by Derrel Jazz Johnson
Spike Lee’s newest film Blackkklansman is an instant classic deserving of Academy Award consideration.
Set in the 1970s and based on a true story, the film stars John David Washington (son of Denzel and Pauletta Washington) as Ron Stallworth, a Colorado Springs police officer working in a racist force.
While reading a local newspaper, Stallworth stumbles upon an advertisement for the hate group the Ku Klux Klan and decides to call. That phone call led to a conversation, and then an invitation, which led to Stallworth doing his true passion, undercover work.
Without giving the plot away, the film explores the phone conversations with Stallworth and members, including leadership, of the KKK, as well as the interactions with the white officer who has to play Stallworth in physical interactions with organization members.
Ultimately, Spike Lee wanted to make a huge political statement with this film, and he did so while telling a true story. Spike discussed some of his inspiration for making the film.
“There ’s a lot of Americans, black and white, who think that we’ve arrived where we need to be and nothing else needs to be done and affirmative action needs to dismantle”, Lee said.
The fact that there are people of color who don’t believe that racism still exists, or that they do not experience it is beyond me. But, unfortunately, these people do exist.
I know some of them.
This film can unite people to resist and abolish hate groups like the KKK, who are nothing but terrorists, whether they are wearing white hoods and robes or protesting with tiki torches, like in Charlottesville a little over a year ago.
The Black Klansman himself discussed how unity amongst those who oppose racist groups like the KKK can create a better America.
“If one black man, aided by a bevy of good, decent, dedicated, open-, and liberal-minded whites and Jews can succeed in prevailing over a group of white racists by making them look like the ignorant fools they truly are, then imagine what a nation of like-minded individuals can accomplish”, Stallworth said.