Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’: ‘White America’s Most Powerful Weapon Against Racism’

The national anthem of the United States, the famous “The Star-Spangled Banner” is one of the most difficult songs to interpret regardless of whether the singer is a professional. Thus, if you are a person with normal singing aptitudes (not to say that you are not talented), then do not even try it because the results will be disastrous.

Several celebrities within the music industry have tried and failed such as Fergie, Christina Aguilera, Roxeanne, Michael Bolton, Cab Calloway, Carl Lewis and many more while few (Whitney Houston) managed to do it in a memorable way.

But why is it so difficult to sing? The reason is in its musical structure. Without getting into too much detail, “The Star-Spangled Banner” has registers of 12 notes and up to two-eighths, when the average human covers an eighth register.

And not only that, also the words that make up the lyrics of the song are complicated like “o’er”, “gallantly streaming ”,“ vauntingly swore ”, to name a few. However, the most complicated thing about the national anthem of the United States is the meaning of what is being sung and its origins.

FRancis Scott Key, a slave trader and poet, wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the 19th century, a dark time in the history of the North American country and which, for the time, continued its disputes against Great Britain for its independence.

Key, during a bombing of Fort McHenry in Maryland by the British Navy, was inspired to write this powerful letter that basically says that the country still stands. with its huge (literal) flag flying.

But there is something darker and it is the reaffirmation of the slave system with No refuge could save the hireling and slave”. And there’s more to the hymn’s origin story. In the War of 1812 in which the Maryland bombing took place, the real victims were Native Americans.

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So how can an African American, male or female, put his hand to his heart and sing the anthem of a country that cemented his social structure based on the slavery of your own community? How can you proudly repeat the word “slave” when the history of your community is full of injustice and death?

The same goes for the minorities of a relatively new country that does not fully understand its culture, which with difficulty defines the most transcendent elements of its history because he refuses to see that before his known past, there were other languages ​​and races.

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The future of American society depends on a man who refuses to see the many pasts of his country and the many realities that make it up today. The arrival of Donald Trump to power destabilized the image of the United States in the world (how is it possible that the most powerful nation in the world has chosen a conservative showman as president?).

But actually it reaffirmed only one of its pasts: that of the America of slavery and racism, of intolerance and hatred. The 2016 presidential elections evidenced the strong existence of hate groups with suppression ideologies linked to neo-Nazism and retrograde organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan.

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Photo: Courtesy

The question is: Didn’t the Americans and the world know it before? Didn’t they anticipate it? The first answer might be no, but it is actually the opposite. And the cinema is the proof. Several titles, some created since the 20th century but with greater force since 2000, brought to the table the conversation about racism and the injustices that African-American communities have experienced since the arrival of black slaves to the territory and the consequences of denial before the situation of the past.

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A lot of those movies are by Spike Lee as Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, 4 Little Girls and his latest feature film, BlacKkKlansman. The latter won critical acclaim at Cannes, repeating its success in all the festivals and countries where it has been screened.

The reason for his success and the great reception of the public is not due to the figure of Lee as one of the greatest directors of today, but to the story and the time when he decided to release her.

Two years after the beginning of Trump’s tenure as president in which there has been a wave of acts of violence with weapons, several cases of police brutality against the African-American community, violations of the human rights of migrants at the border and clashes between hate groups and communities, seems to be the right time to BlacKkKlansman and the black humor with which a theme is approached that in reality cannot cause grace.

BlacKkKlansman introduces us to Ron Stallworth, Colorado’s first African-American cop. As if this weren’t unique and special, Stallworth manages to infiltrate the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan by giving a telephone speech on white supremacy. and bring back the America that, they say, was once uniquely white.

When David Duke, the national cult leader asks him to meet with members of the clan, Stallworth tells one of his companions named Flip Zimmerman (yes, of Jewish descent) who must impersonate him to reach the highest levels and end his plans that go beyond burning crosses. Things get complicated when Stallworth and Zimmerman discover the planning of an attack and, on the other side, the Ku Klux Klan discover that it is an infiltrator.

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BlacKkKlansman It is a cruel film to the extent that Spike Lee plays with the present and the decisions that his society has made. In one part, Ron Stallworth incredulous at the idea that his country is the power of the world, says: America will never elect a man like David Duke “ At the “naive” idea of ​​his boss to say that this man’s charisma could lead him to the highest position of power. In these types of details lies the cruelty of this film that tells its audience that it is repeating the mistakes of the past and that the consequences will be worse and worse.

Spike Lee gives America a movie that presents her two faces and her terrible duality. On the one hand, the speech of pride in being the most powerful country and the self-proclamation of being the police of the world, but at the same time being afraid of herself.

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Yes there are a reason for being BlacKkKlansman, this would be the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia riots in which Heather Heyer died while protesting supremacists. The riots began when it was proposed to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee from the city.

This man fought as part of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War in the 19th century. The Confederacy, made up of southern states, was in favor of slavery and Robert E. Lee is the representation of the suppression of the white man towards the black race.

When the clashes began, largely violated by the supremacists, there were several wounded and one dead, Heather Heyer. The only thing that Donald Trump could say about the situation was that the violence had been on the part of the two groups as if the idea of ​​racism or the discourse supported by it were not a form of violence.

Real shit! First trailer of 'BlaKkKlansman' by Spike Lee

However, neither Spike Lee nor anyone else could hope for otherwise. Finally, those supremacists, those hate groups, they are the ones who put Trump in the presidency …

To close BlacKkKlansman, Lee put up a series of images from the Charlottesville riots to make it clear that this film is more than just a movie.. It’s about a statement political, social, but above all personal, of the director’s rejection of Trump’s domestic politics, but in an intelligent way: without violence and if it manifests itself, it will always be from fiction and with the most powerful weapon of man today in the face of the crisis: art.

We wish to give thanks to the writer of this short article for this incredible material

Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’: ‘White America’s Most Powerful Weapon Against Racism’

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