Filmmaker Spike Lee spoke at the Black Lives Matter movement at Canadian Music Week in Toronto on Saturday, May 9th. After a funny and lighthearted talk about Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan, he got into more serious issues like police violence and Baltimore. When asked by an audience member if he was planning to make a movie on the current racial issues facing the country and how he felt about the growing violence –since he has directed and produced many movies about racial injustices (Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X and the documentary 4 Little Girls about the 1963 church bombing in Alabama) ― he said this in response:
This whole stuff is not new. People have cameras. We saw with Rodney King. Everybody now has a phone that can record something and now people are capturing it. We saw it with Eric Garner in Staten Island. Was the same exact chokehold we saw in Do The Right Thing to Radio Raheem. We saw in South Carolina; we’ve seen it in Baltimore. And so, please don’t believe that this is a phenomenon, that is all of a sudden sweeping America. Now it’s just being caught; everybody now with a camera is a photo journalist. But here’s the thing though, even with footage, those cops in New York City got off with the stranglehold on Eric Garner. Remember, those cops ― people forget this ― the Rodney King cops, when that trial got moved to Simi Valley, they got off. And you saw what happened in LA after that. So this stuff is not new; Baltimore is not new. You saw that with the Simi Valley verdict.
This summer, you know, it might be on this summer… I’m not up here trying to start no shit. And last thing I’m gonna say: this is not just about African-Americans. When you saw what happened in Ferguson, they were all over this ― black, white, Hispanic, Asian, everybody was taking to the streets, [and] not just in America. So don’t get tricked in, don’t go for the okey dokey that it is something that only black people are concerned; I think we are all concerned anytime people lose their lives over some bullshit. It’s not just a black thing.
You can watch his response in video below: