Spike Lee: Racism Is Still Festering in America

Hard to believe it’s been two decades since Do The Right Thing was released.

Hailed by the American Film Institure as one of the top 100 greatest movies of all time, the 1989 joint chronicles racial conflict among a host of characters living Brooklyn’s multi-ethinic Bedford-Syuyvesant comm- unity on the hottest day of the year.

CAPTION: Despite his cap, Spike (above) cautions us to continue doing the right thing.

Despite his cap, Spike (above) cautions all Americans to do the right thing race-wise.

And now director Spike Lee is out celebrating the 20th anniversary of his seminal film, which starred himself, Danny Aiello, John Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson, Rosie Perez, Rudy Dee and Ossie Davis, along with other “actor’s actors.”

As part of that celebration, he chats with Tiffani Knowles about how today’s racial climate compares to that of 1989.

“As Americans, we can’t get so complacent that – because Barack Obama is in the White House – we somehow get hoodwinked or bamboozled, thinking that racism is a thing of the past,” Spike tells the NEWD Radio host.

Frankie Fraison, who played Coconut Sid in the flick, also weighs in on the race issue.

“If there was any one thing I would stress, it would be tolerance. That was what my character was about. And I think that that’s what’s needed in this county now,” he tells Tiffani.

To tune into NEWD Radio, click here.

One thought on “Spike Lee: Racism Is Still Festering in America

  1. freetherampartfips

    Mr Lee-

    Here is a compelling cause for you, fit as a 20th birthday gift to match the movie — DO THE RIGHT THING!

    We in Los Angeles are seeking celebrity power, and none would fit the cause better than you. Now that President Obama brought the detentions to an end in Guantanamo Bay, it is time to take care of our own – in LA…

    We seek to free the estimated 10,000 Rampart-FIPs – those left incarcerated in the aftermath of the scandal… simply forgotten. Mostly black and Latino, it is a disgrace of historic proportions!

    Please sign our petition site… For opening the books of LA Superior Court, as required by law,to release the 10,000 Rampat-FIPs (Falsely Imprisoned Persons) incarcerated for over 10 years in Los Angeles, California, …
    Conditions of justice system here have long reached a level that is in obvious contradiction with those required by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Law… But the U.S. Department of Justice so far refuses to step in and accord us — 10 millions residents of LA County, the most populous county in the U.S.– equal protection under the law.
    Therefore, we are also seeking international observers/monitors…
    Facts check references:
    1) Official reports of the LAPD from 2006 is the primary reference (below).
    2) For estimate of # of Rampart-FIPs at 10,000 (a low, conservative estimate) various sources were used, most easily quoted- PBS Frontline, 2001(below):
    Blue Ribbon 2006 Report, by panel chaired by Att Connie Rice, commissioned by LAPD:
    PBS Frontline (2001):
    Personal Blog: http://inproperinla.blogspot.com/
    If you are willing to DO THE RIGHT THING, please let me know, email: jz12345@earthlink.net

    Joseph Zernik


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