Spike Lee calls it like he sees it. And he told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos that a post-racial America is “bullshit” and police departments don’t treat all Americans equally. He also took a swipe at the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” TV show, saying it highlights the “destruction of the modern world.”
“There’s a big division for the police departments, I think, in this country, versus people of color,” Lee said.
Lee has been a filmmaking force for over thirty years, and his raw portrayals of urban life and racial issues drove his early success. His 1989 masterpiece “Do the Right Thing’ climaxes with a scene of police brutality, and life imitated art in July when Eric Garner died during a routine arrest in Staten Island after being put in a chokehold by a NYPD officer. It was all captured in a cell phone video by bystander Ramsey Orta.
“When I saw Ramsey’s footage… it was very eerie… I said, ‘This is just like Radio Raheem!’” Lee told Ramos. “I said we’ve got to cut this stuff.” The resulting mashup grew into a documentary about Garner called “I Can’t Breathe.”
“I don’t care who you are, if you’re African-American in this country, you know what the deal is … the deal that you’re black,” Lee said when asked what he tells his own children about race in America. “People who get in trouble are the people who forget they’re black.”