Do the right thing is a relevant phrase in any context, but Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” has reached an unfortunate milestone of relevance in American culture. The movie’s portrait of race in the urban center of New York was reflective of the nation’s overall racial climate of 1989.
CNN interviewed director Spike Lee on the Morehouse campus recently to find out what he thinks of the movie the Library of Congress has designated as “one of the most ‘culturally significant’ in U.S. history.” To receive that classification by the world’s largest library is telling in itself.
Lee said at the time that he made the movie, he “in no way” thought that the U.S. would ever have an African American president. But, even with the African American president, the nation has sprouted up interest groups like the Tea Party that exhibit a sort of “underbelly” racism which only attempts to disguise the ugly hatred that, 22 years later, still exists at, arguably, an even more sinister level than the era of the film.
Check out the interview with Spike and tell us what you remember about the opening of Do the Right Thing and how it’s still relevant to you.