Monday, September 26, 2022

Spike Lee Relates Black Soldiers in Vietnam to African Americans Disproportionally Affected by COVID-19

Joe Madison - Spike Lee

*Filmmaker and Academy Award winner Spike Lee was a guest on SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show who spoke about his new film “Da 5 Bloods” and related what happened to black soldiers in Vietnam to black people being disproportionally affected by Coronavirus.

He also shared his feelings towards ‘Agent Orange’ better known as President Trump for trying to take credit for making Juneteenth famous, and spoke about Dan Snyder refusing to change the name of Washington’s NFL team and people waking up to racism in the United States.

“The Vietnam War was the first war that was televised into American homes. I was 10 years old. It’s being talked about at the dinner table, but we’re still young enough not to be drafted, and thank God because our black butts were shipped to the front lines. At the height of the Vietnam War, African Americans were only 10% of the population in these United States of fucked up America, but we were at the height of the Vietnam War, we were a third of the fighting force…The same way that black and brown American soldiers had a higher ratio of deaths and all that stuff, is the same thing with Coronavirus.. It’s very a direct line, and that is why I think that this film has had such a connection,” said Spike Lee.

During the interview, Lee goes on to talk about Trump taking credit for making Juneteenth famous and tells Joe: “People need to wake up. This stuff we’re seeing is not new. It’s just being captured on people’s bones. And what’s amazing to me, maybe not amazing is that you would think that police would say, all right, images gone all over the world of our brother, Floyd. I’m just going to chill. Knowing what has happened, I’m going to show some restraint. But that hasn’t happened. It’s escalated. This guy, ‘Agent Orange’ taking credit. I grew up in Italian American neighborhood in Brooklyn.. So I’m going to use it an acronym (which I heard all the time) for ‘Agent Orange’ when said he needs credit. GTFOH[Get the f*** out of here]!”

He also talks about people waking up to racism in the United States and Dan Snyder refusing to change the name of Washington’s NFL team:

“The foundation of the United States of America is immoral, from the get-go. The foundation has been shaky from day one. This country was based upon the stealing of the land from native people and genocide against native people, coupled with slavery..Whenever this day comes, when we go back to supposed normalcy. What they called normal was abnormal. Because Eric Gardner and a whole bunch of people happened before. Not before Christ, before Corona. We have to fundamentally change everything top to bottom..I mean, we cannot go back to normal because normal was f’ed up.”

“Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the No Freedom League [NFL.] He should approach [Snyder] and say if the Confederate stars and bars, good ol’ boys..they could do that. You gotta do something. Can you imagine an NFL team called… Now, people don’t get mad at me. I’m just making an point…The Chicago Chinks, The Washington Wasps, The Nevada Niggas.”

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Host, Joe Madison:

What year were you born?

Spike Lee:
March 20, 1957. So I was 10 years old. So there’s a thing though, Joe, everything I’m telling you, you know, but just to put out there. The Vietnam War was the first war that was televised into American homes. It’s in American living rooms. So 57′, I was 10 years old. I was old enough to know what’s going on, but young enough not to be drafted. So I was right in the pocket, right in the pocket. My brothers, Prince, and MJ [Michael Jackson] they were born in 58′. So we knew what was going on because it was seen in TV. It’s being talked about at the dinner table, but we’re still young enough not to be drafted, and thank God because our black butts were shipped to the front lines. At the height of the Vietnam War, African Americans were only 10% of the population in these United States of fucked up America, but we were at the height of the Vietnam War, we were a third of the fighting force. So, you know what that means. And here’s the thing that people connected. The same way that black and brown American soldiers had a higher ratio of deaths and all that stuff, is the same thing with Corona. You could make a direct and you don’t have to work to do that. It’s very a direct line, and that is why I think that this film has had such a connection…Even though this film takes place in Vietnam, we’re approaching the 50th anniversary, the end of the war. The stuff that’s in this film is the very reason why people are marching all the cross God’s earth, chanting screaming, “black lives matter.” And many times there’s no black people, there’s not one black person in the crowd. And that, for me, that’s key. That our white sisters and brothers are taking to the streets saying “black lives matter.” And that goes to directly that horrific image of our brother King, George Floyd his last eight plus minutes of his life.

Host, Joe Madison:

It must drive you crazy to hear, and I’ve been using your term ‘Agent Orange’. I love it. I love it.

Spike Lee:

II credit, I didn’t come up with that. My brother Busta Rhymes came up with that. Busta Rhymes came with the ‘Agent Orange’, it wasn’t me.

Host, Joe Madison:

Alright, so ‘Agent Orange’, who now yesterday takes, and I said this the hour before, he takes credit for making Juneteenth famous. And I had a brother call in and say, “well, you gotta give him credit..”Oh, I got ’em Spike. I got him. And I said, wait a minute. So none of us get famous until white people discover your ass. That’s really what he’s saying. I always tell people, listen with the third ear, read with the third eye. So all of a sudden, we’re not famous until white folks discover you. And that’s what I finally ended up with trying to tell everybody. We ought to quit this craziness, it’s part of that cultural conditioning. You tell me what you thought.

Spike Lee:

I’ve always heard a saying ” a white man’s water is colder.” And that’s that. Here’s the thing.. I’m wearing a hat that says 1619. Our ancestors stole the mother Africa, were brought here in bondage and many of them didn’t make it through the middle passage. Through sickness, or we just jumped overboard into the Atlantic Ocean. This thing has been going on for 401 years. People need to wake up. This stuff we’re seeing is not new. It’s just being captured on people’s bones. And what’s amazing to me, maybe not amazing is that you would think that police would say, all right, images gone all over the world of our brother, Floyd. I’m just going to chill. Knowing what has happened, I’m going to show some restraint. But that hasn’t happened. It’s escalated. This guy, ‘Agent Orange’ taking credit. I grew up in Italian American neighborhood in Brooklyn. My family, the first black family to move into the neighborhood of Cobble Hill. Stone, Italian American. So I’m going to use it an acronym, which I heard all the time for ‘Agent Orange’ said he needs credit. The acronym is GTFOH. GTFOH! And I can thank my brothers, my Italian American brothers and sisters, I grew up with as a kid, they had me dying.

Spike Lee:

The foundation of the United States of America is immoral, from the get-go. The foundation has been shaky from day one. This country was based upon the stealing of the land from native people and genocide against native people, coupled with slavery. That is how this country was built. How many of us in grade school were taught that George Washington cut down the cherry tree and when asked, he said, ‘I cannot lie. I chopped down the cherry tree.’ How many of us were not taught that George Washington owned 123 slaves and many prisons after that? His whole narrative, a large part of it is a lie. They leave stuff out. That is why in “Da 5 Bloods” we have Chadwick Boseman’s character telling his fellow bloods that the first person to die for the United States of America was a black man, Crispus Attucks, in the Boston Massacre during the Revolutionary War. So this is a fact, we’ve been patriotic for this country from day one. From day one, we’ve been here 401 years and still haven’t got full citizenship. If that was the case, we wouldn’t be getting shot down in the street left and right. Here’s the thing, I know I might be all over the place, but, whenever this day comes, we go back to supposed normalcy. What they called normal was abnormal. Because Eric Gardner and a whole bunch of people happened before. Not before Christ, before Corona. We have to fundamentally change everything top to bottom. This gap that was exposed, not to the have nots, but to the haves has to be shrunk across the board. Healthcare, economics, education. I mean, we cannot go back to normal because normal was f’ed up.

Host, Joe Madison:

Alright, Snyder. I hope he’s listening. I don’t know what it’s gonna take.

Spike Lee:

Keep beating that drum.

Host, Joe Madison:

I’ll keep and I’ll keep those Jordan’s going up his butt, you know? He’s just got to, I mean, he just has to.

Spike Lee:

And you know know what? If I can make a suggestion to my brother. Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the No Freedom League [NFL.] He should approach this guy and say if the Confederate stars and bars, good ol’ boys..they could do that. You gotta do something. Can you imagine an NFL team called… Now, people don’t get mad at me. I’m just making an point…The Chicago Chinks.

Host, Joe Madison:

Thank you. It wouldn’t happen.

Spike Lee:

The Washington Wasps, The Nevada Niggas.

Host, Joe Madison:

I mean you’re right.

source: SiriusXM and “The Joe Madison Show” (weekdays from 6-10am on Urban View channel 126).

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