Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is a brilliant flick. Describing a slave's search for his wife in the South and Old West, it more accurately depicts the African-American experience than any of the 15 movies about black culture that African-American director Spike Lee has directed in his lifetime. Last week, it garnered four Academy Award nominations, including best picture.
But ever since it hit theaters on Christmas, Lee has been publicly trashing Tarantino. In announcing his personal boycott of the movie, the Do the Right Thing filmmaker tweeted, "American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western," and "It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them."
Lee needs to get over himself. He's upset because Tarantino makes better movies. The man who put Malcolm X on the big screen is Hollywood's resident house Negro, a bourgie activist who tells white auteurs how they can and can't depict African-Americans. He complains that Tarantino uses nigger too much (100 times) in Django Unchained, but show me a white man in the 1800s who wasn't dropping n-b ombs left and right.
Screw Spike Lee
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Tarantino is one of Tinseltown's cleverest directors. Some of the most brutal scenes in Django Unchained are metaphors for the unfair racial inequality African-Americans still experience today. (Spoiler alert!) For instance, Leonardo DiCaprio's plantation owner character, Calvin Candie, trains some of his male slaves to fight to the death in a sport called "Mandingo Fighting." When one of the slaves refuses to participate, Candie threatens to feed him to his wild dogs. That scene is analogous to professional boxing, in which the Bob Arums of the world control black fighters through fear and intimidation.
In another scene, slaves are shocked to see Django riding a horse. That's like the people who stare at the dude who returns to the neighborhood driving a Bentley. Django warns the slaves he'll treat them worse than any white man. That's the truth about blacks in positions of authority in today's corporate America. They treat blacks worse than any white boss does.
Lee could never pull off a movie like this. When he's not being an ass from his courtside seats during New York Knicks games, he's making films to which most African-Americans cannot relate.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.