“When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism, we see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don't see any American dream; we've experienced only the American nightmare. We haven't benefited from America's democracy; we've only suffered from America's hypocrisy.” Malcolm X
Spoken in 1965, these words still ring true for people of color in this country. The hypocrisy of our policy and attitude in America can easily send the message to minorities that equality is an impossibility. The pure struggle of existence against the system makes philosophical discourse in daily life seem like a distant dream, reserved for scholars and students. However, even scholars and students can be blind to the subtleties of race relations. Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing exhibit that racism exists within the American psyche, whether overt or subtle.
. In the scene “Slurs,” each different ethnicity represented in the film has their say about one another, and the results are devastating. In one of the most controversial and explosive scenes in modern film, the montage of racial slurs confirms the worst about the American way of life: we all seem to secretly hate each other.
The racial slur montage in Do the Right Thing is most revealing when one watches the film with several people. The nervous laughter and, frighteningly, people's somewhat positive reaction to the racial epithets, exhibits the problem in America today: racism is unfortunately built into our society. Even characters such as Vito and Mary, who dimly support ethnic equality, unintentionally stir up more confusion and emotion within the minds of those that feel polarized, either black or white. Lee builds characters that everyone can identify with; all of the actions taken in the film can be understood within the context. One of the more subtle ways Lee shows...