T Nation

Spike Lee: Clint Eastwood Racist?

Racism by default?

"Spike Lee launched a bitter attack on Clint Eastwood yesterday, condemning his failure to include a single African-American soldier in his films about the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The Oscar-nominated African-American director, one of the most influential figures in contemporary cinema, said that black soldiers were conspicuous by their absence from Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. Hundreds took part in the battle for the Japanese island in 1945.

Lee said: �??There were many African-Americans who survived that war and who were upset at Clint for not having one [in the films]. That was his version: the negro soldier did not exist. I have a different version.�??

There were 800 marines of color at Iwo, out of tens of thousands of marines. At the time, most black men were relegated to burial detail and other such jobs. He does realize that movies usually aren’t 6 hours long, so everyone can’t get their ‘turn’?

The newscaster on Fox had it right — “Isn’t this bordering on paranoia?”

Racism by default — pure stupidity.

Racial Hysteria at its worse…

The next step is Racial Cleansing of Media.

Its already started with the Dam Busters…

Next Zulu -

He is such a tool. He complains about Clint making an all white movie (except those pesky Japanese) and then turns around a makes a movie about an all black Army division.

The man is shameless.

Total media-whore stunt. Why didn’t he spew this bullshit when the movies came out in the first place?

Ummm…cause Spike Lee ISN’T a racist?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
He is such a tool. He complains about Clint making an all white movie (except those pesky Japanese) and then turns around a makes a movie about an all black Army division.

The man is shameless.[/quote]

What about Ira Hayes? He was one of the main characters in “Flags of Our Fathers?”

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Racism by default?

"Spike Lee launched a bitter attack on Clint Eastwood yesterday, condemning his failure to include a single African-American soldier in his films about the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The Oscar-nominated African-American director, one of the most influential figures in contemporary cinema, said that black soldiers were conspicuous by their absence from Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. Hundreds took part in the battle for the Japanese island in 1945.

Lee said: �??There were many African-Americans who survived that war and who were upset at Clint for not having one [in the films]. That was his version: the negro soldier did not exist. I have a different version.�??

There were 800 marines of color at Iwo, out of tens of thousands of marines. At the time, most black men were relegated to burial detail and other such jobs. He does realize that movies usually aren’t 6 hours long, so everyone can’t get their ‘turn’?

The newscaster on Fox had it right — “Isn’t this bordering on paranoia?”

Racism by default — pure stupidity.[/quote]

Since blacks made up a small percentage of the military at the time. So it is difficult to say if Eastwood is deliberately leaving them out or that it was too small a detail to focus on in the movie. But, Spike doesn’t know either so he should keep his mouth shout until he has something rational to say.

Continuing to claim racism where there really isn’t does not help race relations in general. But Spike is not known for presenting fair and balanced views, so we should not be surprised.

They had Adam Beach in it, he is an indian. Not like Ghandi, but like sitting bull. The indians got screwed over by us way worse than black people, yet not as much is said about them.

Didn’t Spike Lee try to sue Spike TV because he felt that people would think of him when they watched the channel? Well there you go then

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I just hope Spike doesn’t find out I posted in the “Stuff Black People Like” thread. If so I’m fucked…

Did any hispanics make the movie?

[quote]jre67t wrote:
Did any hispanics make the movie?[/quote]

One of the central characters was an actor of Mexican descent.

This is some shit.

I recently had the luxury of watching an episode of Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper and it was pathetic. How can they blatantly belittle white people is beyond me. I thought we (as a society) were past this whole racism thing.

Apparently not. This super compensation bullshit is taking us back to the 50’s. Hooray for the apologists!

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
jre67t wrote:
Did any hispanics make the movie?

One of the central characters was an actor of Mexican descent. [/quote]

Mexican is a nationality. Nationality has little to do with race.

I thought I’d clear that up. Not to be disrespectful; I’m just making a point.


Spike Lee is an asshole and a punk that thinks New York City is the center of the world and everyplace should be like it…Not!(But then, so is Woody Allen)…

However, I do have a “wild hair” about Black troops not being portrayed when they could be in Hollywood films…I had the experience as a kid where I was told there were no Black cowboys/Cavalry or pilots because they were not in any (hollywood) movies, despite the facts…People really bought into this then and still do now, although maybe to a lesser degree, but not by much.

I saw a comment thread on this Lee/Eastwood flap out of the UK where an American had the gall to claim that there were no Black Marines in WW2 and therefore the Clint film was accurate(!?). Type into your search engine “Montford Point Marines” and see what pops up (Fucken’ ignorant Moron!).

From the A&E movie “The Crossing” about George Washington crossing the Delaware and not showing the Black guys who were on that boat with him (ironically, in the famous portrait of the event, they are there, but if you didnt know they were there you might not notice, as they are shown from the rear, check it out) up and through the WW1 & 2 era, with rare exceptions, particularly from 1920’s Silents to 1980’s

(Semi-recent films such as Glory/Tuskegee Airmen/Hart’s War/Flyboys & Rough Riders come to mind, even Mel Gibson made a point of showing Black participation in the Revolutionary War in the “Patriot”, likely the only film to do so;…Films like Battle of the Bulge & Patton on the opposite side (See attached rare photo of the real Patton), where entire Black Tanker Battalions are absent, or Spielberg’s stuff, and he should know better, no excuses for him), Black troopers are not shown “when they could be”, perpetrating the image they did not participate to future generations, and that is inexcusable, the research info is out there and would not take much effort to mine, I see intellectual laziness and catering to box office $$$ over art & accuracy (Oh, Well)…

[quote]Blacksnake wrote:
Black troopers are not shown “when they could be”, perpetrating the image they did not participate to future generations…[/quote]

I think you sum it up well. I’m not in fits of outrage over this either. And yet I still believe ‘representation’ is a lot more important than some folk think…

Like you said, black troops being shown “when they could be”… really, it aint so hard. It certainly isn’t a lot to ask for in my book…

In that fairly subdued manner, I would say that similarily, yes - it “would have been nice” if Flags/Iwo had done the same…

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[quote]red bull wrote:
Blacksnake wrote:
Black troopers are not shown “when they could be”, perpetrating the image they did not participate to future generations…

I think you sum it up well. I’m not in fits of outrage over this either. And yet I still believe ‘representation’ is a lot more important than some folk think…

Like you said, black troops being shown “when they could be”… really, it aint so hard. It certainly isn’t a lot to ask for in my book…

In that fairly subdued manner, I would say that similarily, yes - it “would have been nice” if Flags/Iwo had done the same…

[/quote]

I think Clint would have put black soldiers in the movie if they had fought that particular battle but in WW2 the Army was greatly segregated.

An all white WW2 movie should not be viewed as racist. An all white Vietnam movie would be.

I think Tuskegee Airman is a great movie because it is based on reality and is well done.

Sticking a token black guy in Clint’s movie would be probably be inaccurate and patronizing.

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