Throughout the course of his filmmaking career, Spike Lee has been very vocal on his personal views on social issues and politics. So it comes as no surprise that the 57-year-old has been outspoken on the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and nationwide after the fatal shooting of unarmed, black teen Michael Brown.
Lee appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° where he shared his many thoughts on the ongoing investigation, admitting that he’s not surprised by the racial divide and various perceptions of Americans' views on racism.
“Many people thought that the moment President Obama put his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s bible and took the oath as the President of the United States of America racism would disappear. Abracadabra, hocus pocus, gone with the so-called ‘Post Racial’ era,” he said. “That is not the case. If you look at what’s happening in Ferguson, it happened in L.A. with the Rodney King verdict, it happened in Liberty City in Miami, it happened in Detroit in ’67…it happened with the Harlem riots…when people get to that tipping point they can’t take it anymore.”
“And I’m not saying that people should burn down stuff, riot and loot. And I don’t even want to use the word ‘rioting.’ I’m going to use the word ‘uprising’…but this is not the first time we’ve seen this. And I just hope that things will really blow up if the people aren’t happy with the verdict of this upcoming trial.”
He went on to add that he believes there’s a war in American against “the black male,” which he feels is killing the country.
“I just think there’s a war on the black male and it’s tearing the country apart, in my opinion…it’s not just killing us. It’s the educational system, it’s the prison system, it’s this young black thing of growing up with no hope. So I think it’s systematic,” he said. “And we get blinded to think because we have Oprah, we got Michael Jordan, we got Lebron, we got Beyonce, we got Jay Z, like everything’s ok. But they are the exception. The black underclass is growing every single day.”
Check out more of Spike Lee’s thoughts in the clip above.