Analysis Of Spike Lee

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Analysis Of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing Essay, Research Paper Analytical Paper on Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing Director and actor Spike Lee presents his “truth” about race relations in his movie Do the Right Thing. The film exhibits the spectacle of black discrimination and racial altercations. Through serious, angry, and loud sounds, Lee stays true to the ethnicity of his characters, all of which reflect their own individualism. Lee uses insulting diction and intense scenes to show how severe racism can lead to violence. The biases reflected through Do the Right Thing model those of today which has kept society in a constant feud for so long. In Oprah Winfrey’s dynamic episode, “The Color of Fear”, Mr. Mun Wah projects his strong opinion when he states,

” . . . that racism is still going on today, that we’ve got to stop to hear the anguish and the pain that goes with that and then we’ll survive.” (3) People do not realize the severity of their own words. In the scenes of the movie that emphasize the shocking reality of failed interracial communication, racial stereotyping, trust or lack of trust, and acrimonious violence mirror the current concerns about race in America as reflected in “The Color Of Fear.” The disturbing scene where different nationalities badger their opinions on each other shows poor communication and horrible stereotyping. Pino’s Italian slang, Mookies black talk, and Korean obscenities are all mixed together to show how communication grows impossible among different ethnic groups. Spike Lee is

trying to show how nonsense language results in a snowball effect which worsens any situation. Lorene Cary states her view on this situation when she comments, “We need more of them, not less; more words . . . What I do want is language: fighting words, love poems, elegance, dissonance, dissing, signifying, alarms, whistles, scholarly texts, political oratory, the works. Without it, we’re dead.”(”As plain as Black and White”) Maybe these “fighting words” unlock the truth about the communication plague, spreading throughout history. Leonard P. Zakin once said, ” . . . it’s all about conversation, not dialogue.”(”Scaling the Walls of Hatred”) Like the characters in Do the Right Thing, present day people can scream at each other all they want and will not get

anywhere because outcry is not conversation. Conversation is talking, explaining, discussing, informing, and most definitely listening. Many people do not think twice when a racial slur pops out of their mouths, and most people do not even realize they have ridiculed someone different from themselves. In the scene described by the previous paragraph, racial stereotyping far surpassed the feeling of discomfort that many people do not want to deal with. A milder scene of a white man trying to pass through a black neighborhood demonstrates racial problems also. The egotistical attitude of the white man calling the black kids “Mo and Joe Black” ignited the teens to hose down and ruin the car. Mr. Mun Wah comments, “I think racism isn’t just about giving out racial epithets. I

think it’s about what we don’t say and what we don’t see.”(”The Color of Fear”, 3,4) Every ethnic group had their own name for each other. The three unemployed black men sitting on the corner had their own offensive name for the Koreans across the street, and the Koreans referred to the policeman with their own twist of insults. Even today the racial jokes, either out of jealousy or anger, continue to be told. Lee showed how something so insignificant could plummet into a deep problem. Lee also taught his audience that the stereotypes in his movie are all said in a habitual manner. The characters, like people of today, use common slurs out of habit. James Baldwin states his view on the subject, “I imagine that one of the reasons people cling to their hates so