“Let me tell you the story of left hand, right hand. It’s a tale of good and evil. Hate, it was with this hand that Cain iced his brother. Love, these five fingers they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand, the hand of love. The story of life is this: static. One hand is always fighting the other hand, and the left hand is kicking much ass.”

-Radio Raheem

If you are white and you haven’t seen Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing I’m gonna need you to buy it, like right now, like stop reading this for one second and go buy it. And please pay to watch it, okay, Spike and this film deserve every penny. 

WE the people, of the not so great, US of A got some serious problems and Do The Right Thing is the perfect Socratic seminar in movie form. It’s here to ask the big questions and it’s here to put a spotlight on the problem: the love and hate we have inside. Oh and the H U G E problem of systematic racial injustice in America. 

 The film opens on a five minute modern battle dance scene featuring Rosie Perez. Perez gives it her all while Fight the Power by Public Enemy blares in the background. Setting the tone for the whole film. You can see Perez fighting the air and at one point dons a whole boxing outfit. This opening, by itself, could teach the viewer so much; the anger in Perez’s face the lyrics yelling at us to fight. By the end Perez is pushing through the pain, the hard work-  You learn immediately that you (if you’re white) will never understand what she’s going through but hopefully you will stand with her and watch this film.  

Do the Right Thing is set on the hottest day of summer in DO OR DIE BED STUY Brooklyn New York. Mookie our main character, played by the master himself, Spike Lee is out making pizza deliveries for his boss Sal. Sal, is a very classic white Italian man who owns the neighborhood pizza shop; It’s his way or the highway. Until Buggin’ Out, played by Giancarlo Esposito, demands that Sal’s Pizza put a man of color on the wall of fame. A wall that is only filled with white faces. When Sal refuses to do so shit starts to get REAL.  It’s a slow and contentious build to the final riot scene. Windows are broken, lives are taken and in the end no one wins.

Sound familiar?

Do The Right Thing is a chilling look into our past and present. It’s a rude awakening blaring in your ear that nothing has changed and nothing will if we don’t fight for it. So, if you’re white and looking to understand. Get your other white friends to watch it, sit in the pain, and when it’s over talk about it. Really TALK about it. Don’t ask “was it good”. Ask how you can help stop this movie from becoming our tomorrow. Ask how we let this become our today. Ask yourself if you’ve really been fighting the good fight or if you’ve been letting your left hand win. 

 

Do The Right Thing is available on Amazon to stream or to purchase OR directly from 40Acres https://spikes-joint.myshopify.com/collections/memorabilia

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