same moral depravity and a good bit of the education. Killing Pol Pot falls under much the same category.

        I don’t know where you draw your sweeping generalization about “rank-and-file” from, but it sounds like assertion backed by anecdote. It’s an unexamined commonplace that dangerous movements consist of magic strongmen leading unthinking sheeple down the primrose path. It’s easier than actual learning, I suppose.

        This conversation is pointless. If you want Spike Lee dead, put two in his brain yourself. Don’t fantasize about Someone Else doing it. It’s not original or daring. It sounds like your average banter at the Klan Kookout.

        Once you start killing people as a method of settling political disputes, you find yourself having to kill a lot of people, as any of the people you think your magic bullet would save us from could tell you.

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