A reflection on ‘Do the Right Thing’

dotheright

And speaking of the opening credits:

So why are we thinking about “Do the Right Thing“?

Because Radio Raheem died this week.

Bill Nunn, a versatile actor best known for playing the role of Radio Raheem, the boombox-toting neighborhood philosopher killed by police officers in Spike Lee’s 1989 film “Do the Right Thing,” died on Saturday in Pittsburgh. He was 63.

His death was announced on social media by Mr. Lee. His wife, Donna, told The Associated Press that Mr. Nunn had cancer.

THE JOB, BILL NUNN, 2001-02

Bill Nunn

What I didn’t realize was that we’ve seen Bill Nunn in a lot of things. He was in the Spider-Man movies, appeared in “Sister Act” and was a regular character actor on television.

Also, here’s something interesting to consider. Radio Raheem’s death by cop in “Do the Right Thing” happened decades ago. Very little has changed, but there has been an interesting reaction to similar circumstances today:

colin-kaepernick-time-maagzine-cover-leadAnd this is why Colin Kaepernick is taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Because brutality that was the climax of a movie in 1989 that had pundits like Joe Klein saying that the movie was dangerous because it would make blacks want to riot (that’s right Joe, I haven’t forgotten that piece of editorial diarrhea) still happens today and doesn’t appear like it’s going to stop anytime soon.

Spike Lee was criticized for making it the focus of attention in 1989. Colin Kaepernick is criticized for making it the focus of attention in 2016.

Guess who’s responsible for racism!

Do prominent Trump supporters not understand it’s a bad idea to talk to the British media?

Is this really in the Guardian?

Donald Trump’s campaign chair in a prominent Ohio county has claimed there was “no racism” during the 1960s and said black people who have not succeeded over the past half-century only have themselves to blame.

Kathy Miller, who is white and chair of the Republican nominee’s campaign in Mahoning County, made the remarks during a taped interview with the Guardian’s Anywhere but Washington series of election videos. …

Miller added: “I don’t think there was any racism until Obama got elected. We never had problems like this … Now, with the people with the guns, and shooting up neighborhoods, and not being responsible citizens, that’s a big change, and I think that’s the philosophy that Obama has perpetuated on America.”

Miller dismissed the suggestion that Trump was exploiting racist or prejudiced views among some voters as “the media making stuff up.” Instead, she said of the Republican nominee: “He’s very willing to talk about issues that have never been discussed publicly.”

When it was pointed out that some people might find her remarks offensive, Miller replied: “I don’t care, it’s the truth.”

Holy fuck! It’s the same thing the North Carolina congressman said. It’s a damned talking point for the Pump Truppets.

Don’t they realize that when they’re talking to people they don’t know, they’re supposed to use their inside voice? Because there’s no doubt they’ve been interviewed by their local media and they’ve said the exact same thing, but it wasn’t reported because “both sides!”

Oh, and Hillary! Only 50 percent are deplorable? You’re way off!

Follow the leader: GOP congressman goes into Trump mode

Since the GOP nominee for president constantly gets away with saying stupid shit, other members of the party see no reason to not say stupid shit. Case in point:

A United States representative from North Carolina said in a television interview on Thursday that protesters in Charlotte “hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” and then hours later recanted and apologized.

The representative, Robert Pittenger, a Republican whose district includes parts of Charlotte, was interviewed on a British Broadcasting Corporation show, BBC Newsnight, when he made the comment.

And, of course, he gave a non-apology apology:

So, when you translate this, he’s saying, “Maybe I offended someone, so I’ll apologize to that person. But I know the people who voted me into office feel the same way I do, so they don’t need an apology.”

He doesn’t care about peace and calm. He just wants Charlotte’s non-whites to shut up.

And because his constituents are most likely further to the right than he is, he’s going to be reelected in November.

Let’s take a look at his BBC comment:

So he quotes Martin Luther King, then he plays the government puts blacks in bondage through welfare, and police shootings are no reason to protest.

Since TV people in the U.S. are incompetent and would have let him get away with this, as Matt Lauer proved in the “Commander-in-Chief Forum,” as Chris Wallace proved when he said his job isn’t to fact check someone who lies to him and as Chuck Todd proves every Sunday on “Meet the Press,” we should have the BBC interview American politicians. At least they don’t back down.

Screenings, premieres and seeing people true stories are based on

So, I’m on my way to a baseball game, because the Washington Nationals have a deal where you can pay $75 for standing room tickets to all of the team’s home games in September. And as I’m about to go into the Metro, my brother calls and asks if I want to go to a special movie screening at the Newseum.

Let’s see: Use the $5 ticket to stand up for a nine-inning baseball game, or get in free on a movie that will cost $12 when it opens in D.C. theaters on Sept. 23. Movie it is.

But here’s where it gets strange (for me. I’m sure other people do this all the time and are used to it). It’s at the Newseum, and there’s an open bar. Free drinks!

Waiters are carrying around hors d’oeuvres. Free food!

And as we walk into the theater, there are boxes of popcorn and candy and bottled water. Free snacks!

So into the theater and head up to the cheap seats, because, like, it’s free and there’s no such thing as a cheap seat when you’re not paying anything. But someone comes along and asks us to move to one of the rows closer to the screen, because they don’t want the stars of the movie coming out to talk to empty seats up front. OK.

But before the movie, there are speeches.

So we get one from a Disney executive, since it’s a Disney movie.

Then we get one from a congresswoman from Brooklyn.

Then we get one from a congresswoman from California.

Then we get on from a senator from Delaware.

And all of them make it a point to recognize the senator from New Jersey sitting in the row in front of us.

(Is this how we do movie screenings in the nation’s capital?)

And when they’re done, they bring out two people who are the main subjects of the film, “Queen of Katwe,” based on a true story about a female Uganda chess prodigy.

And then the two stars of the movie: David Oyelowo, who was nominated for an Academy Award for playing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the movie “Selma” and Lupita Nyong’o, who won the Academy Award for “12 Years a Slave.”

Here’s the background trailer:

So this is the second time in a week that I’ve been to a performance where the subjects of the story actually show up at the event. Last week, it was at Ford’s Theatre (yeah, the place where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated) for the second night of a new musical about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (And yes I realize how potentially tasteless that sounds, and no, the name of the musical wasn’t “Springtime for bin Laden.”)

The musical, “Come From Away,” was very good and is headed to Broadway. It’s the story of how the citizens of Gander, Newfoundland, pulled together to take care of the people on the 38 passenger jets that were rerouted to the small island community when all of the air traffic to the United States was grounded. The special appearances were by the woman who was the captain for a Paris to Dallas American Airlines flight, and a middle aged couple (Brit man, Texas woman) who met and fell in love during their five days in Newfoundland and later got married.

Following the performance there was a half hour Q&A with the playwrights and the subjects of the musical.

(Oh, by the way. The Nats lost in 10 innings.)