'BLACKkKLANSMAN,' the KKK, and white supremacy during Black History Month

Via:  john-russell  •  last year  •  24 comments

'BLACKkKLANSMAN,' the KKK, and white supremacy during Black History Month
“Maybe not everyone who is white is a racist, but racism is what makes us white. Don’t sleep on this movie.”

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

'BLACKkKLANSMAN,' the KKK, and white supremacy during Black History Month

Black History Month in the United States is not simply a month-long exposition of historical tales highlighting the contributions and achievements of African Americans. In many ways our lives as black Americans have been shaped by striving against those who want us to remain forever subordinate—or even dead. However, this February 2019 has seemed more like “White Supremacy Month” instead of a celebration of blackness.  

Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKlansman  has is up for six Academy Awards at tonight’s ceremony . The categories are Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures; Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role; and Best Achievement in Film Editing.

The New York Times’ film critic and reviewer A.O. Scott closed his critique of the film with this pungent remark: “Maybe not everyone who is white is a racist, but racism is what makes us white. Don’t sleep on this movie.” F film critic Manohla Dargis points out that the film is “very much about the American present — a direct, furious protest against the Trump era.”

Meanwhile, in the real world, our headlines have been filled with controversy over yearbook photos featuring blackface or Klan costumes, and pro-KKK editorials.


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1  seeder  JohnRussell    last year

Tonight is the Academy Awards.   Blackkklansman is nominated for 6 oscars (will likely win none).

Has anyone seen the movie? What did you think?


I have seen a good handful of Spike Lee's movies, not all but some. I find the quality wildly varies. Do The Right Thing was great , Chiraq was terrible, Bamboozled was a fascinating mixed bag of success and failure. Lee has great skill as a traditional Hollywood director, but sometimes his anti racism message becomes heavy handed.

Blackkklansman is a good and entertaining movie which is very much in your face about racism, with a few comedic touches thrown in.  I'm not sure it is Best Picture material though. The acting is pretty average and the movie has it's slow spots.

Vic Eldred
1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1    last year
Blackkklansman is nominated for 6 oscars (will likely win none).

I totally disagree. The movie will win one or more Oscars and will likely be the focus of attention at the all too often political ceremony

1.1.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to    last year
And we can't forget the fact that the real racists are the African blacks who sold other African blacks into slavery in the US.

That's the funniest thing I've ever read online. Good job Wally.

1.1.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to    last year

Wally, do you understand what this sentence means?

“Maybe not everyone who is white is a racist, but racism is what makes us white."

If you do, please tell us.

Vic Eldred
1.1.4  Vic Eldred  replied to    last year

Take a look at this line:

“Maybe not everyone who is white is a racist, but racism is what makes us white. Don’t sleep on this movie.”

That is the naked hatred of today.

Vic Eldred
1.1.6  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.3    last year
do you understand what this sentence means?

It means that whoever said it hates whites

1.1.7  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.6    last year

Well rather than perpetuate a minor mystery here,  I will just tell you what it means. Prior to the institution of "racism", there was no such thing as "whiteness" or a white race.

racism is what makes us white

So calling yourself white, calling yourself black, whatever color, all stems from the original practice of racism.

Wally claims that racism derives from the sale of Africans into slavery by their brothers. That is NOT racism. Racism began with the argument made by the slave BUYERS not the sellers, that these people were biologically inferior.

Sean Treacy
1.1.8  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.7    last year
Racism began with the argument made by the slave BUYERS not the sellers, that these people were biologically inferior.

Racism has existed throughout human history and throughout the world. 

1.1.9  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1.8    last year

Racism exists when one ethnic group or historical collectivity dominates, excludes, or seeks to eliminate another on the basis of differences that it believes are hereditary and unalterable. An ideological basis for explicit racism came to a unique fruition in the West during the modern period. No clear and unequivocal evidence of racism has been found in other cultures or in Europe before the Middle Ages. The identification of the Jews with the devil and witchcraft in the popular mind of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries was perhaps the first sign of a racist view of the world. Official sanction for such attitudes came in sixteenth century Spain when Jews who had converted to Christianity and their descendents became the victims of a pattern of discrimination and exclusion.

The period of the Renaissance and Reformation was also the time when Europeans were coming into increasing contact with people of darker pigmentation in Africa, Asia, and the Americas and were making judgments about them. The official rationale for enslaving Africans was that they were heathens, but slave traders and slave owners sometimes interpreted a passage in the book of Genesis as their justification. Ham, they maintained, committed a sin against his father Noah that condemned his supposedly black descendants to be "servants unto servants." When Virginia decreed in 1667 that converted slaves could be kept in bondage, not because they were actual heathens but because they had heathen ancestry, the justification for black servitude was thus changed from religious status to something approaching race. Beginning in the late seventeenth century laws were also passed in English North America forbidding marriage between whites and blacks and discriminating against the mixed offspring of informal liaisons. Without clearly saying so, such laws implied that blacks were unalterably alien and inferior.

During the Enlightenment, a secular or scientific theory of race moved the subject away from the Bible, with its insistence on the essential unity of the human race. Eighteenth century ethnologists began to think of human beings as part of the natural world and subdivided them into three to five races, usually considered as varieties of a single human species. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, however, an increasing number of writers, especially those committed to the defense of slavery, maintained that the races constituted separate species.

The Nineteenth century was an age of emancipation, nationalism, and imperialism--all of which contributed to the growth and intensification of ideological racism in Europe and the United States. Although the emancipation of blacks from slavery and Jews from the ghettoes received most of its support from religious or secular believers in an essential human equality, the consequence of these reforms was to intensify rather than diminish racism. Race relations became less paternalistic and more competitive. The insecurities of a burgeoning industrial capitalism created a need for scapegoats. The Darwinian emphasis on "the struggle for existence" and concern for "the survival of the fittest" was conducive to the development of a new and more credible scientific racism in an era that increasingly viewed race relations as an arena for conflict rather than as a stable hierarchy.

The growth of nationalism, especially romantic cultural nationalism, encouraged the growth of a culture-coded variant of racist thought, especially in Germany. Beginning in the late 1870s and early 1880s, the coiners of the term "antisemitism" made explicit what some cultural nationalists had previously implied--that to be Jewish in Germany was not simply to adhere to a set of religious beliefs or cultural practices but meant belonging to a race that was the antithesis of the race to which true Germans belonged.

The climax of Western imperialism in the late nineteenth century "scramble for Africa" and parts of Asia and the Pacific represented an assertion of the competitive ethnic nationalism that existed among European nations (and which, as a result of the Spanish-American War came to include the United States). It also constituted a claim, allegedly based on science, that Europeans had the right to rule over Africans and Asians.

The climax of the history of racism came in the twentieth century in the rise and fall of what might be called overtly racist regimes. In the American South, the passage of racial segregation laws and restrictions on black voting rights reduced African Americans to lower caste status. Extreme racist propaganda, which represented black males as ravening beasts lusting after white women, served to rationalize the practice of lynching. A key feature of the racist regime maintained by state law in the South was a fear of sexual contamination through rape or intermarriage, which led to efforts to prevent the conjugal union of whites with those with any known or discernable African ancestry.

Racist ideology was eventually of course carried to its extreme in Nazi Germany. It took Hitler and his cohorts to attempt the extermination of an entire ethnic group on the basis of a racist ideology. Hitler, it has been said, gave racism a bad name. The moral revulsion of people throughout the world against what the Nazis did, reinforced by scientific studies undermining racist genetics (or eugenics), served to discredit the scientific racism that had been respectable and influential in the United States and Europe before the Second World War.
Vic Eldred
1.1.10  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.7    last year

I think Sean has the answer for you in post #1.1.8

For a good many people, finding the origins of "racism" is a fool's errand. What plagues America today is not racism, but grievance. The grievance of those speaking for minority groups and those awarding the status of victim to various groups. Many are now fed up with it and 2016 was just the beginning.

1.1.11  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.10    last year

I'd advise you not to go down that road.

Vic Eldred
1.1.12  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.11    last year

Why not?

Bob Nelson
1.1.13  Bob Nelson  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1.8    last year
Racism has existed throughout human history and throughout the world.

Does that justify it?

Sean Treacy
1.1.14  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.9    last year

clear and unequivocal evidence of racism has been found in other cultures or in Europe before the Middle Ages..

That's insane.  Pretty much every civilixation that we have records from was "racist," in believing members of the their "nation" were innately superior to outsiders, from the ancient Chinese to the English.  Read Tacitus on the Germans, or the Athenians view of Persians or even non-Athenian Greeks.  


Sean Treacy
1.1.15  Sean Treacy  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.13    last year
Does that justify it?

I'm not trying to justify anything. 

Ii'm merely pointing out the compulsive need of many leftists  to misrepresent history to justify their own contemporary paternalistic racism. 

Bob Nelson
1.1.16  Bob Nelson  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1.15    last year

If it is unjustified, then is it not to be denounced? Without regard for extraneous events?

Would you silence all condemnation of racism on the grounds that racism is ordinary... or would you applaud such condemnation because racism is ordinary?

Bob Nelson
1.1.17  Bob Nelson  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1.14    last year


Despising "the other" seems to be a common human trait. Our species has always been tribal, so this is probably Darwinian.

So... what do we do?

Goodtime Charlie
1.2  Goodtime Charlie  replied to  JohnRussell @1    last year
Blackkklansman will win best picture, why ? It will be liberal Hollywood's way of saying Fuck You to Donald Trump 

Dean Moriarty
3  Dean Moriarty    last year

I rarely watch the crap Hollywood is turning out these days but watched this one after listening to an interview with the detective on NPR.  The radio interview was far better than the movie IMO. I found it to be an average movie but compared to the rest of the crap coming out of Hollywood it might be the one of the better ones. 

3.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Dean Moriarty @3    last year

Well, it is about something tangible, which right away puts it ahead of a lot of popular movies such as the superhero stuff, but I agree that it is not top shelf.

I liked the ending which had a slight twist of the direction the story was going and it was clearly laid out in the narrative.

There may be a slight chance Spike Lee will win best director as a "lifetime achievement" type thing, but I don't see that happening tonight.

4  seeder  JohnRussell    last year

Spike Lee recreates an all black dance club from the mid 70's in Blackkklansman

(I just wanted to post "It's Too Late To Turn Back Now")


Bob Nelson
5  Bob Nelson    last year

I haven't seen the movie.

The conversation here has been fascinating.

No one has quite shouted "I'm racist and proud of it!!" ... but close...


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