Spike Lee is one of the best-known filmmakers in Hollywood. This is mostly because many of his movies seem to straddle the line between preachy and watchable better than most. I’m not much of a fan, but I know plenty who are.
Lee has always been someone who thought his opinions should be taken seriously, despite having done nothing to warrant anyone caring.
Still, some people apparently do. They watch his movies religiously and seem to think he’s important.
Lee, apparently, thinks he is too.
After delivering a rousing speech Sunday aimed at empowering Chicago youth, filmmaker Spike Lee responded to the spate of shootings that have now left 10 kids wounded across the city this weekend.
“This is not something that’s new,” Lee told reporters following his speech at St. Sabina in Gresham. “I think that we gotta take down the [National Rifle Association].
“We have more guns than any other country on God’s planet, and we’re all getting tired,” added Lee, whose 2015 film “Chi-Raq” delved into Chicago’s culture of gangs and violence.
One would assume that after filming Chi-Raq, Lee would at least begin to understand a couple of simple facts about violence in Chicago. In particular, how the violence is centered in just a handful of neighborhoods and that those who are committing the violence aren’t buying their guns legally in the first damn place.
Of course, that might be expecting too much from a man who has made his career stoking racial resentment and charging people money so they can be preached at, instead of entertaining them.
Look, there is way too much violence in Chicago and in a lot of other American cities. However, blaming the NRA for what people are doing with illegal guns isn’t going to help anyone with anything. It’s not going to make the violence better and it’s not going to make the bad people suddenly become all sweetness, light, and love.
The people killing these kids aren’t going to just change because they have a bit more trouble getting a firearm.
And that’s assuming that literally anything being discussed would actually have an impact on them getting one in the first place. Let’s just say I’m unconvinced.
The truth is, Spike Lee needs to go back to doing what he does best. He should be making movies that the critics will love because they’re afraid of being called racist otherwise. Stick with what you know.
In the meantime, those of us who study guns, gun rights, violence, and such will go back to having a mature discussion that’s not filled with little more than anti-gun talking points.
Chicago has a problem, sure, but where is Spike Lee in addressing the real issue? Why isn’t he using his fame to try and talk to the kinds of people who are actually carrying out the violence and helping them find a better path? He’s got the money and the gravitas in those communities to do it, so he needs to spend a little less time blaming gun rights supporters–who “the NRA” often used as a proxy term for–and actually make a difference.
Of course, that would take effort that preaching to the choir doesn’t.