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What makes an American a patriot? Spike Lee has some answers

9 Comments
By JAKE COYLE

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The unrest following Floyd's death — which for some recalled Lee's “Do the Right Thing” — has yet again made Lee’s movies all the more urgent.

Yes to Spike Lee. I support your work and your efforts to bring justice to the world. Keep going. I love Do the Right Thing and watch it every year. It's a great film and as relevant today as it was 30+ years ago. Think about that. Thirty years and we're still in the same place in this country with regards to racism and police brutality. Sickening and untenable.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The narrative that’s been painted of American heroism is John Wayne,” says Lee. “So I felt it was appropriate that we have true American patriots.”

Exactly! One of the biggest racists ever. Disparaged Native Americans and blacks alike but still held as a gold standard by many. Plenty of black patriots out there and it's about time we get more stories about them.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This new narrative that "black people built America" is tiring in its duplicity.

Yes, slave labor was used.

However, the philosophy of governance and the American experiment was English and European, with some influence taken from Native American governance as well. No African country has the historical background to create a country like America. They have no patrimony of Aristotle, Plato, Heraclitus, Locke, Hobbes, Paine, and the Founding Fathers. We tried to create one there, Liberia, and it was a total failure.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

However, the philosophy of governance and the American experiment was English and European, with some influence taken from Native American governance as well. No African country has the historical background to create a country like America. They have no patrimony of Aristotle, Plato, Heraclitus, Locke, Hobbes, Paine, and the Founding Fathers. We tried to create one there, Liberia, and it was a total failure.

Create a country that enslaved othersand killed off natives by the millions? White man has done that all over the world. Don't think that is what any modern country wants. A bunch of poets and writers. Where's your Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, Tuskegee Airmen, Benjamin Banneker, Navaho Code Talkers, Tecumseh, Estevanico, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Bass Reeves, Geronimo, Matthew Henson? I can go on. Some of the names on there definitely had a hand in building America and others taught whites worldwide about what real humanity is supposed to be and not being two-faced and writing about all men being created equal with inalienable rights and then going to the home where you keep humans in bondage and whip and kill slaves. Go back and read up on real history not his story.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

No African country has the historical background to create a country like America. They have no patrimony of Aristotle, Plato, Heraclitus, Locke, Hobbes, Paine, and the Founding Fathers. We tried to create one there, Liberia, and it was a total failure.

Black slaves who were born and bred in America were transported to malaria-ridden land that couldn't sustain crops. So yeah, the not-so-well-meaning whites shipped Americans to a land already occupied by indigenous people.

As for the thinkers and writers, there was Ptahotep, long before your lads. There's plenty of African philosophers and scholars like Yacob and Petros who wrote about harmony and other topics beyond the pillaging white man's ken.

There's a whole load of history that is brushed to one side, or never taught.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Addresssing part of the Avenger's comment. "Thirty years and we're still in the same place in this country with regards to racism and police brutality". Actually, since the current President got in office it has become much worst.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

White man has done that all over the world.

So have Asians and black people. Everyone has some bad history.

Mao Zedong makes Hitler seem like a minor killer.

Stalen, Hitler, Leopold II, Hideki, Pasha, Pol Pot, Kim Il Sung, Mengistu Mariam , Yakubu Cowon each killed millions. 3 of those are "white."

Genghis Khan also killed 75% of Iranians - est about 40M people.

As for being a patriot - there are many different ways. Govt service is one be it the DEA, Border Patrol, Military, supporting any govt agency through work or activism are commonly thought as patriotic. Voting, working for a polling place, and trying to make changes for the better for the country are patriotic too. Writing and telling stories to others, especially kids, about the history for different parts of the country with both the good and the bad parts are patriotic.

Showing our country's warts to each other is patriotic. Don't hide or forbid the negative parts. That makes for a country living with false ideas about their history.

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As for the thinkers and writers, there was Ptahotep, long before your lads. There's plenty of African philosophers and scholars like Yacob and Petros who wrote about harmony and other topics beyond the pillaging white man's ken.

You guys are starting to sound like the 12 Tribes nuts.

Sorry but no. The ancient Egyptians died off and had no great philosophical or metaphysical understanding that we know. The ancient Indians certainly did, and China had great thinkers such as Lao Tzu, who ironically is neglected in favor of the Vogon known as Confucius.

That's just the way things are; we can't take credit for the past, nor apologize for it. The dice fell where they fell. The important thing is to not cast aside thousands of years of thought and civilization to appease wokeness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Black slaves who were born and bred in America were transported to malaria-ridden land that couldn't sustain crops.

That is totally infection in a true, slavery started by the colonial powers, by the British, by the Portuguese, by the Spanish, by the French, by the Dutch into a leader extend the Germans, so before the slave trade got wild in the US, it’s fundamental roots and beginnings are 100% from Europe. They started it they became wealthy off of it they mastered it and they perpetuated it and expanded it, globally.

So yeah, the not-so-well-meaning whites shipped Americans to a land already occupied by indigenous people.

Yes.

As for the thinkers and writers, there was Ptahotep, long before your lads. There's plenty of African philosophers and scholars like Yacob and Petros who wrote about harmony and other topics beyond the pillaging white man's ken.

but let’s also not forget that it was these African warlords and tribe leaders that sold captured slaves from battles to white people, everybody wants to overlook that as well.

There's a whole load of history that is brushed to one side, or never taught.

I agree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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