Award-winning director Spike Lee attended the Cannes film festival on Tuesday.
Lee was asked a question about his 1989 film “Do the Right Thing.” In the scenes, Radio Raheem is murdered by the police. The community rioted in response.
“I wrote it in 1988. When you see brother Eric Garner, when you see king George Floyd murdered, lynched, I think of Radio Raheem; and you would think and hope that 30 motherf*cking years later, that Black people stop being hunted down like animals.”
Lee — the first Black person to lead the festival’s jury, wore a with “1619” emblazoned across the front. The number refers to the year in which the first slaves arrived in the Americas.
He added, “This world is run by gangsters: Agent Orange [Donald Trump], there’s a guy in Brazil and Putin. That’s it: they’re gangsters. They have no morals, no scruples. That’s the world we live in. We have to speak out against gangsters like that.”
In a report published by the Statista Research Department, a total of 440 civilians having were shot to death by police in 2021 — 74 of whom were Black, in the first six months of 2021. Additionally, the rate of fatal police shootings among Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity, standing at 36 fatal shootings per million of the population as of June 2021.
Lee has never bitten his tongue when it comes to the issue of politics.
Last year, Lee addressed the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests:
“Look at what’s happening in London. You guys are tearing down the statues of slave traders,” he told NME. “People marching in Madrid, Barcelona, Copenhagen, South Korea, Helsinki, all over the United States… this is a movement.”