October 21, 2013
“Do the Right Thing” Essay
In Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” he questions his characters to “do the right thing”. This then becomes the essential theme of the movie. The movie focuses around a neighborhood in Bed-Sty, Brooklyn and its community made up of mostly African-Americans and Puerto Ricans. The center focal point in the movie is a pizzeria business, Italian owned, called Sal’s Famous Pizzeria. The owner Sal and his two sons, Vito and Pino, work there along with Mookie, who is the protagonist of the movie. Mookie is the only African-American working at Sal’s, but Sal always acknowledges Mookie as his own son. His motto of life is just living day-by-day “tryna get paid”. It’s the summertime and everyone is hanging outside trying to stay cool and the place to hang out at is Sal’s Pizzeria. Racial tension is being demonstrated throughout the movie, this leading to Mookie taking extreme action which is then questioned whether he is “doing the right thing” ethically. Mookie’s actions are analyzed and assessed based on the Common Good and Utilitarian Approaches.
The Common Good Approach is a means for defending an action as being ethical because it shows respect, compassion, and reasoning to everyone involved. The action that is being centered is Mookie throwing the trash can into Sal’s Famous Pizzeria, initializing the burning and destruction of Sal’s restaurant. The breaking point of the racial tension in the community began with an altercation with characters, Buggin Out and Radio Rahiem against Sal. Buggin Out felt that Sal should put famous and successful African Americans on his picture Wall of Fame, which is filled with famous Italians. Radio Rahiem backs Buggin Out up and blasts “Fight the Power” by rap group, Public Enemy in Sal’s restaurant. Sal reaches his pressure peak and takes a bat to the radio, killing it. The police are called and without question they immediately start excessively restraining Buggin Out...
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