A Critique of an Alarmist View of College Campuses

In School Daze by Spike Lee,  the main character Dap leads a campaign against the South African Apartheid regime. Continue reading “A Critique of an Alarmist View of College Campuses”

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who is to blame?

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In Chiraq spike lee really focuses in on the conditions of the, urban center of Chicago particularly focusing on gun violence and murder. Throughout the film lee glazes over what actually causes these conditions in the communities where they occur. He sometimes alludes to systematic and institutional racism but never really delves deep into these ideas in the film. Lee then further complicates this idea of responsibility and who or what is to blame for these socio-economic conditions at the end of the film when the main character. Chiraq confesses to committing the accidental murder of Irene’s 11-year-old daughter and in an ending scene he begins to recite the lyrics of a song. As Chiraq walks down the aisle of the church there are praise dancers dancing in white behind him. The lyrics talk about gang and community members making change where they live and taking accountability for their own lives and actions. The significance of the praise dancers dressed in white dancing during his soliloquy is that they are affirming his message. The fact that praise dance is religious and they are dressed in white, a color associated with purity, good energy and cleansing affirms that Chiraq is doing the “right thing”. This sequence says to me that the conditions of Chicago are brought on by the people who live there, themselves as opposed to the conditions of violence and poverty being a result of a system. A system that fails to provide the urban centers of the world with adequate resources and opportunity, and so as a result poverty and violence are spawned. With this movie ending on that note I don’t really know how spike views this influx of violence limited to urban centers. I’m not sure if he deems it the fault of the people who inhabit these spaces or if he alludes is to system that is failing them. So the question that remains to me from the point of view as the audience for this film based on what spike has provided us with, is who is to blame.

A White Man’s World

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Malcolm X truly made me question the world that I live in right now. Although I recognize that I live in a world that was constructed by the majority white people, I never thought about how this has informed the way I think and what I deem as right and wrong. But like the way X had a revelation about his world, I believe that Spike Lee wanted every single person watching his films to have the same epiphany.

Continue reading “A White Man’s World”

Wake up!!!

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I want to focus on the closing scene of school days when dap calls for a campus wake up. He’s is calling for a wake up on an all black campus where there is turmoil between black students. I believe the turmoil stems from multiple groups of black students on the campus wanting to become the next great black youth to lead the generation. We see a split and racial divide between black people all throughout the movies with fraternities and sororities but also in the scene outside of the chicken spot when dap and his boys and they get into an argument with other men who are older and are not college educated. One of the men on the opposite side of the debate from dap, played by Samuel L. Jackson uses the work nigga to refer to his friends and dap says “you are not a nigga” the man retorts “yes I am and you are too”, as a means to express to Dap that just because he’s a black man and educated doesn’t mean that the world will regard him any differently, in some ways I agree with the man’s sentiments and would even say I see this ideology perpetuated in modern day, there is this belief that if you act a certain way, have achieved certain things, or dress in a way that is deemed professional, that you will be treated better or differently than those that don’t. This notion is false. I want to particularly focus on an incident of violence that took place on university of Virginia’s campus in the fall of 2015,Martese Johnson was beaten and detained by Virginia officers for having a fake I.D. that was actually his real I.D.. Martese is a straight A student at UVA and is always dressed in a suit and tie, however the officers didn’t spare him because of this, so this f idea of respectability politics providing safety or invisibility is false.  I think the wake up at the end of the film is Dap finally realizing that and wanting to bring that message to everyone else on the campus. It is my believe that Daps wake up was to convey the message that the black students needed to stop tearing down each other in order to gain respect, power and safety in a world that won’t grant them that because of their blackness no matter how they dress, what education they have, or ways they might behave. he says this to say wake up we are on one team. And need to work on progressing our race together, so let’s stop tearing each other down in attempt to gain all of these things that don’t exist for us, because no how much money or power we have in comparison to each other we will still be regarded the same way because of our race and political identity.