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Review

BAMBOOZLED review

Satire is the most difficult of filmed mediums to sell to the public and to critics. You see, for satire to work, it needs to offend and shake you to the point of self-examination. In BAMBOOZLED, Spike Lee does that… However, the problem is… Some audience goers, some so-called intelligentsia… well they come in, pre-offended and holier-than-thou. Some will walk away from this film angry at Spike for making them witness this film… And then throughout the film, everytime Spike tried to make you smile… these self-centered critics will hold that against him.

This is a complete satire, from top to bottom… not just of the pop cultural portrayals of Afro-Americans in the past century on up to today… but it is also a satire of the reactions that Blacks have upon seeing this material, the way Whites tend to ‘associate’ and try to become ‘blacker than black’. This is a parody of the entire ball of wax.

Now, I do disagree with some of what Spike is doing here… but that, in and of itself, is the point. We are supposed to react, think and chew on this film like an everlasting gobstopper and not like a stick of Wrigley’s.

I saw the film about a week ago, and instead of my usual instant pounding of the keyboard, I wanted this film to settle… to think about it a bit more. There is a lot here to go over.

Going into this film, you have to look at the satirist performing the satire.

SPIKE LEE

Spike does not believe in smooth sailing, he likes to shake things up… Through his art, he lashes you with pangs of pain… And when you come out the otherside you feel motivated to discuss the experience.

His entire career has been a struggle. He is a serious filmmaker wanting to discuss and film serious films concerning the issues closest to him.

Unfortunately, he is an artist in an industry that wants Spike to ‘lighten up’.

Now we get all angry at Spike when he begins attacking a Spielberg for making AMISTAD, but look at it from Spike’s point of view. Had Spike Lee set out to make AMISTAD, he would have had the door slammed in his face a dozen times on Friday alone. An ambitious expensive period piece?

Spike knows that the only way he can get to the point where he gets a $65 million budget for a period piece would be for him to ‘sing and dance for a long time’ turning a profit for the ‘man’ till ‘they’ deemed him worthy to tell larger stories.

We’ve been watching Spike trying to get his JACKIE ROBINSON film off the ground forever…. It is a story we would all love to see, but he never seems to ever get closer to getting it made. Perhaps he hasn’t made enough people laugh or giggle yet.

Meanwhile, he is always able to get expensive budgets for shooting commercials…

It has to be demoralizing.

So, to express his frustration at the entire system, to show how nothing has really changed. To scream loud enough to make people take notice…. Spike makes BAMBOOZLED… a biting satire at the entire thing.

Now I have read how some feel the BLACKFACE used in the film "isn’t funny" and is too "hurtful".

BULLSHIT.

In 1729, when Jonathan Swift was satirizing the Victorian grumblings about poverty and the taking of children from their poverty struck single mothers and throwing them in orphanages… He wrote A MODEST PROPOSAL…. He painted the ugliest picture imaginable, shoved it in the faces of the élitist… and it stung…. Stung only like satire can.

My father brought me up very aware of the ethnic stereotypes that have took place in American Culture… Beginning at a very early age I was aware of cartoons like GOING TO HEAVEN ON A MULE, SCRUB ME MAMA WITH A BOOGIE BEAT, COAL BLACK AND DA SEBBEN DWARFS, TRADER MICKEY… the Ol Jasper puppetoons of George Pal’s and so many more. He taught me the difference between these and… oh, let’s say George Pal’s JOHN HENRY AND THE INKY POO (1946) and when I was 8 and read Leonard Maltin’s OF MICE AND MAGIC, I learned that John Henry was Pal’s attempt at a public apology to the African American community, when he realized that his Jasper puppetoons were hurtful.

And it was actually through Maltin’s book that I first started to seriously examine the significance of the ‘black birds’ in DUMBO… or the ‘black birds’ in FRITZ THE CAT…

At the same time, I was watching the Ol CHARLIE CHAN, Sidney Toler series, movies that often times co-starred Mantan Moreland… sometimes Stepin Fetchit… Now I was lucky, my parents always taught me to look at these performances with an eye for the origin of stereotypes…

A couple of years back I had a chance to talk to Jack Hill about Mantan Moreland, who he directed in the classic SPIDER BABY. Now, he told me how Mantan hated the entire civil rights movement. How at the end of his career, all of a sudden the mass organization was attacking him and blaming him for all the racism that the African American community was experiencing. NOW, that was Mantan’s feelings. He didn’t understand it, because his comedy act was HIS comedy act… He wasn’t told to create it, he worked it out over years… and when you boil his routine down, it is actually very similar to Shaggy’s on SCOOBY DOO… But Mantan was soooo popular that his routine became a foundation for stereotypes…. His character was lazy, shifty, scared and loved to gamble. Now you could say the same thing about Lou Costello, but the difference was… Mantan was one of the ONLY known Black Performers around… And he played his character in B-movies… the films of mass culture, so when UP JUMPED DA DEVIL or SHE’S TOO MEAN FOR ME played in that small town theater… Mantan might very well of been one of the very few Black characters those hicks might have seen or paid attention to… So they instantly adopted and projected Mantan’s routine upon all Blacks.

And beginning in the thirties when Jolson and Eddie Cantor began popularizing Black-Face into the mainstream theaters…. Well, you would have them singing… but their production numbers were huge… gigantic wallowing edifices of watermelons, dice, catfish, fried chicken and booze… Happy cotton pickers.

Now this material has nearly been completely exorcised from mainstream media…. Trying to get a copy of films like WONDERBAR with its last… startling number… are nearly impossible to see.

Now I seem to be one of the very few people on the planet that seems to think of this as a bad thing… To me, it is an important part of history to preserve and study and consider when examining the history of pop-culture.

NOW… because of this, my opinion on BAMBOOZLED may be quite different from yours. I know black-face routines inside and out…. My ‘uncle roy’ was a dealer of radio shows, so I’m familiar with the old AMOS & ANDY shows… As a collectibles dealer, I am not only aware of the rare "JOLLY NIGGER BANK" and the other mechanical ‘toys’… And I am also aware that nearly every toy was also repainted as a Lil Abner or hillbilly toy too…

BAMBOOZLED takes this history… this century + of shameful profiteering… then moves it forward to the modern creators and purveyors of modern stereotypes… THE JEFFERSONS on up to GOOD TIMES and SANFORD AND SON… And then points out how we have all the funny sitcom black television you can imagine… but there are no dramas… no action shows… where are these?

Now, I might be alone here, but I was a fan of MANTIS something fierce. However it didn’t last very long when you get right down to it.

Well, in the BAMBOOZLED universe… we are in some future world… not far from now… where the world of Cable Programming is getting more and more desperate to shock and entertain. Boy, that’s haaard to imagine. Heheh.

In this world he has created a set of circumstances where a show… a minstrel show… becomes the hottest show on Television.

The person who created it, was trying to get fired… but it has now turned into his greatest success.

His assistant has become incensed.

His television company happy.

He has a pair of desperate innately talented homeless performers, who are desperate enough to do ANYTHING to get off the streets… so they don the burnt cork base black-face and the big ruby red lips and take the stage.

At the same time he satirizes the commercials that run during this show… the insane adoption of the show’s motifs by audience members… the militant groups protesting the outrage… The media and critics in their acceptance… the outrage of the audience…

And for moments in the film, you have a harsh look at the reality these images bring upon the really real characters in the film. Like Delacroix’s mother, when she is speaking to him about his show… the hurt on her face is tangible.

This film is an EXCEPTIONAL satire upon the pop-culture treatment of Black America.

And as such, it will offend… and it will hurt… but at the same time it forces issues out from being buried and into discussion where they belong.

Take a look at those old performances by actors and comedians like Rochester, Mantan Moreland and Stepin Fetchit… and compare and contrast their work with say that of modern day comedians like Chris Tucker, Chris Rock and others.

Take a look at modern day cinema concerning black culture… Are films like FRIDAY good for culture? Is there harm in playing a black stoned slacker in SCARY MOVIE… and if so, what is the difference between Marlon Wayans doing it… and say Matthew McConaughey in DAZED AND CONFUSED?

Watch BAMBOOZLED then look back on the past century of film… has their been progression? Is it enough? And is there anything that can be done? Or should anyone try?

Coming through BAMBOOZLED you should have a lot on your mind, and not just a diatribe about whether or not Spike Lee should or should not have used BLACK FACE in Bamboozled… Black Face was nothing more than an exclamation mark… and if that’s all you saw, then you missed the entire point. Watch it again.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 12, 2000, 6:07 p.m. CST

    I couldn't agree more...

    by docsisx

    but that ending was a tad out-of-place. However, I suppose it was just put in by Mr. Lee to reinforce the messages that came before. BTW, go to www.geocities.com/weeklypublic its a cool ezine.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Mr. Lee is an angry little man

    by Siskels Ghost

    This movie is not satire, it's more of Spike's angry, iron fist in a steel glove look inside his racist views of american culture. Spike Lee is the most racist man in America. Imagine saying that Micheal Mann can't make an Ali movie because he's white. Kiss my white ass Spike Lee. Quit being so freaking angry.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 6:34 p.m. CST

    well...

    by Lou C.

    I have to admit, sometimes spike lee pisses me off, but i generally always agree with what he has to say and, although, i sometimes wonder where the anger comes from, he always makes me understand it. i am dying to see this movie to see what 'all the fuss' is about. i think he is one of the most relevant filmmakers out there today and always will be, and i hope to god his Jackie Robinson project gets off the ground. Plus, he's a die hard knicks fan. what's not to love?

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Harry vs. Ebert...

    by abner ravenwood

    I sense a disturbance in the force. A Harry and Ebert smackdown. A clash of movie titans. It's like when Rocky went up against Clubber Lang and Apollo (Moriarty) had to train him. Or perhaps its more like when Godzilla first fought Mecha-Godzilla. Is Richard Roeper Rodan? Perhaps. I am the Kraken.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 6:56 p.m. CST

    It wasn't that I was offended; this is just an amazingly boring,

    by Lenny Nero

    All I have to say is in the subject. Nuff said.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Well said, Harry

    by somms666

    I had the good fortune to see Spike Lee speak at Harvard last week to discuss this movie. He, along with a panel of black scholars, talked about the movie and the notion of stereotype in American society -- what is the modern equivalent to the minstrel show? Who propogates the stereotypes? What can be done to defeat or refute the stereotype? When is stereotype useful? I was deeply intrigued and finally watched the film today. I gotta tell you, I was blown away. This was a scathing, insightful, and very emotional satire of America's perception of black society. This movie is essential because the minstrel show hasn't left. It's simply changed it's name: gangsta rap, Homeboys from Outer Space, The Wayans Brothers. Lee could've used any of these type of formats to get his message across, but he chose the original, the most obvious, the most offensive format of all. Lee isn't going for subtlety here. He wants to hit you over the head, hard, and make the brain think and make the soul reflect (if I may be so corny). If you go to see the movie and you're offended...well, you should be. That's the point. What the hell isn't offensive about a young black man dancing around in black face and singing about stealing chickens and eating watermelon? There are some flaws in the film, such as De la Croix's character development, the inclusion of the Mau Mau group, among other things, but these are minor aspects when compared to the impact and message of the movie. Highly recommended.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 7:22 p.m. CST

    You know, you're right.

    by Silver_shadow

    I've never really realized this before (though I haven't watched much network TV between homework and satellite), but Harry's right. There really aren't any dramas, or other shows on TV about blacks. There's a lot of comedy shows, Oprah (I swear to God there is a cult for Oprah out there, and after she dies, it will go mainstream, at which time I will go up to a space station), and a few assorted action shows (like Freedom, which I've never seen). The only actor I can really think of that isn't on a comedy, etc. is the guy who plays Benton on ER (I can't think of his name right now). There's probably more than that, but I can't think of any right now. Anyways Harry, your article made me think about that. Thanx!

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 7:34 p.m. CST

    "angry black man."

    by oneragga

    The statement made above about Spike needing to quit being angry needs to be addressed. NOW. If you happen to think, whetehr the poster is Black, White or whatfucking ever, that Spike needs to quit being angry because everything is "OK", you are truely fucked in whatever you use for a brain. The ONLY differences betwenn the year 2000 and the 1960's in terms of racisim in America is that we have CIvil Rights laws, a BIT more education, and in most circles, racisim is deemed socially unacceptable...like shopping at fucking Kmart. The fact of the matter is, without Spike's angry and the anger (read, social & situational awareness) of others across the board, this TV season would have been as bone fucking white as last year, yet no one would have given a shit. The chance for a film like Scary Movie, or Shaft, or Remember Th Titans, would not have been given, because the so called majority audience would not have shown up to seee minority characters in starring roles. Hell, I'm a Black (not African American) male, with a Latina fiance, living in a town (Miami) that professes to be on the cutting edge of technolagical and social progress, yet I get to live with seeing her wince when some jackass makes a crack about her being with me when we're in public. I'm not asking for ANY kind of sympathy whatsoever; I stating that it still sucks, to a degree, and as long as Spike and others keep the world on their toes, forcing the issue rather than sweeping the shit under the rug, me AND my baby wiil be first in line every time. That said, Harry, well done, Scary Movie sucked, Shaft rocked, The Washarski Bros. have access to the world's best weed, CTLD at Xmas, Batman Beyond: ROTJ... uncut DVD please, LOTR in Y2K1 and SpiderMAn in Y2K2. And George Lucas doesn't work on Jar Jar Binks for Episode 2, I'ma kick his monkey ass.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 7:36 p.m. CST

    no audience

    by BranMakMorn

    means the satire failed no matter how well meaning, sharply critical of the issues, or how good expectations are as a result of viewing it. I'd rather see the Mantan bio Harry wrote about- go to the core, or pick right at shows Lees' targeting and make a documentary on how it really makes people think on a subconcious level. He could accomplish this satire of the whole gangsta rap genre by filming a satirical music vid with the assistance of Public Enemy. Using avatars isn't hitting the audience over the head, it is insulting their intelligence. The same thing the networks do all the time.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 7:53 p.m. CST

    it IS history and should be remembered

    by drasaid

    I have not seen "Bamboozled", but I am very familier with all the racist media it rehashes. It is a strange thing, but all those mammy dolls, watermelon eating babies, fishing boy cutouts etc. are experianceing a resurgance of popularity-with affluent American blacks! Weird. It is also worth remembering that some of the worst (and I mean the most racist, reprehensible, and awful of the old cartoons and songs) were FUNNY. I heard a tape of Ku Klux Klan songs someone had; they were catchy tunes by talented people. Of course, this made them even worse; evil AND singable. They were both, believe me. One of my absolute favorite cartoons as a child was a now banned one in which various blacks die and go to heaven; a Jazz heaven which still appeals more to me than any Renaissance ceiling heaven does (I am from New Orleans, after all!). Many of those stereotype creatures in cartoons and films were positive; the black crows DID help Dumbo, and if you watch "A Day at The Races" you'll see an entertaining musical number with quite a few stereotypes in it; the Marx Brothers sympathized with the downtrodden and tried to include them in their pictures. Malice or lack of it should count in judgement, and in order to truly understand the light stereotypes it is neccessary to see the really bad stuff. (I assume one will possess the intelligiance to know the difference....)

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 8:05 p.m. CST

    DO NOT SEE BAMBOOZLED!

    by film-mkr

    You can't trust the reviews on this site any more. I think it all started with them calling THE IRON GIANT one of the greatest films of all time... Spike Lee's new film is the worst film since Dog Park. There isn't one aspect of the film worthy of praise (OK maybe the concept was intriguing - and they made nice one sheets). The worst acting in a long time (What's with Wayan's accent? Totally unbelievable). The worst cinematography since Blair Witch. And, the Production Designer/Art Director should be shot. The film bores the hell out of you after about the first 15 minutes. And, after that - IT NEVER ENDS! Which would be OK if there was a point to all of this. But, that seems to get lost somewhere. And, to top it all off - IT'S NOT FUNNY. The first "satire" without a single laugh! With a concept brimming with comedic potential, HOW ON EARTH DID SPIKE LEE MAKE SOMETHING SO COMPLETELY STUPID AND BORING??? If you want to see a good satire, see The Player - not this piece of crap. I saw it when it opened in a theatre filled with maybe 8 people - 4 of whom walked out (and I would have, but I just kept waiting for the point - or at least something funny to happen - it never did). Stay away from this festering pile of feces. Stay far, far away. And, don't listen to all the shills on this site telling you otherwise...

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Ye Gads...

    by JackBurton

    Harry does intelligently written film piece shocker! News at eleven. Although this piece was very definitely opinionated in the extreme it was also well written and expressed and for that I say kudos Harry, even though truth be told it wasn't much of a review, more of a personal diatribe aginst the masses. Still all in all a job well done, it's just a pity that this level of writing isn't more prevalent on the site these days.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Wow, didn't know Harry's parents had PHD's..

    by SCOTT1458

    so they instructed thier little 8 year old to look out for the social sterotyping in Charlie Chan and all other early films? Yeah right...

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 8:42 p.m. CST

    by Archangelus

    Spike Lee is a terrible film maker. He thinks that equality in hollywood means that he will be able to get any movie made that he wants like a Steven Spielberg but what he doesnt realize is that he has neither the commmericial success or critical acclaim of a Speilberg. As the only white kid in a black area I know what its like to feel prejudice but I dont make it the center of my life. All of his Causcasian charactures are one dimenional, either they are racists or completely out of touch with the world and they are made to feel guilty for things beyond there control. I grew up poor and in the city, where is my character. Instead, we get the bland cookie cutter suburban kid, whos only problem is getting a date for the Prom. In fact Spike Lee grew up in a middle class neiborhood and his parents were quit successful, what the hell does he know about the ghetto? I think everybody feels so guilty about slavery and racism of old that they are to afraid to tell Lee that sometimes his movies suck. We wonder about images of black americans on television and how they sterotype them but never take the time to realize that the shows are written by black folks for black folks. I was watching The Steve Harvey Show( god dont ask me why) and they said the word Honkey, a racist term for white folks. If I were to use the equivilant racist term for black folks I would be in a heap of trouble but The Steve Harvey Show can use it freely. I saw Bamboozled and it is just another poorly written, over indulgent Lee film.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 8:47 p.m. CST

    GO SPIKE

    by QuizKidDonnie

    Bravo to Spike Lee for wrestling with this stuff and confronting the audience with it. Bottom line, I want to see this movie, in the full knowledge that it is inflammatory and that it's going to be a box-office stiff. It doesn't hurt to acknowledge that there is such a thing as racism, with material that makes you think. Art can only change the world one person at a time. I've heard Spike say some things I don't agree with, like how black people can't be called racist, and how the P.J.'s are bad for black America, but that's great, differences of opinion that lead to positive debate. I think Spike teaches tolerance -- in Summer of Sam you really want the mooks to quit fucking with the local punk rock geek. I think people are supposd to have more than one emotion in their heads when they see any art, especially something like a sPike Lee movie, or Dolemite, or Little Rascals, or Scrub Me Momma With a Boogie Beat, or the Color Purple, or Match Game '77 with Nipsey Russell on it. Preach on Spike!

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 8:52 p.m. CST

    P.S. good review/editorial Harry!

    by QuizKidDonnie

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Harry is white!

    by Twig

    Look, I'm a huge Spike fan. He's made some of my favorite films(Clockers especially), but Bamboozled was maybe even worse than Girl 6. It was not funny at all for one. For a satire, that's a bad thing. In the scenes where Davidson and Glover are seen applying their blackface, there's always sad and sentimental music playing-Spike's attempt to make those characters into victims of the "evil white man." I don't buy it, because those characters agreed to star, even after finding out what the show was about. They MADE themselves victims. Spike completely overlooks one of, if not THE main reason there are so few minority-led shows on TV: THEY DON'T GET RATINGS! If they got ratings, they'd make more of them. That's simple TV business. But instead he characterizes all network execs as racists(I was embarassed for Michael Rapaport). There WERE moments where the film worked, such as the Mantan show itself, and the acting was fairly good(Its good to see Jada Pinkett Smith hasn't completely forgotten how to act), but the movie goes completely off the rails in the last half hour.**SPOILER**I mean, a final sequence where Mantan is killed by a rebel rap group and Jada shoots Damon Wayans has absolutely nothing to do with the point of Lee's film. There's no connection narratively to what came prior. I don't think Bamboozled is a good film, but I guess being white, there's nothing negative I could say about the film w/o being called racist myself.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Look at the you

    by Archangelus

    look its a black person with a chip on there shoulder...thats not a rare sight. My neibhors are black and make more money that my family, yet they are from ghetto and Im not.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 9:14 p.m. CST

    In Defense of Rochester.....

    by Sorcerer

    I really can't count him among stereotypes like Steppin Fechit, Amos 'N Andy, etc. For starters, he was a well-written, well-rounded character. A decently developed character by definition can't be a stereotype. Also, he was fairly smart (both in common sense and education), not any more servile than a white butler would be (he even had days off), and not condescended to.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Whiny Brotha

    by Archangelus

    yeah I got that crap all the time from the brotha's always talking about being in the ghetto while wearing their expensive Nike shoes, gold chains and Fubu,while I was wearing K-mart specials. I wish I was spoiled. I wish I had the privledges you think every white person has.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 9:27 p.m. CST

    I Have Nothing To Add To This, Except A Remembrance of MANTIS

    by The Kid

    I would watch that and X-FILES during those long-gone Friday nights.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Hi,

    by Quetzalcoatl

    I think that satire means comedy. If something is a satire, it has to be funny. I'm a stupid asshole.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Whiny Brotha 2(the sequel)

    by Archangelus

    You can talk shit beyond a keyboard. Im not blond. I think your angry at yourself because you feel inferior. Despite my experience I dont hate, can you say the same. Blacks are their own worst enenmy. they kill each other more often than any other group does. Its time to clean up your own backyard before you go knockin on your neighors door. Im ancestors werent even here during the time of slavery. We didnt get her until the 1920's. Blaming the boogieman(whites) is only an excuse for your inability to clean up your won act. I realized from my experience that blacks can be just as ignorant, violent and prejudice as any other group.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Hi.

    by Quetzalcoatl

    I think that someone needs a PHD to give their child any sort of instruction on the origin of stereotypes in a film he is watching. I think this because my brain was removed and replaced with a ball of silly putty.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 10:28 p.m. CST

    yeah, educating 8 yr olds, Scott 1148

    by FinnFionn

    Harry's folks instructing him in the nuances of film at the age of 8 is not unusual. We have many Charlie Chan flicks on tape, and took pains to tell out kids when they were small about the stereotyping and the astringently refreshing differences in the Chan films (ol' Charlie is a sexist pig [some 15 kids, and Mrs. Chan is kept home essentially barefoot, pregnant, and unable to speak English] certainly a child abuser at least emotionally, and Birmingham Brown [Mantan Moreland} has many honorable qualities among the more stereotyped ones). Parents are SUPPOSED to teach their children well........

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Fatboy, you just don't get it.

    by Uncapie

    Your problem is, is that you're angry at "Mr. Man" and "Mr. Man" comes in all colors, not just White. Let's see you work two fucking jobs while going to college. Let's see you, with a Bachelor's Degree that you've fucking worked hard to get, believing that you're going to get a high paying job and you get fucked with $140.00 a week cleaning out a sump pump in waist deep water, running bullshit errands, taking bullshit orders from people that know less than you. Let's see you bust your ass off 14-16 hour/ 6 day work weeks and then come in on your day off and work for free. The law of the land is that nobody or any college guarantees you a fucking job no matter what your color. Yes, there are some that are the priveledge few; the "American Brahim." Yes, they have it easy wheather they are sons or daughters of policital, medical or any other "connected" job. They have it handed to them on a silver plate and that connection also comes in different colors. There were other White kids, Latino kids and Black kids doing the same thing going to college so before you start generalizing that all White people are the "chosen ones", go walk a mile in someone else's shoes.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 10:43 p.m. CST

    what are YOU mad about?

    by thatmanfrank

    because Spike might say a white man can't write a black story? is that all? why do you think he might say something like that? how many times do you think he's been told no, he can't do anything.Wouldn't that get you mad too? Sure it's a free country, but it seems like the ones who get the oppourtunites handed to them think they did hard work to get it. They don't know hard work. All if us living in the trailors, barrios, and ghettos working all hours to get out and not caught up, know what work is. And we can say you don't know work. And we can say " We know what it is to have the doors shut in our face before our credientials are shown." Those who dont study history are doomed to repeat it. Dont repeat the hate. Lean what the hate is about.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 11:26 p.m. CST

    The Marketing Man talks to......Fatboy Roberts

    by Mark Etingman

    Fatboy, you come on AICN and you run your mouth. You cry and lament about the black man's pain. The black man's been through a lot? Really? Are you sure? Let's be sure. Let's be absolutely positive you know what you're talking about. The Marketing Man is going to pull out his encyclopedia britannica, volume "S". Sandwiches, Shoemakers, Skiing and....Slavery. Well, what do you know...The Marketing Man actually can VALIDATE what the Fatman is saying. An excerpt: "Slavery existed for many years. Then the civil war came and blacks got their freedom." It then says, "Blacks received unfair treatment until The Civil Rights Act was passed in the 60s" and finally it says, "In the early 80s, Spike Lee became an active voice for African Americans, making many films that dealt with the black man's life. But unfortunately, for the majority of his career (with the exception of a few Nike shoe advertisements he directed), Spike Lee has been the poster boy for mediocrity and nothing more significant than a PUNCHLINE in the Hollywood community. In the early 1990s, the Studio System came under fire for not employing enough black directors. So they hired Spike Lee. Allowing him to shoot whatever he wanted, the studios simply used him to achieve non-discriminatory credibility. Despite pairing him with A List talent such as DENZEL WASHINGTON, Lee's films failed at the box office. Analysts have determined that too much PABST BLUE RIBBON drinking on the set caused his film direction to become disjointed and confusing. Sensing this disturbing trend in each of his film's early test- screenings, the studios typically CUT advertising expeditures for his film, expecting not to make any money on their films. While Spike Lee's films are usually top moneymakers in such low-rent flophouse project neighborhoods such as Brooklyn, NY and Compton, CA, that says little considering the rest of the country (and the world) cares less about his films (and most importantly) Spike Lee himself."*** Credit: Encyclopedia Brittanica, Volume S, pgs. 457-459, 1999, Prentice-Hall Publishers, New York, NY

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 11:28 p.m. CST

    My two cents worth

    by tbrosz

    Like the guy earlier, not much to add to the "poor pitiful me" exhibition here. Thought Robert Townsend's "HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE" also said a lot about the black media experience, and it had the advantage of being funny too. Oh, by the way, "MANTIS" was great--at least the first one. I treasure my video tape of the original two-hour movie, which was twice as good as the series.

  • Nov. 12, 2000, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Smokey in Friday = Solomon & Confucius put together

    by QuizKidDonnie

    Why y'all bringin' up old shit.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 12:17 a.m. CST

    I'm not going to get into this....

    by gryphon

    I'll probably be called a fascist again.... LOL. I'll just post this link www.larryelder.com. This is a very smart guy, I think y'all should take a look at his articles and tell me what you think. Oh yeah, except if you're going to call him an "Uncle Tom".

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 1:05 a.m. CST

    Deal with it 3 times

    by Mother Plucker

    1. I don't pay $8.50 to go to the movies and get hit over the head with some preachy message by Spike Im-an-asshole Lee. 2. Nobody likes whiners. Most blacks that I see who garner media attention bitch-bitch-bitch. I wouldnt want them on my team and I hope that the dont represent the majority of the black population. 3. Stop using the term "reverse" Racism The reverse of that is racial pandering not when a white person gets picked on by a black person. 4 And finally true equally can only be found in the future not by digging into old wounds like a bloated tick. Let the wounds scar up so we can see and remember them and lets all move on.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 1:45 a.m. CST

    Fatboy is absolutely right...

    by LesterB

    And I would know. After all, I'm white. I've seen doors open for me that won't open for people with darker skin. I've seen the cops search all the black people at a party and leave me and my white friends alone. I've heard the comments from my friends who'd like to think that they're more tolerant than most people, and I've thought to myself, "We've come a long way, but we've still got a damn long way to go." I'm ashamed that when I see three young black men walking down the street and their clothes are a little baggy, I immediately quicken my pace and start looking over my shoulder. I hate myself and my whole race for the way we treat our fellow human beings. And it bothers the shit out of me when people like Depardieu or Siskel's Ghost or Archangelus try to rationalize the underlying racism that still exists in this country by passing it off as if it were just a byproduct of "reverse racism", as if such a thing even existed. Are blacks pissed at us? Yep. Do they have a right to be? Oh, hell yes. Listen, gentlemen, when we've been forced to live in degenerating neighborhoods, ignored by our government, constantly pulled over and searched by the cops for no reason but because our skin's a different shade from theirs, and turned away from universities and high-paying jobs for generations, then we can start crying "racism". But guess what? It ain't happened. The average white male makes a whole hell of a lot more than the average black male. On the whole, property value in this nation still drops whenever a few black families move in. What does THAT tell you about the way this country still views African-Americans? Still claim that racism no longer exists, or even that it's equal? C'mon. Don't give me that. You guys know better, and all of us, myself included, should be ashamed for so easily accepting it. Fatboy, I'd like to apologize to you if I've overstepped my bounds. This is really YOUR argument, but I just wanted you to know that not every white guy in this country is completely remorseless.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 1:46 a.m. CST

    A few things...

    by All Thumbs

    I really wanted to see this movie not because it's by Spike Lee (some of his films I've seen don't work, in my opinion)but because it's about the history of blackface in mainstream entertainment, which is just plain fascinating. There is a really good documentary on it that I've seen twice since coming to college but for the life of me can't remember what it's called. I am, however, really disappointed in the reactions by people on both sides of the issues presented here and have to say that I don't believe in the use of the term "reverse racism". Racism is just racism no matter who it is directed towards, and while white people do have privelege in many situations because of the color of their skin it shouldn't mean that it's ok or justified for people to beat up someone or do something else in the name of racial hatred. There are better ways to enact change and I think movies like the documentary I mentioned above (the name eludes me, but the images and message are still here) are better ways to challenge racism. Hate just spurns on more hate. And I, too, have to add in that I find words like "kike", "cracker" and "honkey" just as offensive as "nigger", "beaner" or "gook". It serves NO ONE well to use these words. (I also don't believe in calling people "angry black men" just because they have more than reasonable problems with the system, either. If you think everything is equal right now and that the issues presented in "Bamboozled" aren't important, you need to take a closer look at the world around you.)

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Yum... hatred...

    by StarUnlit

    Nothing gets me quite such a wonderful hard on as when people hate on the "white-race" (a wonderfully vague term seeming to extol that every country of white origin had something to do with slavery)... Obviously FatBoy digs history as much as the sound of his own voice, so i dont mind gently reminding him how his ancestors were enslaved, you see, in most cases, Black People were sold or traded to the whites, by other BLACKS! (golly!) its unfortunate that blacks still do more harm to themselves and their race than do any other race... as another poster suggested, clean up your own back yards... and teach your kids to stop shooting each other

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 3:47 a.m. CST

    separation

    by Cynicide

    i'm not going to comment on the movie because i haven't seen it yet. i'm not going to comment on spike lee because he does things i like and he does things i don't like, just like 80% of the population. but i don't understand why people use terms like "clean up your own back yard." there's no "your backyard" and "my backyard." we live in the same damn country, in the same damn society. it's your backyard too, ya yum-yum. if black people are suffering, or are having troubles as a community for whatever reasons, that doesn't mean the white community is free from those problems. plenty of problems are present for black, white, hispanic, etc. cultures, and at this point there's too damn many of all of us to start disowning yourself from responsibility. Oh, and if you think for one second that black people were magically given equal treatment with the signing of civil rights laws, grow up in a small texas town. the confederate flag was painted on one of the streets coming to my high school. a truck full of white "ropers", as they were known, tried to run down a black girl. there were skinheads and people with white pride tattoos. inequality, separate treatment, and racism, as this forum has proved, are alive and well, unfortunately.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 4:12 a.m. CST

    more boozled bile

    by xldv61

    Some comments on other comments... Mr. Knowles, people who disapprove of censoring old movies aren't few in number; I hear them declaring themselves all the time (I'm one of them). If you want to see uncut blackface watch Turner Classic Movies. Of course they often censor profanity, nudity and violence, so it's a tradeoff...Siskels Ghost, Lee certainly had no business saying Mann shouldn't make ALI, but if you think Lee's anywhere near being the country's biggest racist, I question your judgment...Oneragga, I agree there's still a lot of racism against blacks, but Jar Jar Binks isn't part of it...Archangelus, it's true Lee's movie fundraising problems are largely his own fault, but his white characters aren't all one-dimensional, racist or out of touch with the world, or made to feel guilty for things not their fault; where do you get that from? There are a LOT of people who tell him "Your movies suck." Some of your other comments make me think a) you're unaware that racism against blacks is more powerful on this continent than racism against whites b) for someone who says they don't hate blacks you do a good imitation of it...The Comedian, what is that "trap and tired dull genre" you call '"Black" stories'? And what do you define as 'trash'? Lee wasn't criticizing black TV for being lowbrow formulaic junk (at least not on those grounds). I wouldn't classify either John Singleton (if he's the Singleton you meant) or Keenan Ivory Wayans as a 'great' filmmaker...Mother Plucker, you say you'd like us all to move on and find true equality, but think that most blacks you see "garner media attention by bitching"? You don't sound as if you're moving on very well.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 4:53 a.m. CST

    and still more bile

    by xldv61

    Regarding StarUnlit's comments - according to what I've read, most cases of selling/trading blacks to whites weren't done by blacks. Even if they had been, though...what's your point? It's the fact that whites owned blacks as slaves and segregated them (which was only possible because of the difference in physical appearance) in various ways on this continent that's actually had a significant influence on this continent's present society. I can't see that blacks having sold them has any more bearing on the matter than the fact that whites used to sell other whites as slaves.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 8 a.m. CST

    Really outstanding commentary, Harry -- nice job.

    by Roguewriter

    I live in Alabama, and it's doubtful this film will ever play here (I've already heard tell from a video store pal of mine that a southern rental chain is already in nervous talks about keeping it off shelves to avoid controversy when it hits video). I'm hoping to catch it somewhere else during holiday travel. Sounds like another winner from Spike, despite arguable problems with the finale (so I've heard). DO THE RIGHT THING remains one of the top 25 films of all time, IMO, and I'd follow Spike down any road, regardless of the advance word (heck, I didn't care for SUMMER OF SAM or HE GOT GAME, but both had plenty to admire). He's one of the most admirable and certainly the bravest filmmakers working today, whatever the system chooses to think of him. Fifty years from now, they'll be teaching DO THE RIGHT THING and MALCOLM X in film classes, mark my word... Again, Harry -- great commentary! RR

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Young Angry White Man part 1

    by bigbrojav

    There is a divisiveness on these boards that is quiet frankly appalling. The lines of color are clearly drawn as an US (being my white fellows) against them (our black brothers). It sickens me that we continue to continue a tread that has been going on since black

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Is nigger just a word?

    by bigbrojav

    When I was growing up part of my life was spent in an all black neighborhood. I was one of the few white dots on the screen and just as in all

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Spike - The One Trick Pony

    by Skateboard Kid

    As much of a talented film maker Spike Lee is, I for one am fed up with his constant black rage agenda within his movies. How much longer do we have to put up with his angry black man act before he makes a different kind of film. Spike's said so much on the subject of race that movie fans are beginning to turn off their enthusiasm for yet another 'political' Spike Lee joint. I was glad when 'Summer of Sam' came out as it made a refreshing change but now with 'Bamboozled', Spike's unfortunately back to his old ways...

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 9:09 a.m. CST

    great taste, less filling...

    by StarUnlit

    Make no mistake Cyn... we do not live in the same country... children dont turn each other into a bloody red mist with automatic weapon fire in my country, but hey, its always so fun and easy to blame whitey right?

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Let's all hold hands and sing

    by Fate

    You know what? All you guys just managed to prove a theory that I have been working on for a long time. Question: What is the difference between white people and black people? Answer: Not a damn thing, except for the color of our skin. That is the only difference. Take a look at yourselves, you guys who are arguing back and forth. Have you notived that you guys sound EXACTLY ALIKE? Skin color is the only difference. Both races kill their "own", both races will sell their "own" people, both races have chips on their shoulders. Think about it...other races who came to this country, keep their heritage and familiarity intact. Hispanic people come over and keep their bond (re: Elian Gonzalez crap). Majority of black people today have no idea of what our heritatge is really like. We are basically white people with dark tans. Nobody gives a damn about what languages oru people may have spoken. Nobody gives a damn about what our original religions were. We just became dark-colored white people, from the outside to the core. Think about this and take a good look at yourselves...changes must be made....

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Star I think you are insecure

    by bigbrojav

    Star why so threatened? I don't feel I'm too blame for the problems in America. But maybe you do since you are on the defensive. Have you done something that you aren't too proud of? Told a nigger joke or two? Don't think your racist because of it? You are limited in scope my friend. Do some volunteer work in low income areas and you will probably change your negatvie tune. Especially since you seem to imply that all black people do is think of new ways to kill each other. How ignorant is that? Do you also think that all black people are good at sports? they used to say that blacks weren't smart enough to play quaterback....now look at the nfl. Colin Powel would have won the election easily. He doesn't sit around living up to your sterotypes Star. Also why should Spike do something different? If you don't like his films don't watch them. I dont get mad at black people for not wanting to watch my Best Friends Wedding. Hey that movie said a lot about our culture and made some profound statements, but if they dont want to watch it that's find by me.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Nobody triedn to rationalize

    by Archangelus

    Nobody tried to rationalize racism. I was only trying to say that even though somebody is black doesnt mean they have the right perception and the right methods of dealing with it. Spike Lee is a boring director. I get an email from someone asking me to stop hating. Thats a real problem when somebody speaks up and is called a racist for no reason whats so ever. Fatboy wants to call people all sorts of names and make the issue of racism as simple as whites versus blacks. have you ever thought that there are really a small group of people than can control anybodies future and thats the wealthy class. What kind of power does a garbage man from New York with three kids and a morgage have to keep a brotha down, does he find the time between paying the gas and electric bill to plot the destruction of the blackman. Spike lee is a bad director who cant tell a very good story, regardless of whether hes white or black.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 9:39 a.m. CST

    I agree with Archangelus

    by Fate

    Back in the day, I was about as militant as they come. But then I got educated about the world. I got educated about all people and the truth about my ancestry. The main thing that wrong with this country is that we are controlled by a good %3 of our polulation, people who have no idea of what we, the common man, really live like. All the judges, politicians and crap are not qualified at all to do theri jobs. All they have to do is sign a paper and completely ruin someone's life. That kind of power is addicting, which is why they will do anything to get it. But these same p*ssies who dish the heat, can't take it when it gets on them. In my city, a state attorney committed suicide a while back. He was responsible for signing away the llves of many MANY people, the majority of them being black. But as soon as he heard that he was about to be investigated becuz of fraud, he couldn't handle it and killed himself. If the same thing happened to the majority of us (posters to this board) we wouldn't have killed ourselves like that becuz we didn't live sheltered lives and we experieced pain and we know how to deal with pressure. But the glass p*ssy politicians who control us, can't deal with the same control being applied to them. So...the hard thing is not to let that pain and pressure that we felt, control every aspect of our lives. I don't hate anyone, becuz it takes too much energy to hate. Ever felt how that feels inside? Its a strong pain in your chest. But when you take effort to understand people, there is no pain. So I guess my point in all this is...I forgot. I've been writing too long (that happens sometimes). Oh well...

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 10:10 a.m. CST

    I agree

    by Archangelus

    WrathfulBuddha is dead on accurate. There's only poor people and rich people.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Thanks

    by Fate

    Wrathful Buddha just figured out my point for me...

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 11:05 a.m. CST

    THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS 'REVERSE RACISM'

    by Cooler-than-Thou

    I know i'm getting in on this coversation late but I think everyone here needs to realize that there's no such thing as fucking Reverse Racism. That would imply that the definition of racism is reserved to a specific race. Like racism is defined as a white man prejudice of a black man. Racism is prejudice toward all races. A black man beating the shit out of a white guy just because he's pale is racism. A chinese man kicking in the teeth of an American Indian just because he's brown is racism. Speaking as a black man that has experienced extreme racism, I must say that it hasn't made me angry or bitter. It just made me realize that I long for a day when race isn't an issue at all.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Thanks, ZeroCorpse... I think your perspective should remind all

    by Roguewriter

    ... and speaking as someone who has never really understood the chaotic black-vs-white attitudes in America (I grew up an Army brat -- the only division there was children-of-officers vs. children-of-enlisted... a strange little subculture, that one...) but who has spent a lot of time studying Native American culture and history, I've spent a lot of time feeling mighty fucking guilty about the fact that stupid-ass European colonists felt some need or obligation to all but eradicate one of the most unique races of people ever to exist on Earth. Don't get me wrong, I worry about racism in America between blacks and whites -- it's all around us, worsening all the time again (thanks to the WWW, in part) but whenever American politicos start talking about our obligations to our fellow men around the world in times of strife, I can't help but feel completely ashamed of this country. Who the hell are we to say anything being done by anyone else is right or wrong. We're guilty of one of the worst instances of human genocide in history. .............. Kinda puts the black-white issues in a little more perspective, no? -- RR, humble white guy, just voicing an opinion...

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Native american my ass

    by bigbrojav

    I think the gentleman who posted the response about the native American perspective isn't native and if he is then he knows nothing of his history or past. I find your post borderline racist. What are you exactly trying to say? that unless your native you can't complain about rascism and discrimination? Why are you attacking black people? The negative images that are reinforced by pop culture are companies that are owned by white people. The football teams, the baseball teams, the chewing gum....you are clueless. Blacks and natives have a well documented relationship. the Natives would offer refuge for escaped slaves. Why you would make such a blatant attack on a people who feel disenfranchised is beyond me. If you accept these messed up sterotypes then more power to you. but you shouldn't attack others when they don't accept them. Do you know who has the worst poverty, illiteracy, substance abuse, and infant mortality rate in the nation? Native Americans.....check your facts. and ask yourself why that is. and you will see a pattern among groups who have similar problems. They were exploited by white people back in the day. White people aren't inherently evil, but I admit that I'm a benefactor of the system that my fore fathers created for me. I am more than willing to help anyone who encounters difficulty or despair as long as they are willing to work for it. And as far as DISNEY how dare you try to use that as an example....black's are always portrayed in Disney flicks as singing and dancing. It took my girlfriend to point that out to me, but now that I can't help but see it. You are a person who needs to see bamboozled. My great grandmother was a black/Seminole Indian so this is my native American perspective you racist sack of shit. Oh and about satire. Get it out of your mind that it is suppose to make you laugh. who was laughing when Jon Swift was talking about eating babies or Orwell in Animal Farm, or Huxley in Brave new World...where were the jokes in Gattataka.....all satire. educate yourself

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 12:25 p.m. CST

    The word racism gets tossed around way too much.

    by superninja

    I used to think like some that Spike Lee was a reverse racist. But then I realised -- what the hell am I doing? I'm just perpetuating this circle of anger. Instead of being satisfied with labelling Mr. Lee, why don't you step back and think about what caused him to form these attitudes? I would love to believe in a perfect world where ethnic entertainers get equal opportunities, but it just isn't true. Still haven't seen Bamboozled, but it's obvious from the trailer that Lee gets the point across very well that Blacks aren't just entertainers, they were entertainment as well -- a cultural stereotype that the nation laughed at up until the civil rights movement. This is not something that's going to go away by disregarding the sins of the father. There needs to be some serious dialogue if we're ever really going to come together.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Stop Bitching

    by Cooler-than-Thou

    Racism and slavery has been around since the dawn of civilization. Who the fuck do we think built the Sphinx and all those majestic temples that still line many a desert? It sure as hell wasn't a pharoah. It was slaves. I agree 100 percent with ZeroCorpse in one respect. While shows like "Amos & Andy" have been taken off the air, we still see shit like the Atlanta Braves and the Red Skins. It's fucking wrong. The fact of the matter is that we black people need to stop bitching about the past and look to the future. I got a father that did nothing but spout racist shit to me as a child about the white man and how they were evil and out to keep a brother down. But this motherfucker ran out on my mother and my sister when I was five years old. And I know i'm not the only fatherless child case in the black community. If you're up for black unity and racial equality, that's cool. Fantastic, now stop bitching about the past, stop getting drunk, put down the weed, kill the pissy attitude and take care of your kids, get some education and pull a foundation for your families. My ancestors endured the atrocities of slavery with the hope that someday their grandchildren and great grandchildren would live in a world where they could get an education and live a life outside of the plantation. The world isn't a perfect one and racism still exists but at least we have that opportunity. There's more to life than Black&White bullshit.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 12:57 p.m. CST

    I KNOW WHY SPIKE DOESNT GET BIG BUDGETS FOR MOVIES

    by radio_freak

    the reason he doesnt get big budgets, is because he cant make them work. look what he did with malcom x. that was and is his biggest budget to date. what did he do, he went over budget,then cried about how the white man didnt give him enough. then he went to leaders in the black community. oprah, michael jordan and so on,and all them combined i think donated 40 thousand dollars to finish the movie and they were heroes. lets look at it. "white" studio gives 20-million and they are the devil, blacks give 40 thousand and they are the heroes. plus spike lee movies all look like amateur student films. after being sucked in to see "he got game", ill never see another spike lee movie again. the only reason he is still making movies is becasue people dont want to say no to him out of fear of looking racist. if a white man made his films,which gross no money,look horrible and go over budget, he would have been out of the business years ago. Spike lee is the most racist man in america

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Cooler-than-thou

    by superninja

    Actually most Egyptian monuments were built by Egyptian laborers. It was a full-time job, giving year-round employment to vast numbers of the population. Usually slaves were used in households, or were sent as tributes to conquered nation's kings.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the correction Superninja

    by Cooler-than-Thou

    I get all of my historical education from animated films

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 5:30 p.m. CST

    slaves in Egypt? Not as many as thought.

    by drasaid

    You are right; the Pyramids were built by freeman. We know because they went on strike (for more beer. True.) At the funerary temple of Hatshepsut, they hung out in a cave over the construction site, drinking beer out of jars and drawing pornographic graffiti of Hatshepsut. No lie, check out Roemer's Egypt books. That egyption beer is never going to make a comeback; stale bread stuck in a jar of water until it foams up. Then you drank it and tried to keep it down. If you're lucky, you get a buzz. That is in the same amnesia pile as the incest and other fun in Egypt. Slavery existed, but not on the scale most people imagine.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 5:53 p.m. CST

    More Responses

    by xldv61

    Re TWIG: The film's background music was irritating, but your interpretation of it as an "attempt to make those characters into victims of the evil white man" is just that - YOURS, and the film itself wouldn't support it. THE COMEDIAN: Buck the Wonder Slave??? Excuse me? STARUNLIT: FatBoy mentioned he was white, not black. ARCHANGELUS: I don't think you were called a racist for no reason. In your first post alone you have a tunnelvisioned perception of Lee's white characters and suggest he's coddled because he's black. There is some truth in there, but you put them out as blanket statements...and just about every comment about blacks you've made on this talkback has been negative. COOLER-THAN-THOU: Every person on this talkback identifying themselves as black has complained (if at all) mainly about the present, not the past. ZEROCORPSE: In Africa blacks went through something similar to what Native Americans suffered here, but unless I'm mistaken, NAs weren't exported to be slaves and second-class citizens on another continent in addition to getting screwed over in their homeland. You make this statement about what happened to your relatives, then say "That didn't really happen to them." I beg your pardon? Can you tell us how often those things did happen? As a Chinese I'm sensitive to difficulties Asians have had in the U.S., but it'd be laughable for me to imply they've been treated as badly as blacks. They weren't enslaved for centuries (were the NAs?) They weren't legally segregated to the degree blacks were (were the NAs?) There was no rule in the Hollywood production code stating Asian-white romance was forbidden like there was for blacks and whites. I've had limited contact with NAs - some were nice, some were black-hating racists; don't you hate it when people complain about racism while being guilty of it themselves - and I'm not as familiar with that history as I'd like so please tell me - were NAs usually forbidden to leave their reservations? If they did, were they usually forced to sit in the backs of buses and in the balconies of theaters and consigned to separate restrooms/public schools/restaurants etc.? Were they legally forbidden in many states from marrying whites? As for your observation about representation of them in the media - good question. I don't know why you use it as an excuse to attack blacks.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 6:16 p.m. CST

    5tone's solution to all this

    by tommy5tone

    to quote 'bulworth': "everybody's just gotta fuck everybody until we're all the same colour." problem solved!

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Spike need to chill the F***K out!

    by JOHNDOGG

    He should take a little less time knocking great Afican American actors Like Samual L. Jackson, Will Smith, and Ving Rhayme for trying to make a living acting and try to make some better flicks. Aside from He Got Game, Spike hasn't done anything good in a while. All he's been doing lately is criticizing black actors for not doing roles he thinks they should be doing. But instead, maybe he should quit bitching for a while and write something up that fits his strict idea of the part an african american actors should take. But untill then, Spike, CHILL THE FUCK OUT!!!

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 6:46 p.m. CST

    spike sold out and he sucks

    by newguy

    spike lee has made one film that hit it's mark (do the right thing) and from that point on he has been making one pretensious piece of shit after another. i agree we have an extremely sad racial situation here in america, and -big surprise- the studios are selling soap to white people who have all the money. my question is why does spike lee have to be the center of racial debate amongst people. his suckiness is the best arguement to have more people of color in the media. that way some of the talented people (who happen to be of black) can get in there and make some excellent films. i still think he has caused america to do some serious thinking about race and one's role in this mess and for that he should be commended, because that took some balls. it's just that he isn't that good of a filmmaker. hello, anyone see "summer of sam"? was that supposed to be a comedy, or was the audience laughing because it sucked? on the other hand i think spikes commercials are terrific. i especially like the one for the navy he made. you know, join up so you can get your ass shot off for whitey while he oppresses you at home, while they dangle the idea of getting out of the ghetto in front of your face. nice spike. in short he is more at home selling shit to people and when he tries to make something "socially conscious" it shows that he has corporate dick in his mouth and he like the taste.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Understanding the root of the issue.

    by superninja

    It's about money, it was always about money. Maybe if everyone steps back and looks at the root of the problem, gets educated, people will think twice before perpetuating an idea that is based on total ignorance.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Defense

    by Archangelus

    Everything I said about blacks is not negative. I watched Spike Lee films objectivly and only when I came to the conclusions about his representations of characters did I stop watching. this also applies to how Lee portrays blacks I didnt say anything about black people as a whole or give a blanket statement. Spike Lee himself has given blanket statements about other groups, such as jews, whites and Asians. When he talks about racism and prejudice his comments become suspect because of the nature of his own views. I like Malcom X, I thought it was a good film, because it was, not because I felt like I had to like it. I dont ever want it be said that I dislike a film simple because of the color of the film makers skin.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Spike Wins

    by HistorySays

    Judging by the response in this Talk Back, it looks like Spike accomplished his goal. People are talking, some of which haven't even seen the movie, about a subject that isn't often spoken about in today's supposedly politically correct, harmonious world. Things are just as divided as ever, and you can't blame a single man or a movie for that. This talkback is merely a tiny reflection of the divisions that still exist in the world around us. And just for the record, every director, no matter how great, has his occasional misses. Woody Allen is a prime example. Spielsberg with 1941? Empire of the Sun? Francis Ford Copolla's last two decades of filmmaking? Spike Lee is a hit or miss filmmaker, always daring, always willing to do something new. And one cannot deny his undisputable classic, Do The Right Thing, perhaps the most potent social commentary put to film in the last twenty years.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Why hate others because of the color of their skin, when there a

    by AnxietyNY

    Gawd, I miss Emo Philips.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 9:30 p.m. CST

    bamboozled

    by HellzWindStaff

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Bamboozled

    by HellzWindStaff

    Great review Harry!!! I've seen this movie 4 times already and I thought it was excellent. I'm black and I wasnt offended by the subject matter or the images at all. I agree with 99.9% of what Spike was trying to get across and I found parts off this film hilarious.

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Cooler-Than-Thou

    by Fate

    I feel what you're saying. Some other black people I know always talk about how sh*t is bad and racism and kinds of other stuff that they don't know about. But when I asked them if they would like to help me out with mentoring teenagers and younger kids "Naw man...can't do it...". That's why I have no tolerance for whiners now. People are quick to say somebody sold out but they themselves do absolutely nothing to help the community out (and when I say community, I mean EVERYONE.) I grew up without a father as well. I never heard anything bigoted from him (he himself is a mixture of Seminole, Black, and Dominican) except against gay people, which I find offensive as well, even though I am straight. At least we are all communicating. If it were nto for this movie, none of this right now would be happening and I sure as hell wouldn't be posting (I posted about 10 times since I started coming here a year ago.)

  • Nov. 13, 2000, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Yet more random responses

    by xldv61

    ARCHANGELUS: In your first post, you said all Lee's white characters are negative in certain ways, and that everyone feels so guilty about racism and slavery, they're afraid to tell Lee his movies suck; those sound like incorrect blanket statements to me. As for all your remarks not being negative, very well, you're correct - a lot are negative, a lot are neutral, and none are positive, which adds up to a negative impression. When a person displays that kind of attitude toward any group of people, it leads me to believe they might be prejudiced. And while there's no question that Lee has made racist assertions himself...he's made those remarks as Spike Lee, not as an anonymous talkbacker like virtually all of us here, so they don't irritate me as much. WRATHFULBUDDHA, are you saying blacks in Africa weren't slaughtered and treated in ways similar to Native Americans? That's about the only way your comment about my comment would make sense. For that matter...do I take it you agree with the things ZeroCorpse said in his post? HISTORYSAYS, it's true; Lee seems to have inspired plenty of interesting debate. His movies usually do, even when they're worthwhile failures like this one.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 12:22 a.m. CST

    A few things I've learned thus far:

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    1.) Hatred and bigotry are alive and well, judging by the poisonous crap I read on this board--and on every board having to do with Spike Lee, an outspoken Black man. Gee, I wonder why *that* is. 2.) Lots of White people are in hella denial about racism in this country. "Oh, quit whining! Racism's dead. You're just paranoid. Things are better then ever; Lee's just a troublemaking darkie up to no good and why don't you negores quit shooting each other up, you're the cause of all your problems" etc. etc. Yeah, right, whatever assholes. Try turning off your Limbaugh and his shoeshine boy Ken Hamlin and go take a walk in the real world sometime. 3.) I need to take a hard second look at people like Spike Lee, Louis Farrakhan and Khalid Abdul Muhammad and actually listen to what these people have to say, and not just believe what I've been told about them by the corporate media. 5.) I need to read more about my people, and their history, both in this country and in The Motherland. My early New Year's Resolution is that starting this January, I'm putting aside the science fiction novels and comics and picking up some African history--beginning with Marq De Villiers' "Into Africa, A Journey through the Ancient Empires" and Chancellor Williams' "The Destruction of Black Civilization," the latter of which was recommended to me by a friend. And finally, 6.) I need to be less afraid of calling racist bullshit racist bullshit when I hear it, both on this board and in real life. And like a Whirlwind Thru Cities, I'm OUT.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 12:26 a.m. CST

    It's just not that good though

    by Vern

    I wasn't offended by the video, and I agree with harry that all this works in THEORY and sounds funny in THEORY. But in the actual video it's a big sloppy bore. I liked a lot of what the video was trying to do but Mr. Lee used to be a good fucking director. In this video he's throwing things randomly on the screen and if they don't work, just leaving them up there. There are about 8 too many montages of old movies in this video. Wayans talks in a ridiculous accent that is distracting and annoying. The character's motivations are messy (was he trying to get fired? Was he trying to make a satire? Did he seriously like blackface? Make up your mind pal). The phoney commercials are too long and obvious. And for a satire this video sure is lacking in funnies. By the end everybody is all crying and shooting each other fer cryin out loud. Honestly I don't think this video is outrageous ENOUGH. It plays it safe by targeting Steppin Fetchit instead of the people that would be able to rebut, like UPN, Big Momma's House and Farty Professor and etc. Yeah, there's a controversial statement - blackface is bad! The one thing that honestly did offend me about this video was that it was not a real movie, but only a fucking digital video. This thing looks like shit. It is a shame to see the guy who did beautiful photographical type works like "do the right thing" and "the mo better blues" making pictures that look like shitty bootleg videos. To misquote the famous character Sweet Dick Willie in Do The Right Thing, "You need to boycott the director of photography that fucked up your movie." I still like Mr. Lee and his works but I think Robert Townsend's take on this exact same subject, Hollywood Shuffle, dated as it is, is more relevant today.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 8:43 a.m. CST

    More

    by Archangelus

    Xldv61, I do believe you think theres prejudice in my statements because you want to find it there. YOu want to make it as easy as just a prejudice person spewing there hate and therefore they can be ignored. Never once did I use the words all or everybody, which are terms used to make generalizations. I never said black people were this or whites where this. I said fictional characters representations of characters by Spike Lee are one dimensional and not true to life. All this becomes in the end is a case of people arguing over who was abused more. Making a negative blanket statement is just as wrong as making a positive blanketed statement because you make the assumption that all people are alike or that is all they are capable of. That is why, I kept my statements in the realm of the spike lee films only and anything I may have said other wise was directed at a particular person I was responding to on the board.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Cant wait to see it

    by Gentle_Fury

    I have always been a big spike lee fan, his films have always been about equality and about the characters......not about this characters black and this ones white and this ones latino. Ive always just like the movies, he is a good story teller. Spike Lee makes human pieces, you really get to feel for the characters and once it gets past the first 20 mins of racial issues people pull together and fight side by side, ive always had a great respect for his work. Now something i would like to add to the whole racial issue, i for one dont see it as an issue. I mean arent we above all that?? Do you truely ever go to see a movie and think.....oooo that characters black, or that ones white, or uh oh there goes another japanese character? I know i dont.....its just sillly, i thought we have evolved past the point of ignorance or of other races being "different" we are all the same, and the fact that people make it an issue is really silly. For those of you that protest that there arent any dramas with african american characters in it watch Boston Public......i have really grown fond of this show, the characters dont talk about race, they dont care.....the "bad" and "Good" characters are of all races and that is not what causes the issues. The principal and the superintendant are both black and it is NOT an issue at all, they are merely characters in places of power, and are never portrayed as "minoritys" the show actually revolves around a staff at a school and the problems that arrise! its amazing to see a drama on television that doesnt revolve its premise around a race or sexual preference. Its a relief to watch something where you like or dislike a character due to their character and not about their race. I for one think Spike Lee has done a great job in not zeroing in on anything and that is why he gets punished and doesnt get "good" films. Go watch some of his films again and you tell me if its about the "black" man being held down by the "white" man or if its about people getting along together and attempting to build equality.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Spike Lee sucks, all his movies should be MST3K'd

    by prajadhipok

    Period!

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 11:57 a.m. CST

    wtf!!??

    by nelson

    Whiteboy Eminem could say "nigga" all night long, and the media doesn't say shit._________Michael Jackson says "kike" in "They don't care about us" and he is forced to remove it fom his album?___Am I missing something??

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 12:12 p.m. CST

    The Truth

    by w_buhr

    I have heard a lot of things said, some about the movie, some about spike, some about race, etc. The only thing that I have read that I agree with is this: Ernie Dickerson was the force behind spike's good films, and without him spike is just another director.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Change Begins With But One Man

    by HistorySays

    "look its a black person with a chip on there shoulder...thats not a rare sight. My neibhors are black and make more money that my family, yet they are from ghetto and Im not." Archangelus, if there is one thing that I hope you will learn through this whole discussion, is that prejudice is not always about hate, but more often about ignorance. "Spewing hate" does not constitute the whole of the problem of racism in this country or in it's past. Attitudes about minorities, especially blacks in america, have so often been based upon such statements as "look, a black person with a chip on his shoulder.....that's a rare sight". Such ignorant statements make it easier for non-minorities in this country to ignore the fact that there are reasons for that chip. "yeah I got that crap all the time from the brotha's always talking about being in the ghetto while wearing their expensive Nike shoes, gold chains and Fubu,while I was wearing K-mart specials. I wish I was spoiled. I wish I had the privledges you think every white person has." Point being, white people do have a priviledge in the United States, whether you know it or not. It's not being born rich, it's not being born with a silver spoon, it's the fact that never once will a person look twice when they see you out with a white girl on a date. The fact that not once will anybody call you a "whiny brotha" with a chip on their shoulder. The fact that you will never have to worry about the ignorant assumptions which come along with being a minority. All blacks are gangstas. All mexicans are illegal immigrants. All asians are timid and good at math. All natives live in teepees and do warchants. Don't deny the fact that, although not always so extremists, these attitudes still exist today. I've seen them in all walks of life, in all areas of this country. And yes, white people may have to deal with the fact that people may accuse them of being racists, but remember, minorities are not waiting for an opporotunity to attack you, but are just trying to make you aware of things that you cannot be aware of because of your ignorance. And that is what constitutes prejudice. The inability to learn. "I think your angry at yourself because you feel inferior. Despite my experience I dont hate, can you say the same. Blacks are their own worst enenmy. they kill each other more often than any other group does. Its time to clean up your own backyard before you go knockin on your neighors door. Im ancestors werent even here during the time of slavery. We didnt get her until the 1920's. Blaming the boogieman(whites) is only an excuse for your inability to clean up your won act. I realized from my experience that blacks can be just as ignorant, violent and prejudice as any other group." You say that you don't make blanket statements, and yet here they are on the page. You said all these things. You don't have to look hard to see the prejudice in these words you say. Yes, blacks can be just as ignorant, violent, and prejudice as any other group, but so can we all. If there's one thing for certain, there are good and bad people of all colors and religions. You don't have to point that out. Nobody said this group or that group is infallible. I'm glad you don't hate. That is the first step. But try some understanding. If someone is angry at something, don't assume they feel "inferior" that is such an easy out. Ignoring problems in the first component of ignorance. People don't make this shit up. The second people stop being so defensive and start actually talking about the problems that exist, is the second that those problems can be solved. So, Archangelus, go back and look at these things you say and think about whether or not they are targeted at a specific person, or if they have root in general attitudes you hold. Either way, I'm not here to change your mind about anything, just trying to hold up a mirror.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 12:38 p.m. CST

    by Archangelus

    those statements where in direct response to others on the board. I also said from my own personal experience and also said them because I wanted to show how all people who are white dont come from privledge. Im not going to defend myself when others have said worse. I clarified myself and to all those that do not understand its there own fault. THe statements about the shoes, chip on the shoulder were in direct response to the statements of others on this board. I felt(the word is felt, signifing a person opinon based on my experience) that in order to break the cycle of racism all definitions of race have to be throw out and spike lee in his films continues to hold firmly on his own preconcieved notions of racial identity. The fact that my neibhor makes more than me and claims to be from the ghetto is an example of how certain experience are exceptable for one but not all. Nobody is denying that racism exsist but to limit it to one time and one group is ignorant. Blanket statements would be for example saying, all white men cant jump or all black people wear purple underwear. That is an example of an all incompasing statement, one that defines all without exception and I never did that. Dont you think others have said far worse than I. Sure whites have previledged but dont make that a devisive issue.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 12:44 p.m. CST

    by Archangelus

    Its funny that all the people trying to speak about blanket statements and not generalizing are in fact trying to catgorize others.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Lee and X vs. Spielberg and King

    by brody783

    I think Mr Lee has talent, I personally thought Summer of Sam though overly long, was technically an excellent film and spike seems to be one of the most experimental filmmakers of today. i think the man is very arrogant though. i don't see how he can say with a clean concience that he should be the one to make Ali and Michael Mann shouldn't just because he's white (Mr Ali was later quoted as saying he would much rather have Mann do his film than Lee). I believe he does make us think alot, but i think the guy may be a little bit cukoo. he seems to think his opinion is the definitive opinion of all blacks and that his opinion is the correct one. lee always struck me as malcolm x might have been as a filmmaker whereas someone like spielberg is making the films mlk jr would have made if he had been a filmmaker. lee and X focused on the enemy whereas king and spielberg concentrate more on the heroes. personally i find the latter more effective. lee's films just make me feel like i've done something wrong, they make me feel depressed and guilty. wheras with spielberg and even singleton films make me want to make a difference and look at things differently and let me know how lucky i am.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Well Intentioned but Poorly Executed

    by harry64

    I'm afraid that I've really got to disagree with your review of Bamboozled. I'm a huge fan of Spike Lee's films and I was thoroughly excited about seeing this one. It seemed to me that a film dealing with this subject matter was way over due. Unfortunately I still feel this way due to the fact that Spike Lee failed to thoughtfully and truthfully examine exploitation. The film is a mess from begining to end. I honestly feel that Mr. Lee himself doesn't really know what he's saying in this particular case. It was easier and safer for Spike Lee to simply throw in a bunch of ideas related to exploitation and call it a film than to work through how our society exploits, and how we all fit into the picture. Lee's most egregious error was his inability to see how he himself fits into the framework. How and why is his making a film about black face different from his character Delacroix's making a television show about blackface? I'm not saying that Lee's sole intention was to exploit the subject matter and make a quick buck, but his total refusal to even begin to understand his complicity is inexcusable. Why is it OK for Spike Lee to make Nike commercials? Is it? I don't feel strongly one way of the other but I think it's important to examine the questions. Regardless though of Spike Lee's message being totally confused and impotent, the film fails on a totally seperate level. Not one of the characters is interesting, compelling, engaging, or thought provoking, they all seem totally absurd and one dimensional. In the end the most powerful part of the film is the final montage of black face shows and cartoons. Watching this one gets a sense of just how horrible and disgusting the whole practise is. The real tragedy is not only how much the practise continues on in our pop-culture today (all be it in different guises), but Lee's total inability to effectively demonstrate that fact.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Well Archangelus

    by xldv61

    I don't need to conjure prejudice from your statements; as you said, there's even more in other posts on this board - but there isn't enough space to argue with them all. I used more room to address yours because they were made in a way that took a lot of quoting and explaining to refute them. You did say 'all' and 'everybody,' and you specified Lee's white characters as 1 dimensional, not all his characters; read your first entry. The fact that the ugly examples of black behavior you cite elsewhere are things you experienced isn't grounds to paint such a one-sided picture. There are ethnic groups I've had only bad encounters with, but I wouldn't just describe it all on the internet and leave it at that. And I know you were replying to specific people...but why just them? There were plenty of comments attacking Lee and/or blacks; how come none of your several posts argued with those? Finally, you said you were a white kid who was discriminated against by the blacks in your neighborhood. Do you really think that hasn't affected your feelings?

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 8:13 p.m. CST

    by Archangelus

    I responded to others on the board whos post where in some way related to my posts. I didnt really have anything else to say about any of the other posts because they were mostly debating between each other. I can say all for the fictional characters because of the small number provides easy reference and categorization. I have seen all of spike lees films and therefore I can make a generalized statement but because . We know that these people arent individuals but a continuing concept of identity that can be observed in repitition because they stem from a consistant sourcel;Spike Lee. I havent seen all black or white people because they are living breathing people coming from mulitple direction or spheres of influence.

  • and then you try to distort xldv61's post into something malicious? Grow up. By the way, I've been reading the AICN posts for a while, and this bit of idiocy on your part is the catalyst for my finally contributing one of my own. So, congratulations to you too.

  • Nov. 14, 2000, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Oh and ZeroCorpse

    by RS

    I happen to be part Native American too, and thank you so much for portraying us as whiny negrophobes for the entire world to see.

  • Nov. 15, 2000, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Putney Swope & Hollywood Shuffle

    by Sam McAbee

    It seems that in all the pointless, ignorant and masturbatory film & literary reference used in your badly written, all caps review, you failed to mention the two films that make Spike Lee's awful joke 'Bamboozled' one of the biggest rip off

  • Nov. 17, 2000, 4:33 a.m. CST

    Surely this is the last post

    by xldv61

    Okay, I would say almost no one including myself did an efficient job of expressing themselves here, even though it was interesting to rattle off like that. So I will admit that my posts ought not to have been so scattershot and occasionally hypocritical, that I probably ought to have honed in on someone more malicious than Archangelus and that my post to ZeroCorpse ought to have contained some clearer acknowledgment that yes, Native Americans have suffered too. Holy smokes this talkback is almost as long as the election thing. What is it with geeks and social issues?

  • Nov. 18, 2000, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Spike's Talent not evident anymore

    by Kurgen

    If Spike Lee was so "talented", he would be able to get his point across while making an audience laugh/cry/yell. Lee is only able to provoke one emotion in people; Rage. That's not talent, that's repition.

  • Nov. 21, 2000, 6:17 p.m. CST

    excellent review Harry

    by Ambrose Chappell

    Great job in summarizing what satire is, Harry. Satire is suppossed to offend and sting...but often it's the people that are meant to recieve the point the most that turn their heads the other way because they are offended. Bamboozled's release reminds me of Dogma's...sometimes we all need to be offended just so that we can open our eyes to another way of looking at something, even if we don't agree with it.

  • Nov. 22, 2000, 9:10 a.m. CST

    You can talk until you are blue in the face but it doesn't chang

    by Brooklyn Bred

    I think it's a waste of time even trying to explain to a bunch of either blind or rascist talk balkers what's going on because to coin an old phrase, 'It's a Black Thing, you'd never understand!' PS Boycott Uncle Tom's Cabin 2000 AKA Bagger Vance

  • Dec. 4, 2000, 7:16 p.m. CST

    I like to pretend I'm speen reading

    by Coturno

    Nevermind, I didn't read this review anyway. I think I'll just go to sleep.

  • See? I told I needed to go to bed.

  • May 3, 2001, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Aaargh...

    by ZombieChrist

    Just saw "Bamboozled" on DVD. Don't know how it looked projected, but I liked the cinematography. It was as freaky and mixed up as the tone and plot. Yeah, it's overlong. Yeah, Spike Lee is overindulgent. But this movie is good in a way most movies aren't. Mr. Lee is swinging a might big hammer. The anger is evident, but so is the intelligence. Also, it's funny. It's worth seeing just for Savion Glover's incredible dancing.

  • May 5, 2002, 5:34 a.m. CST

    guilt?

    by nayt1

    i wish white people would stop saying they feel guilty for slavery and segregation, etc. why the hell should you feel guilty? it wasn't your fault. sins of our ancestors have nothing to do with us, we didn't do anything wrong, so don't worry about it. furthermore, why are white people always portrayed as the evil racists? its only in the last 50 years or so that racism has been seen as wrong. in the 6000 years of recorded history before that, nearly all ethnic groups disliked each other. it just happens that europeans held global power for the past half millenia and that makes the scale of its racism larger. and the portrayal of blacks in the upn-type sitcoms? those shows are made by blacks, for blacks. and the white characters in those shows are always just as one-sided. in "family matters," the only white people are the corrupt evil cops trying to get the dad in trouble or the jerk bullies trying to beat up urkel. other black sitcoms show white people as either goofy screw-ups or evil dictators trying to keep the black man down. how can you say its anyone else's fault that many black people are poor? incomes for two parent black households are comparable (85%+) to white households. sure, if a woman has to raise two or three kids by herself because the dad is a deadbeat, she's gonna be poor. but even things like that are the person's fault. she shouldn't have had kids if she wasn't in the right financial situation, for example. about spike lee? the man is a racist sack of $hit. and he's utterly insane. anyone here read his book? its one long rant against the white man. for example: why'd they make the movie "rocky?" you thought it was to entertain and make money. wrong--they made it because the white studio execs were uncomfortable with muhammed ali being world champion. uh huh. sorry to tell you guys, but racism is dead. the climate is now so bad that if you dare to criticize a famous black person or position held by black "leadership," you're branded a fascist nazi forever. black politicians (jesse jackson *cough*) can shakedown any corporation they want just because they don't have the appropriate racial mix of employees. black people can riot and destroy businesses, cars, and other property (a la cincinatti and los angeles) and we have to examine ourselves to see what we did to cause it. bull$hit. white people in america don't care about race. if you say anything slightly racist in a group of white people, you'll be pounced on by half of them, because they've been indoctrinated to feel guilty and hate themselves for things they never did. sorry, but western europeans don't have a monopoly on racism. we're not even the worst racists in history. why do you think the first time you hear the word "xenophobia" its in the china segment of world history? in fact, the "evil white man" ended a 6000-year period in history by becoming the first to accept not only other races, but even women, as equals.