Spike Lee insists it’s “not even a question anymore” if President Trump is a “white supremacist.”
The filmmaker spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper this week for a segment marking the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving in North America in 1619. The BlacKkKlansman director began by saying the nation was built on genocide.
“I think that most woke historians would say that this country, the United States of America, was built upon the genocide of native people and slavery. That’s a fact,” Lee told Cooper.
"If we Americans came to study how this country started, we wouldn't be talking about kicking immigrants out," says filmmaker Spike Lee, in reference to 2019 marking the 400th anniversary of the arrival of 19 enslaved Africans to North American shores. pic.twitter.com/8EfHlTQFjj
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) August 21, 2019
The Oscar-winning screenwriter then turned to where the country is today, and Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants.
“Another thing I’d like to say respectfully, why are we still asking is this guy a white supremacist?” Lee asked. “It’s not even the question anymore. I mean, the Muslim ban, all Mexicans are rapists, murderers and drug dealers.”
He then brought up the deadly 2017 white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was included at the end of BlacKkKlansman.
Lee said Trump’s claim that there were “very fine people on both sides” put the president “on the wrong side of history.”
“That quote, that’s going to be attached to him. He’s going to be on the wrong side of history, and that’s the first thing they will say that quote,” Lee said.
Cooper mentioned that some Republicans have continued to defend Trump’s comments.
“It’s interesting, there is a movement among Republicans to rewrite the history of what the president said about ‘very fine people,'” Cooper said.
“Not buying it. You know what that is? Subterfuge. Shenanigans,” Lee shot back.
The director then accused Trump of empowering racists to remove their hoods and take to the streets.
“The guy in the White House gave them the dog whistles, like ‘come on out.’ Our guy’s in the White House ‘so we’re good,’” Lee said. “Before, they just didn’t do that, but now they got the green light.”
Watch the video above.