After winning his first Oscar the eminent director, Spike Lee, used that platform to voice some feelings that he has apparently long wanted to express.
His acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman,” which Trump concluded was a “racist hit,” nailed the president without ever mentioning his name.
And we question Trump’s charge that Spike is illiterate, wondering how he would know. But let’s allow Spike to speak for himself.
“The word today is ‘irony,’” Spike began. “The date, the 24th. The month, February, which also happens to be the shortest month of the year, which also happens to be Black History Month. The year, 2019. The year, 1619. History. Her story. 1619. 2019. 400 years.
“Four hundred years. Our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and bought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved. Our ancestors worked the land from can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night. My grandmother, Zimmie Shelton Retha, who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave. My grandmother who saved 50 years of Social Security checks to put her first grandchild —she called me Spikie-poo—she put me through Morehouse College and NYU grad film. NYU!
“Before the world tonight,” he continued, “I give praise to our ancestors who have built this country into what it is today along with the genocide of its native people. We all connect with our ancestors. We will have love and wisdom regained, we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s ‘Do the Right Thing’! You know I had to get that in there!”
And rightfully and righteously so, Spike, and you encapsulated 400 years of bondage, Jim Crow, as well as provoking a man who has made little or no regard for the continuing denial of our human and civil rights.
We salute you for using that moment to remind the nation of the travail and trepidation Black Americans face each day under the Trump administration, and while Spike’s words were merely implications, ours have been far more explicit from our platform that to Make America Great Again—Trump Must Go!