Vox started out to be a venture in “explanatory journalism,” a site peopled by the “smartest thinkers” answering the “toughest questions.” Then they hired Matt Yglesias and a host of barely-out-of-middle-school doofuses, discovered a bridge from the West Bank to Gaza, failed to notice the Everglades, and became a parody site that rivals The Onion for laughs.
It seems that Spike Lee is making a film called Chi Raq (Chicago + Iraq, get it?), set on Chicago’s South Side. It focuses on gang violence and follows the storyline of Lysistrata. Well, this upset the pubescent sage of Vox.com:
and German Lopez,
sets out to lecture Spike Lee about the truth of life in the ‘hood.
Okay, I’m back. I think I lacerated a kidney laughing.
Lee’s point is essentially the one made by Jason Whitlock, who like Lee is older that 15 and not white.
Chicago buried nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee on Tuesday. Police allege gang members lured the boy into an alley and executed him in a revenge killing aimed at his father.
Father Michael Pfleger, a white minister in a predominantly black Chicago community, eulogized Lee and castigated our society, blaming the boy’s death on our “lost conscience.”
How can we argue?
The execution of an innocent black boy draws the attention of a handful of local dignitaries while the death of a black teenager foolish enough to wrestle a cop for control of a gun helps foment unrest on a nearby college campus seven months after then-attorney general Eric Holder destroyed the fallacy of “Hands Up Don’t Shoot.”
Lies stacked on top of lies create the bullshit we’re witnessing in Columbia, Missouri. Clever faculty members, in my opinion, baited a small group of misguided black students into stirring a racial shitstorm strong enough to attract Twitter-addicted journalists looking for their next relevancy hit off the Black Lives Matter crack pipe.
The absurdity of the past week at Mizzou couldn’t be duplicated on South Park.
A 25-year-old, “Fresh Prince” black grad student threatened to starve himself to death under the pretense that the school president hadn’t done enough to stop unidentified white men from uttering the N-word when passing by in trucks and carving swastikas with poop.
In Lopez’s view, Lee has perpetrated some kind of racial treason by saying the obvious, that black-on-black violence is a much larger threat to black families than police brutality, yet crime gets no interest by anyone.
Spike Lee has already fallen under some controversy for his upcoming movie Chi-Raq, a musical comedy that attempts to satirize Chicago’s crime and violence. Given that the movie is treading closely to making light of violence, it’s not surprising it has been highly controversial since it was announced, with some accusing Lee of trying to exploit the struggles of black Chicagoans for profit.
Some of these lines are completely inexplicable. Most notably, the line that “We’re the only race that shoots and kills themselves” is laughably false. According to FBI’s most recent data, nearly 90 percent of black homicide victims in 2014 were killed by someone of the same race — but more than 82 percent of white homicide victims were killed by someone who’s white. Violence within people of the same race, then, is actually the most common kind of violence among both white and black Americans.
More broadly, the song speaks to the typically conservative idea that issues like police brutality get too much attention (through Black Lives Matter) while black-on-black violence does not. But both of these issues are intrinsically linked by the criminal justice system — to the point that you can’t fix black-on-black violence without first addressing the police harassment and abuse of black communities.
If I ever start fact-checking rap lyrics, please, please, for the love of God, please shoot me.
What Lee is doing is challenging shibboleths. That is what he does. I’m not a fan of his work… but then, again, if it doesn’t have hot women and things exploding I’m really not a fan of cinema in general… but you can’t deny his genius. That Lopez would characterize Lee’s effort as “trolling”, just because he happens to be on the same side of saving black lives as conservatives, is just stupid. Trolling is saying something you quite possibly don’t believe just to screw with people. Lopez lecturing Spike Lee on the causes of violence and life in the inner city shows a lack of sense of perspective that is nothing short of stunning.