Spike Lee and Brooklyn go together like Chicago and corruption.
Take a second to let that metaphor seep in because it’ll end up defining the outcome of this article.
Spike Lee has no right making a documentary about the city of Chicago.
Last year, Spike Lee wrote a letter to the New York Times responding to an article they published critiquing the director’s hypocritical statements on gentrification in Brooklyn.
“Your criticism of me as a hypocrite is lame, weak and not really thought out. No matter where I choose to live that has nothing to do with it. I will always carry Brooklyn in my Blood, Heart and Soul.
According to your logic I should not have Written and Directed JUNGLE FEVER because I have never lived in HARLEM and BENSONHURST. I should not have Directed CLOCKERS because I have never lived in Boerum Hill and the Gowanus Projects. I should have not Written and Directed HE GOT GAME because I have never lived in CONEY ISLAND.
In closing please understand it’s what you get growing up and learning on the Streets of Brooklyn that empowers you to go anywhere on this God’s Earth to “Do Ya Thang” to be successful in the path you have chosen. It doesn’t matter where you choose to live because Brooklyn goes where you go.”
As you can see from the excerpt, Spike Lee lives, breathes and dies for his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. And while that’s great for the two New York NBA franchises, some of us in Chicago (me) feel that his latest cinematic endeavor, ‘Chiraq’, strays a bit too far from home.
So yes, Spike. I’m calling you a hypocrite.
Deal with it.
Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with Spike Lee at City Hall to discuss production plans in the downtown area. “He said that while the movie is about the neighborhood of Englewood, I was clear that I was not happy about the title.” He added, “I told him also that there are very good people that live in Englewood who are raising their family and there’s a lot of positive things that are happening in Englewood mainly driven by the people that make up Englewood.”
‘Chiraq’ became a popular nickname coined by local rappers comparing the city’s crime rates to an Iraqi war zone.
Not a good start, Spike.
Any real Chicagoan knows that our local media tends to gravitate towards crime scenes and drug busts. So to market the documentary towards dead bodies and drive-by shootings, how do you think the local community will ingest the premise of ‘Chiraq’?
Not very well. That’s how.
And unfortunately for Chicagoans, the term ‘Chiraq’ will gain much wider use when the documentary hits theaters. Embracing the made-up expression will not only continue to deafen the positive side of the Windy City, but it will continue to place Chicago atop the violent pedestal of crime-ridden cities in America.
While I agree that the title is unnecessarily hopeless, that’s not why I’m targeting Spike Lee and his infringement on a sensitive subject he knows nothing about. Nor do I.
From another excerpt in Spike Lee’s defaming of a New York Times journalist, Lee wrote:
“You can’t just come in the neighborhood and start Bogarting and kill off the Native Americans.”
Finally! Something we agree on. Unfortunately for you, Spike, our agreeance on the subject of ‘knowing your limits’ labels you as a hypocrite in every sense of the word.
So do us all a favor, Spike Lee.
Stay the hell out of Chicago. Leave our corrupt, barbaric city to fester in its own dispatched waste.
Because as much as we would love to perpetuate the misconstrued existence of the term ‘Chiraq’ by filling your pockets with state tax exemptions, that’s not what the Windy City is all about.
So take your sad excuse for a documentary and the unsound title that came with it back to Brooklyn because we don’t want it.