Filmmaker Spike Lee has joined the chorus of those calling for the end of Confederate statues and monuments.
Speaking on the Luminary’s Black List Podcast, hosted by Black List co-founder Franklin Leonard and Black List community director Kate Hagen, Spike Lee said in no uncertain terms that the monuments dedicated to Confederate leaders need to come down.
“F**k that flag,” Lee said, as reported by Variety. “That flag, to me, [makes me feel] the same way my Jewish brothers and sisters feel about the swastika… And them motherf***ing Confederate statues need to come the f*** down.”
The conversation then segued into the Black Lives Matter movement and how it relates to Spike Lee’s Academy Award-nominated movie “Do the Right Thing,” which ends in a riot after police officers strangle an unarmed black man in a situation similar to that of George Floyd.
“It’s like the film was made yesterday,” Lee said. “So, there are two ways to think about it. That it’s still unique. It’s still new. And then also, Black people are still being murdered [and] dying. If you’ve seen ‘Do the Right Thing,’ how can you not automatically think of Eric Garner, and then king George Floyd?”
Lee also admired the fact that white people have been joining the Black Lives Matter movement and protesting in cities where there are few black people.
“It’s never been about how [Black people] respond to it,” Lee continued. “It’s been about how our white sisters and brothers respond to it. And have you been watching CNN like I have? People are marching all over God’s Earth chanting, yelling [and] screaming ‘Black lives matter,’ and they’re not Black… That’s the big difference. You see a young generation of my white brothers and sisters [and] they are out there in full effect. I mean, forget about the rest of the world for a second. White folks are marching in Salt Lake City [and] Des Moines, Iowa, where there ain’t no Black folks for a minute.”
Critical eyes toward Confederate imagery have been directed from both the Left and the Right. In GOP-led Mississippi for instance, the state legislature recently voted to remove the Confederate symbol from its state flag.
“The Mississippi state House of Representatives voted 85-34 to move forward with a plan that would allow for the changing of the state flag, which was adopted in 1894 and features the Confederate battle emblem prominently displayed in the top left corner,” The Daily Wire reported. “The legislation, which received bipartisan support, narrowly exceeded the necessary two-thirds majority that is required to suspend the legislative session’s deadline in order to proceed with the flag change, which itself would only require a majority vote.”
NASCAR has also banned the presence of Confederate flags at all sporting events.