Spike Lee’s been griftin’ for the NYPD; #wth?

@CharlieMBrownX  “Armed pigs paid #SpikeLee $200,000 to calm Black people down at the same damn time he was supposedly speaking out against their corruption & brutality.” #Copaganda

His tweet links to the nypost.com’s Aug. 16 ‘NYPD paid Spike Lee $200K for work on ad campaign

“The department tapped the “Do the Right Thing” director in 2016 as a consultant for the campaign, a spokesman for the department’s nonprofit New York City Police Foundation confirmed Thursday.

The contract with Lee’s advertising firm, Spike DDB, was for $219,113 — which was paid for by the Police Foundation.

“The Foundation approached and consulted several creative teams including the Spike DDB agency to help develop a public awareness campaign that would aim to strengthen the partnership between the NYPD and the communities it serves,” said spokesman Brady Littlefield. “We received tremendous input and ideas, and that process ultimately resulted in last spring’s neighborhood policing ad campaign.”

The partnership was revealed in the Police Foundation’s most recent tax filing covering some of 2016 and 2017.”

Whoever did the diggin’, nice catch! (if depressing)

“In 2014, Lee — a frequent fixture at Black Lives Matter rallies — created a mashup of clips from his critically acclaimed movie “Do the Right Thing” and footage from Eric Garner’s chokehold death.

In the 1989 movie, Lee’s character Radio Raheem, a black man, is choked to death by NYPD officers, inciting race riots.

“Radio Raheem And The Gentle Giant,” Lee captioned a screenshot of his video, which he linked to from his Instagram account.”

This one’s easier to see:

#Copaganda on Twitter also featured

@OLAASM

“Ice Cube and Ice T performing frequently as “good” cops in movies and tv is definitely worth examining as crucial #Copaganda, given their key associations with “Fuck the Police” and “Cop Killer” respectively. It’s like the apotheosis of the media practice.”

In his August 17, 2018 review of Spike’s latest film, Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece’ Andrew Stewart at CP.

His final paragraph is:

“As a response to this film Boots Riley has come out with a critique of the picture, which he says [is] a defending the police-industrial complex. I would disagree with him. I think the film ends in a way that demonstrates, despite attempted reforms by “good cops” like Stallworth, there’s no hope for such efforts. I could be wrong and I respect Riley as an artist enough to respect his opinion. But I would also suggest the film merits watching to allow the viewer to decide.”

Also see Café coverage of commie hip-hop rapper Boots Riley’s new film ‘Sorry to bother you’.

And yes, Boots on Twitter: ‘Ok. Here are some thoughts on #Blackkklansman. Contains spoilers, so don’t read it if you haven’t seen it and you don’t wanna spoil it.’

I can’t read it, but he’d advised ‘downloading it’ (perhaps clicking it to make it stand alone?) or using zoom (control+, I reckon) to read when peeps asked him below his Tweet.  other examples:

francis fukushima‏ @iphoneavocado Aug 17:

“#copaganda reverses “innocent until proven guilty” by reinforcing the conditioned bias that cops are the good guys, and so their account starts out as the truth, and has to be disproved in order for an accused person to be seen as innocent”

OLAASM on Twitter has a whole lot more.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Amanda Matthews's picture

Personally I think he was trying to fo the right thing, trying to calm some of the chaos in NYC, but the money part is questionable.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

wendy davis's picture

@Amanda Matthews @Amanda Matthews

how to respond. but 'do the right thing' was kinda fun (inadvertently or not), as it was one of his movie titles, the one that anticipated a cop killing an unarmed man by chokehold (as w/ eric 'i can't breathe' garner).

but calming the chaos wasn't the intention of the ads, the point was to show that Office Friendly Can Be Your Ally or some shit. ah, yes, the best practices of the NYPD have long been: broken windows policing (arrest, jail, or (ooopsie) murder citizens, even unarmed ones, for small things lest they become career criminals.

'stop and frisk' on spec is officially over, but not over. the nypd is the largest force on the planet, and they keep hiring more. the nypd has its own office in tel aviv to learn mossad's Best Practices and teach po-po training methods.

but on the #copaganda twitter i just ran into the gothamist weighing in:

"The fee paid to Lee's company came from the New York City Police Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the NYPD that has come under scrutiny in recent years for acting as an arm of the police department without any real oversight.

In June of 2015, the same year Lee's company accepted the assignment, the Post reported that the foundation had spent more than $2 million on contracts for work related to the NYPD, much of it paid to consultants with ties to then-Commissioner Bill Bratton. One source likened the foundation to "almost a shadow government."

The foundation also picked up the tab for former Commissioner Ray Kelly's membership to the Harvard Club. Corporate donors to the foundation, like Palantir and Motorola, have later received lucrative NYPD contracts.

The community policing ads that Lee's company worked on ran earlier this year."

the most evil racist police chiefs circulate among LA, nypd, and maybe oakland (in the past): billy bratton, ray kelly, and dagnabbit, i've forgotten the third one, sorry. no, the po-po are not your friends, especially if you are black or brown and of the rabble class. ooops, i'll get off my soapbox now...

on edit: the third was the puddle-luscious, uber-militaristic bernie kerik.

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boriscleto's picture

Build, upon nation's security
Police state - Brutality
Final infliction - Manifestation
The doctrine is too many wars

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" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

https://youpic.com/photographer/boriscleto/

wendy davis's picture

@boriscleto

and yes, this nation's capital-driven wars (around the planet) inc. also means that PDs give preferential hiring to former military who know how to run the weapons of war from which they make war on the citizenry... kaboom!

those who don't obey orders fast enough even when impossible are labelled 'criminals worthy of 'terminating w/ prejudice' w/ almost complete impunity. dissidence to police state rule will not be tolerated. keegan stephan in nyc used to be my go-to tweeter for stat in nyc, but bless his heart, he went to law school, passed the bar, and is involved in more wide-angle matters.

when a cop zips on the uniform of capital protection, it doesn't matter what color skin is beneath the uniform.

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wendy davis's picture

@boriscleto

i'd missed your hyperlink to your exquisite photos; than you.

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janis b's picture

from watching Spike Lee’s film Blackkklansman, I can identify with your questioning of Lee's choice regarding his participation with the NYPD. I left the cinema feeling a little grifted or milked, although I’m not yet entirely clear about why.

Regarding your questioning of the efficacy of Spike Lee's association with the NYPD, I ask myself “why choose to confront the problem with ads; why not put the resources into something more productive, like community meetings between residents and their police department to facilitate some degree of better understanding?”. And then I think, “that’s the American way, talk to the people through the tv or some other form of entertainment". I think I'm feeling a bit cynical.

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wendy davis's picture

@janis b

and yes, a lot of audiences felt cynical, according to the twittersphere. i'll make an attempt to transcribe a bit of what boots had said about the film tomorrow (it wasn't available to copy/paste), but looking for any site that may have transcribed it, all i's found so far was:

"Boots regretted to inform his Twitter audience that he forgot a significant omission to his essay, the fact that Spike Lee reportedly received $200K from the NYPD, subjectively speaking. He also mentioned that the book of which the film was adapted was written by a COINTELPRO/FBI informant, thus rendering the story baseless. COINTELPRO is reputed to have played a part in causing the break up of the Black Panthers and other radicalized movements in the United States."

but what i'd thought i'd read enlarging one column of his tweet also had to do with 'portraying a cop (stallman) as a good guy'. was he black? i have no idea, but topher grace as david duke? oy!

night all; it's closing time for me.

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janis b's picture

@wendy davis

Another True Companion lullaby …

I saw a preview for a film before the film Blackkklansman, that I'm pretty sure I'll appreciate more.

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wendy davis's picture

@janis b

what a tender and evocative song of love. it may have been you who'd introduced me to marc cohn earlier, yes? and the baldwin film might be wonderful indeed.

i found more of boots' critique of Black Klansman at many sites by this morning, and ooof! what a huge spat it's become, down to a hashtag over it on twitter. i'll paste in what i've found at the bottom. it may show why you'd felt grifted by the film.

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janis b's picture

@wendy davis

To Lee’s partial credit he does present the character of Ron Stallworth as tentative in his support of the Black Panther, Black Power revolutionary cause. His main motivation, only slightly redeemed in the film, was to work undercover for the NYPD to prove his investigative skills. The fact that Lee chose for dramatic effect to present him in the end as a hero, was one place where the disconnect for me happened.

I wasn’t clear, at the conclusion of the film, whether Stallworth was still acting officially as a policeman, or independently against the orders of the police chief who demanded (by way of Washington) that Stallworth abort the investigation into David Duke.

I will definitely spend more time reading and following your links, and add more to the conversation after I have. It’s one that I am very interested in

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wendy davis's picture

@janis b

you might have seen and weren't clear about. and oh, thank you for the cohn album; he is a treat. but a Q: the wiki on the film showed the poster which included a breathless: 'and it's based on a true story', which made me laugh after reading boots' analysis of the 'true story'. but it also said that at the end footage was shown from one of the neo-nazi marches, and included words by the great orange one.... now i admit to having been taken aback by such a partisan look at the politics of it, given who obomba was in the police state bidness run amok, even though he could just smile and promise you anything...but give you a shiv instead.

and yes, i'm thinking precisely of the failures of his DOJ in terms of prosecuting cops who'd killed so many unarmed citizens, esp. of color, and failures to help monitor and correct any of the many PDs that were under federal consent decree. does spike not recall those things? (she whinged bitterly)

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janis b's picture

@wendy davis

Remember Heather Heyer …

“Heather D. Heyer was killed on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., after a car crashed into demonstrators protesting a white supremacy rally.”
Credit
Facebook, via Reuters

This was part of the footage at the end of the film, overlaid by Trump’s usual profanity in regard to the events in Charlottesville …

“I think there is blame on both sides,” the president said in a combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/us/politics/trump-press-conference-ch...

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wendy davis's picture

@janis b

i'll see if we can get it thru inter-liberry loan. yes, the wiki had a link to trump's sick statement; it has it's own long page, of course. it reminded me of bernie sanders on all those killed and wounded during the weeks of 'march of return'. close to 'tragic, the IDF over-reacted'. he did delete it later, but we remember.

but what i meant was how D partisan that ending was, although the dramatic footage would have served very dramatically and iconically, so poked about to see what spike's relationship to O is. but spike’s the one who’d told obomba about the charlottesville protest debacle...on the golf course at martha’s vineyard. barack had been out on spike’s boat, but ‘he doesn’t have my number’.

boston globe:

““I said, Mr. President, did you hear what happened in Charlottesville? He hadn’t,” Lee told Time. “I could see on his face — that shock. It was Aug. 12, year of our Lord, 2017.”
Time wrote that a spokesperson for Obama declined to comment.

The death of Heyer stayed in Lee’s mind, so much so that he called her mother, Susan Bro, to ask permission to use footage of Heyer’s death in his newest film, “BlacKkKlansman,” which opened nationwide Thursday. The film chronicles the true story of a black police detective who infiltrated the KKK while the organization was making efforts to moderate its message in order to appeal to a broader swath of Americans.

Lee told Time that Heyer’s death was a “horrific act of homegrown, red, white and blue, cherry-pie terrorism.” He said he was unswayed by criticism that Heyer’s death only drew attention because of her white skin color.”

on barack himself:

“Oh, yeah. He was the savior, black Jesus.” “I don’t care who it was,” he continued. “Expectations were way too high for what somebody can deliver, knowing how politics works and knowing that you have to deal with the Congress.” Lee then went on to criticize the Republican-led House as solidified in “Whatever you do, we’re blocking it. Every breath we take, we’re going to do what we can that you don’t get a second term. Bottom line. If it hurts America in the process, tough business.”

see, that's the boilerplate narrative of why 'he couldn't get what he wanted done'. pfffft.

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janis b's picture

@wendy davis

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janis b's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis

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Amanda Matthews's picture

thought.

I’ve been wrong plenty of times before this.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

wendy davis's picture

@Amanda Matthews

that it's not a matter of right or wrong, just angles and perceptions. boots has taken quite a drubbing on twitter for his criticism both of taking $ from the NYPD and for his criticism of spike's 'award winning film'.

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wendy davis's picture

tweets about some thoughts on black kkklansman; i'll likely double up on some:

“It’s a made up story in which the false parts of it to try to make a cop the protagonist in the fight against racist oppression,” Riley argues. “It’s being put while Black Lives Matter is a discussion, and this is not coincidental. There is a viewpoint behind it.”
“The real Ron Stallworth infiltrated a Black radical organization for 3 years (not for one event like the movie portrays) where he did what all papers from the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (Cointelpro) that were found through the freedom of information act tell us he did- sabotage a Black radical organization whose intent had to do with the very least fighting racist oppression,” he continues.
That’s especially bothersome to Riley because, in contrast, “when White Supremacist organizations were infiltrated by the FBI and the cops, it was not to disrupt them. They weren’t disrupted. It was to use them to threaten and/or physically attack radical organizations. There was no directive to stop the rise of White Supremacist organizations.”
Riley even goes so far as to say that, given what we know of how these infiltrations actually operated, “Ron Stallworth is the villain.”
“For Spike to come out with a movie where story points are fabricated in order to make Black cop and his counterparts look like allies in the fight against racism is really disappointing, to put it very mildly,” Riley adds."

but this is quite important:

"Riley also takes issue with Lee’s 2015 film Chi-Raq, which he says “plays into that myth” of black-on-black violence and “how that myth is used against movements for social justice.” Citing a 2016 essay he wrote in the Guardian, Riley writes “In the context of the political debate happening around the police’s role in racist attacks, this new film is a political brother of Chi-Raq.”

you may remember boots’ off guardian essay from april 2016: ‘Black culture isn't the problem – systemic inequality is; Bill Clinton isn’t the first person to blame ‘black-on-black crime’ for higher poverty and prison rates among black Americans’ one key outtake:

"Yet the myth of black-on-black crime has enormous staying power. It’s no surprise that this kind of argument is so common among the likes of conservative media, Donald Trump and the police, but false hysteria about black-on-black crime has also been absorbed by liberals and black community leaders. Even Spike Lee took this stance in his recent film Chi-Raq, showing a Chicago minister telling a huge crowd that the fight against black-on-black violence is “our Selma”.

We’ve been duped. When black neighborhoods are compared with white neighborhoods of similar income levels, you see similar rates of crime. The fallacy of comparing white neighborhoods with black neighborhoods is in lumping together together wealthy and upper-middle-class neighborhoods (categories that not many black folks are in) with middle- and low-income ones. But that’s not how the world works. Poor white people in Memphis aren’t kicking it with rich ones in Bel Air.

Explaining crime and poverty as a result of black behavioral choice, further, disguises ways that both are caused by capitalism. Recasting systemic inequality as cultural choice suggests that black people aren’t determined enough – that it’s their own fault they remain in poverty. Out of economic deprivation comes violence – not because poor people have bad attitudes or cultural deficiencies, but because without a real economic safety net, the machinations required for survival can involve illegal business. And whereas legal business has the police to physically enforce the laws that govern it, disputes and agreements in illegal businesses are settled and enforced by the practitioners themselves.

The argument also regurgitates the same old disproven beliefs about crime, saying that stricter gun laws would decrease violence. Calls for gun legislation are actually calls for stricter policing and more police violence in black communities: gun control laws give police more powers to arrest – and we know that these policies will be racist in their implementation. Imagine stop-and-frisk in white neighborhoods: it ain’t gonna happen. The rate of weapons arrests is multiple times higher in the black community, even though blacks are half as likely as whites to own a gun."

but the whole essay is worth reading and remembering, imo, and bless his commie heart!

.........................
indie wire had two, i only grabbed one of the links it seems:

“After 40 years of cop shows and cop movies, did we really need one more movie where it’s supposed to be about racism but the cops are the actual heroes of the film and the most effective force against racism?” Riley asked. The director noted his tweet was a “rhetorical question,” indicating the answer is “no.”

la times
"Riley alleged that Stallworth’s actions were aligned with an FBI counterintelligence program that worked to destroy radical organizations fighting racism and oppression. Undercover cops in the program, he said, also organized assassinations of black civil rights leaders.

Another fictitious detail in the film added to the positive portrayal of police, Riley said. Stallworth’s partner who infiltrated the Klan was not actually Jewish.

“This was a made up thing to raise the stakes and make it seem like the cops were sacrificing more than they were,” the director said. “For Spike to come out with a movie where... story points are fabricated in order to make Black cop and his counterparts look like allies in the fight against racism is really disappointing, to put it very mildly.”

ach; i was trying to find the boots v. spike hashtag on twitter flap, but instead found the entire transcript of boots' 3 pages on twitter critique at the hollywood reporter.

Boots Riley Slams 'BlacKkKlansman' as "Made Up Story" Softening Realities of Police Brutality; Black Americans face "actual physical attacks and terrorizing due to racism and racist doctrines" mostly from the police on a day-to-day basis, the 'Sorry to Bother You' filmmaker wrote’ (page 3 is th3 most illuminating.)

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wendy davis's picture

and ya just had to laugh at the irony; wonder which kewl ideas came from comprador lee?

NYCPF Safe & Fair (narrated by tom selleck, lol)
https://youtu.be/VVdfNy4zvAM
https://youtu.be/UktSlS5wJjg

at the café, mein herr davidly had offered this cross-post worthy comment:
“Capital is king of controlled opposition, whether with working class wages of the badge sporting minority “making good” in the institution, or the width of the window of opposition afforded a well-to-do mainstream media personality that allows him to keep his indy brand and remain mainstream.

The threat is your livelihood, the cost is your soul.”

but even the one i'd embedded from the gothamist is inadvertently satirical:

sure 'we're all the same as you inside our uniforms':
except for you hold the power to kill us with near impunity, arrest us for next-to-nothing, tase us stupid for 'running away' from you, beat us w/ billy clubs, conduct no-knock raids, even on the wrong houses and not be charged, or if o, convicted to killing innocent citizens in their own houses...

'New Study Reveals Old Fact: Black Male Youth Feel Threatened', glen ford, aug. 16, BAR

“The story produced the usual commentary about Black parents’ practice of schooling their children on how to navigate the geography of racism. The New York Times reminded readers that “the study came at a time of widely publicized incidents in which black children were reported by white people to the police for selling water , mowing the lawn and playing in the yard , selling hot dogs , playing at a pool , and other ordinary activities.”
The overarching truth documented by the survey is that young Black males know they are targeted for harm by whites, and that Black people in other neighborhoods need watching, too.
The sociologists’ report said nothing about how the police factor into young Black male’s fears, although this cohort is well aware that they are the special prey of the boys and girls in blue, of all races. The researchers think Black youth anxieties about traveling in whiter places could have consequences for their health -- a logical conclusion.” [large snip on the study’s conclusions]

“The Lords of Capital that run the system – or rather, who claim most of the wealth that chaotic capitalism drains from human labor -- want to push young Black males, and their less anxious sisters, and the very fearful mothers that bore them, out of the city, to who-knows-where. The communications mouthpieces of capital, like the New York Times, preach “diversity” while their owners unleash a fury of ethic cleansing. “Diversity” is apparently waiting at the Black family’s next destination, somewhere in the amenity-less inner suburbs. SWAT teams have prepared a welcome.

Police violence is the capitalist’s blunt weapon of social control. Against Black people, it is deployed with near-ceremonial cruelty, as a political statement -- one that is welcomed by many whites. It is intended as a daily reminder to Blacks, especially the young males, that they are not free. Since the Harlem rebellion of 1935, Black youth, and many older folks of both sexes, have answered police insults to their humanity with counter-violence. In the Sixties, the Black response to oppression developed an exquisite vocabulary that spoke to liberation, which still echoes. It was heard again in Los Angeles in 1992, and in Ferguson in 2014, and in Baltimore just a few months later. Yearning to be free of oppression is not a psychological problem: it is a human condition.

The oppressor is the problem, and his very existence is maddening to the oppressed. Every study that measures the enhanced anxiety of Black tweens that find themselves on a strange corner, or that shows Black mothers die after birth at three times the rate of whites, is an indictment of the white men at the top of the capitalist pyramid – as both racial and economic (class) oppressors.

But, to get to Jeff Bezos and his ilk, you’ve got to go through the police -- who have been coming for you, if you’re Black, since you were smaller than Tamir Rice .”

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Mark from Queens's picture

I’m traveling today but just wanted to say a few things.

It’s a pity when major black stars (i. e. Spike, Lebron, Michael Jordan, etc) aren’t more candid about the stark truth that young black and brown folks are literally hunted and harassed by the police, as a matter of course.

I was attending a Left Forum panel David Zirin (Edge of Sports byline) put together a few years ago just after Michael Brown/Eric Garner. The panelists were professional black athletes and were talking about personal incidents of harassment, as well the importance of athletes committed to taking public stands against police brutality.

I suggested that with all his contacts across the sports world he should put out a call to every single major athlete to tell their stories in order that we have a repository of them so that clueless or willfully ignorant white folks have to grapple just what it means to be black, how even the most successful and beloved sports figures are subject to the most degrading, demoralizing, destructive and deadly aggression from cops and the justice system.

This past Saturday night I came home home around nightfall to notice the park across the street lit up with another obvious movie set, the kind that continually take over our neighborhood. Walked over to have a look and asked a guy what it was. He said, “Blue Bloods,” to which I said, “what’s that? I don’t have a tv.”

It very soon became obvious what it seemed about. Heard a director say that they were rolling and saw two female actors begin to get into a scuffle on the park walkway. A moment later a cop comes flying into the scene from on top of a park bench like a superhero and tackles one of them. I start mumbling aloud my complaints about this blatant cop glorification tripe (now that I think about it this was the second time I had encountered these lame propagandists).

Check out this hokey, patronizing fluff:

“Blue Bloods”
A running plot feature of the show entails Sunday dinner around the table in Frank Reagan's Bay Ridge home at 8070 Harbor View Terrace. Four generations gather here to eat and discuss their week, and the rule is that no one can take a first bite before every last family member is present and seated, and grace is said. Discussion of the week's events then ensues, often including the adults' current work cases, and controversies therefrom are often discussed and hashed out by the entire family. The grandchildren have questions which adults answer sometimes to humor them, sometimes to give their viewpoints. At times the dialogue becomes heated and emotionally charged, but the family always remains loving and united in spite of any differences they encounter. The Sunday dinner has been a Reagan family tradition for more than a century, and is well-known to their friends and neighbors.

Good thing the wiki page had a review that tells us what’s really going on here:

Laura Hudson at Slate stated that the series "perfectly caters to [white America's] perspective on the police", in that it hides how American police deals with race. She argues it "has a habit of depicting people who speak up against the police as malicious, manipulative, or deceptive—and a lot of those people happen to be minorities" as well as that "accusations leveled at police by citizens are almost always revealed to be fraudulent, and concerns about racial bias are almost always manufactured, deceitful, or overblown", describing it as "the perfect white-privilege lullaby".

The NYPD is a festering, lawless gang of thugs completely unaccountable to any justice system. They flout and abuse the law in a multitude of ways. Really mean, heartless zombie pricks in a lot of ways, conditioned to be fascists enforcers of the wealthy and steroid pumped up Wild West urban cowboys. A few have spoken up in the past decade or so, and my hats off to them sincerely and deeply. Serpico still sits alone at the mountaintop above them all.

Overall the system and the nascent bigot who joins ultimately creates an environment for hate-filled xenophobes, who hide behind the omertà of the Blue Wall. These puff pieces make me sick. The constant worship and veneration of cops and military is a very serious detriment to the 99% ever really coalescing in a big way. Still think we have to find the few in Blue who are reachable, if possible, and work on changing the mentality in the ranks.

Love Boots Riley. Need to check him out more. He’s the kind of radical black artists needed.

How about a film on Cointelpro, Spike? Or how about one on Fred Hampton, and how the FBI executed him in a barrage of bullets while he slept? How about making Matt Taibbi’s humanizing book on Eric Garner and the lawlessness of the NYPD into one? Or the jury trial in 1999 in which it took jurors only hours to unanimously make a judgement that Martin Luther King Jr was indeed assassinated by a collusion of government agencies?

It’s hard for some, when there’s lot of bucks in the line, endorsements waiting and club doors open - as long as you play Their game.

#ImWithKap

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(thirty three and a third at TOP)

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

wendy davis's picture

@Mark from Queens

and thanks for all the extras. i don’t guess i’d cross-posted this, but ‘Police State Amerika: Matters Black and White’, September 25, 2017 by wendyedavis (w/ an homage to frank serpico)
https://cafe-babylon.net/2017/09/25/police-state-amerika-matters-black-a...

on a page i’d referenced here i’d seen a title by kareem on the page, indicating it was about his thoughts on Blackkklansman’, but in truth it was also about boots and co.’s ‘Sorry to bother you’, which he’d spent more ink on, but he didn’t seem to find anything amiss w/ spike’s film.

i was going to say that yes, i see the logic of your point about black athletic stars telling their stories, but i’m of two minds about where race and class intersect, but...the CP serpico story did exactly that, lol. so...maybe two minds aren't so much better than one?

ay yi yi on the ‘blue bloods’ as ozzie and harriet (i know one of their granddaughters, & they were.not.that.), so nice there was the contra-analysis. and:

Woot! on your final five paragraph rant! if you get a change, read the café coverage on his film. but it’s so great to know that his relative fame hasn’t caused him to pull his punches nor stifle his moral compass. ‘tell homeland security WE are the bomb!’ gotta love that; wonder what his FBI file looks like?

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wendy davis's picture

@Mark from Queens

that we're all wishing you, your babbies and wife all the best. and i still would love to know about your music one day.

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Brett Wilkins's picture

... and come to think of it, he's never really been that outspoken against police brutality and the prison-industrial complex, has he?

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wendy davis's picture

@Brett Wilkins

since i'd seen 'do the right thing', but as i remember it, yes, he was quite outspoken about police brutality. so...i wikied the film and nope, i don't remember much of it, but it says:

"The film ends with two quotations expressing different views about violence, one from Martin Luther King and one from Malcolm X, before fading to a photograph of them shaking hands. Prior to the credits, Lee dedicates the film to the families of six victims of police brutality: Eleanor Bumpurs, Michael Griffith, Arthur Miller, Jr., Edmund Perry, Yvonne Smallwood, and Michael Stewart."

and do say the truth, the only assassinated-by-police name i recall is michael stewart, who was strangled to death for writing/painting graffitti on a subway wall, which now dishonored michelle shocked had memorialized in her haunting 'graffiti limbo'.

Graffiti Limbo
Where do you go?
Graffiti Limbo
When there ain't no justice

(Now, I wrote this song for Michael Stewart. Michael Stewart was a young black graffiti artist who was arrested while writing graffiti on a subway wall in New York City. While under arrest, in the presence of eleven white transit cops, Michael Stewart was strangled to death. When his case was heard by the Grand Jury, you know, not one cop was found guilty. The coroner had lost the evidence and those cops are on the streets again.)

Ah, you can have your little style wars, boys
Yes, and you can keep your little dance
But those crazy writers
They don't stand a ghost of a chance

No, it's 'Color them cons'
That's what Mayor Koch said
He said, 'Call it a crime'
And now it's steer clear of the engineer
On that Midnight Special Line...

(the rest is here, but she's pulled everything down from youtube; she was a brilliant performer, writer, and singer.

but boots said chi-raq (was that the name?) was a companion piece to this new one, so...i dunno. but his 'malcolm x' was sure a blast, whether historically close or not (smile).

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wendy davis's picture

had added this:

spike lee's the kind of rad who's safe to brand w/the Nike Swoosh & be seen regularly front row midcourt at NBA Knick's games. this may be a new low, I don't know enough about him, but to corporate Murka he's definitely "safe hands." does make one wonder how it's even legal for the gov't or gov't entities to hire g.d. PR firms.

someone in comments on the gothamist had added that he'd also been advertising some tony vodka, gin...something. small wonder they hadn't rebranded it as 'Spike's Gin' as they had w/ Novichok Vodka, isn't it?

closing time for me. for tonight's lullaby: rest in power, aretha. i've grieved since i was 16 after being given your 'aretha arrives' album that i'd never grow up to be you. love forever.

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wendy davis's picture

exchange from this thread:

@BootsRiley
The tweet I'm quoting shows as unavailable, but one of the writers of Blackkklansman said, in defense of Stallworth, that he infiltrated an org that I was part of because we used "violent tactics". Those violent tactics only having been known to be used against the Klan.

charlie wachtel (no url available) replying to boots:
“in real life he also infiltrated the progressive labor party, a group known for their extremist beliefs and violent tactics...etc.”

@BootsRiley Aug 17

I was IN the Progressive Labor Party and my parents were before me. Fuck Ron Stallworth even a little bit more then. PLP was only violent when fighting the Klan, so I see why he and the CPD would be worried and want to infiltrate. https://t.co/RW5epRAIS4

and from the guardian reporting on 'boots riley's attack on poor spike:

“Sorry to Bother You, which has been lauded for its inventive take on capitalism, the gig economy and race relations, has earned $15.5m (£12.1m) at the US box office since its release in July. BlacKkKlansman has earned $11.2m after 10 days.”

take that, you envious commie cretin! capital talks!

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janis b's picture

@wendy davis

I found this response to the film quite convincing, especially since the author seems reasonable and open-minded. Among other things he's a Criminal Justice Reform Advocate.

Here is a sentence from his critique ...

"Finally, because of the frequently deadly consequences of police violence I believe Spike should have erred on the side of extreme caution in how he presented and problematized the police in his film…I think it is fair to agree that he risked (and maybe intended) to romanticize them."

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wendy davis's picture

@janis b

but i'm sorry to say...that your link doesn't work, dagnabbit. guess by now i'm a bit leery of criminal justice 'reform', but my cynicism may come from watching all these fandangoes since albuquerque (just looked it up)at least 2014.

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janis b's picture

@wendy davis

"https://medium.com/@ypsifactj/my-goal-was-to-defend-spike-lee-but-i-foun..."

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wendy davis's picture

@janis b
thank you. and although there are far too many portions to copy/paste with which i adamantly disagree, first i'm wondering why he thought he has or had boots' ear (did he put it on his twitter?), and why he'd believe that a person who writes under a pseud carries much weight? yes, it seems he does indeed believe that he's some kind of justice reformer, and some of his imaginary 'reforms' have some merit, but concluding that both he and spike believe that the police can be valuable allies or close, is laughable.

and of course spike's grifting for the NYPD, and for all of his many ad campaigns mean that he has made faux-radicalism mainstream capitalist, imo, as the guardian piece exemplified. davidly and j o 9 in oly over yonder have been causing me to take some crash courses on that acceptability, former heroes w/ clay feet. i dug out angela davis losing her mind over barack obomba, glen ford reminding us that she'd said in 2012 that O is steeped in black radical tradition, oh my.

but i sure do thank you and all the other commenters here for furthering this fine conversation. best heart to you all,
wd

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