Monday, April 20, 2015

Mitchell: 'Chiraq' critics should let Spike Lee do his thing

Spike Lee at Morehouse College's 2009 commencement - ajc
Mary Mitchell takes on the Chiraq controversy. It's the Spike Lee "Joint" that we've been hearing about and  re-elected Mayor Emanuel isn't happy about the title:
The flak that Oscar-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee is getting over his plan to title a movie “Chiraq” is proof that many of us are in denial.

When innocent people are getting shot while sitting in their homes, survivors must feel like they are living in a war zone.

Indeed, when Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, said “we drive faster” through the black community — a comment that was described by pundits as a “gaffe” — he was speaking the truth.

It’s not just white people who speed through some neighborhoods because of the high crime rates associated with black areas.
African-Americans have fled Chicago in droves in search of a safer environment.

But if Chicagoans are good at anything, they are good at putting a positive spin on conditions that other cities would label deplorable.

For instance, outsiders describe Chicago as one of the most segregated cities in America. Yet we describe it as a city of neighborhoods.
BTW, she got some quotes in from other Chicago politicians especially two alderman. One of those Alderman was quoted in an article linked above from Politico:
“To highlight the problems we are having with that type of name is an insult,” railed Ald. Anthony Beale (9th).

Ald. Will Burns (4th) has hinted that the city could use a $3 million tax break that Lee is seeking as leverage in the dispute.

That’s just going to make Chicago look worse on the national stage.

Frankly, if aldermen want to be outraged over something, they ought to be concerned that Chicago is becoming a place where hip-hop wannabes like Lil JoJo are gunned down.
Is this the first movie Spike Lee has made in Chicago. I wonder if this is the one time he's expanded out of New York. Regardless I'd just as soon reserve judgement until the movie finally comes out. Lee's movies are often pretty good.

BTW, what do you think of the title? Does it bother you? Are you ready to start the conversation on violence and crime in Chicago?

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