BlacKkKlansman director Spike Lee appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and called Christopher Columbus a terrorist and revealed he wasn’t taught that George Washington owned slaves in school.
The segment begins with a clip from Lee’s BlacKkKlansman of which Lee is nominated for Best Director. The film tells the story of Detective Ron Stallworth of Colorado Springs who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. Stallworth was the first African-American police officer and detective at the Colorado Springs Police Department and would not reveal his role in the infiltration of the KKK until an interview with the Deseret News in 2005. Stallworth would go on to publish a book Black Klansman detailing his infiltration.
Following a brief discussion about the New York Knicks, Lee points to his clothes and hat which feature the date 1619. He addresses the significance of the date:
“The reason why I’m wearing this hat and pullover is that 400 years ago the first slaves were brought to this country. Jamestown, Virginia, 1619 and 2019. I think a lot of people need to know this. Because this is part of American history, which is not all good. When I was in public school in Brooklyn, New York, I was not told George Washington owned slaves. I was told he chopped down a cherry tree and wouldn’t tell a lie.”
He would then go on to call Christopher Columbus a terrorist.
“In 1492, this terrorist sailed the ocean blue… Let’s be honest about our history. And let’s move forward. And if we aren’t honest about our history, we’re going to be talking about this stuff again and again. We’ve got to move forward.”
You can see the full video below:
Lee was rumored to be directing Sony’s Spider-Man spin-off Nightwatch with a script from Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari. However, Lee indicated he was not working on the project simply saying, “Nah” according to Slash Film.
What do you think? Does Lee have a point that history is overly simplified in public education? Or is he looking to fulfill an agenda, that isn’t looking to accurately portray history? Let me know your thoughts!