March 24, 2006, - 1:54 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Ronald Reagan feting David Duke in the Oval Office. Abraham Lincoln running around in Black face. Jews being governed by a government department for Semitic affairs.
Spike Lee’s obsessions with race and ethnicity never go away. Nor does his smug arrogance at the expense of those who are not members of his own race and ethnicity.
Today, Lee has two movies debuting in theaters, “Inside Man” and “CSA: The Confederate States of America.”
The first is an exciting action thriller . . . if you don’t mind that Whites and Jews are weak, idiotic, evil, and/or calculating, while the Black police detectives are the exact opposite of all these and save the day. Probably to quell criticism of his past films’ rampant anti-Semitism, there is even a Holocaust theme in “Inside Man.”
After all, you can’t be anti-Semitic or bigoted, if you glom on to the Holocaust, right?
But the hypocritical Lee doesn’t really abhor the Holocaust too much. When his “4 Little Girls” documentary–about White racists bombing a Black church in 1963–lost out to “The Long Way Home” for an Academy Award, Lee whined that it was a “Holocaust movie” (and also about the establishment of Israel) and accused the Academy of failing to give Blacks due recognition. We learned his true feelings about Jews when, in 1998, Lee complained to AP that Michael Jackson had to change blatantly anti-Semitic lyrics to a song and apologize to Jews. He “was crucified!” Lee snorted.
(In a weird coincidence, “Inside Man” co-stars the smarmy Jodie Foster, who will star as Nazi filmmaker and propagandist Leni Riefenstahl–and has defended her as “libeled.”)
Then, there is “Confederate States of America,” which is labeled “Spike Lee Presents,” rather than his usual “A Spike Lee Joint,” accompanying “Inside Man.” This means Lee is an Executive Producer of the film, originally made in 2004 (perhaps to affect the 2004 elections by turning out more of the Black vote), but not released in theaters until now.
Nonetheless, Lee is very connected with this racist film, which plays like a PBS documentary, only even more boring. While our tax-funded Palestinian Broadcasting System probably would show something this absurd, Spike Lee tactics and machinations are written all over it. The movie is an outrage.
The movie takes place in present day, with a twist. The Confederacy, not the Union, won the Civil War . . . oops, I mean, “The War of Northern Aggression,” as it is now called in the Confederate States of America.
The country is the same, except Blacks–and Hispanics–are slaves. Jews are not full citizens either. The movie goes out of its way, on more than one occasion, to remind us that Judah P. Benjamin, a Jew, was a high-ranking Confederate official, and that it was because of him–his ability to gain European support for the Confederacy–that the Confederates won the war and now run America.
But here’s a reality check: Benjamin, the Confederacy’s Secretary of State (and Secretary of War and Attorney General), failed to get foreign support. And yes, he was a Jew (lest you forget it, that point is mentioned conspicuously–twice–in this film), as were many who fought the Confederacy as Union soldiers. Some of them are buried at the Battlefield at Antietam and other Civil War battlefields, where they gave their lives for the Union. That’s not mentioned in “Spike Lee Presents the Confederate States of America.” Neither is the fact that there were many Jews who were against slavery or at the forefront of the civil rights movement, with some giving their lives.
No, mentioning that would get in the way of Spike Lee’s agenda. It’s an agenda with which we are all too familiar:
* 1990′s “Mo’ Better Blues,” in which Jews are evil, unsympathetic, racist stereotypes.
* 2002′s “Bamboozled”–Ditto.
* 1996′s “Get on the Bus”–Ditto, again. It celebrates Lee’s hero, racist loon Louis Farrakhan and his Million–or is that 300,000–Man March. A Jewish bus driver, who refuses to continue to drive because of Farrakhan’s blatant anti-Semitism, is the movie’s villain for doing so.
* And don’t forget “Malcolm X” (1992), which justifies the Black Islamic leader’s hatred of Whites and Jews.
About the only Lee film that isn’t “political” is his big 1999 dud, “Summer of Sam.” But even that is about Lee’s favorite kind of serial killer, a Jewish one.
Whites are frequent targets of Spike Lee, and this film is no exception. They are all racist wannabe slave owners and would own slaves, today, if allowed.
But the fact is that, even at the time of the Civil War, Southerners were readying to give up slavery. Even if not for the morally correct reasons, the South’s agricultural industries were changing, and it was no longer economically feasible to keep slaves. Author Rodney Stark, in his book, “For the Glory of God,” documents that religious Christians led the way in ending slavery, not something that would have changed regardless of which side won the Civil War.
It’s very unlikely that, even had the Confederacy won, there would be slavery in America, today. For that and the other obvious reasons, it’s outrageous that Ronald Reagan is pictured on the cover of USA . . . er, CSA Today, with a mustachioed, White supremacist, David Duke-esque character who is a leading candidate for President. In real life, Ronald Reagan made campaign commercials against David Duke when Duke ran for Congress in Louisiana.
Where is there slavery today? All over Africa and, even more significant, all over the Islamic world. The Arab Muslim government of Sudan enslaved its Black Christians, raped, tortured, and murdered them. Where is arrogant Spike Lee’s movie about that?
Then there is the defaming of Abraham Lincoln throughout the movie. Sorry, but it’s NOT funny seeing one of the country’s great Presidents in Black-face, chased around the country by Confederate soldiers, and forced to move to Canada in disgrace. Between accusations of being gay by authors and Lee’s attacks, hasn’t the long ago deceased Lincoln been dragged through the mud enough?
Aside from the utter stupidity and anti-entertainment of this movie, for some reason it idolizes Canada and JFK. In this Confederacy, John F. Kennedy supported ending slavery in his debate with President Nixon. Huh? Kennedy opposed the Civil Rights Act. Someone didn’t do his homework.
Then, there’s Canada, the moral high ground where Blacks, and even Abraham Lincoln, can live free. Boy, this really is a Spike Lee Joint, because someone’s been smoking too many of them.
Thankfully, we’re spared something in both “Inside Man” and “Confederate States of America” that used to be a Spike Lee staple: Spike Lee, himself. Previously, he starred, or at least made a cameo appearance, in his movies.
But no more cameos or starring roles in movies for Lee. Instead, he’s gunning for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Race-Card Player.
Do the Right Thing, Spike. Go to sensitivity training.
More by me on Spike Lee, here and here.
Tags: 4 Little Girls, Abraham Lincoln, Academy Award, Africa, America, Arab Muslim government, Attorney General, author, Bamboozled, Black police, bus driver, Canada, Congress, CSA, David Duke, David Duke-esque, Debbie Schlussel Ronald Reagan, executive producer, Get on the Bus, high-ranking Confederate official, Inside Man, Israel, Jodie Foster, John F. Kennedy, leading candidate, leading candidate for President, Leni Riefenstahl, Louis Farrakhan, Louisiana, Malcolm X, Michael Jackson, Mo' Better Blues, Nixon, P. Benjamin, President, Race-Card Player, Rodney Stark, Ronald Reagan, Secretary, Secretary of State, Spike Lee, Sudan, Summer of Sam, the Lifetime Achievement Award, The Long Way Home, United States