On Tuesday, director Spike Lee talked with CNN's Anderson Cooper about race, slavery, and President Donald Trump — and pulled no punches on any of it.
"I think that most woke historians would say that this country, the United States of America, was built upon the genocide of people and slavery. I mean, that's a fact," said Lee. "And I think that if we Americans came to study how this country started, we wouldn't be talking about kick immigrants out, you know, because if it wasn't — I mean, Native Americans, people brought here as slaves, everyone was immigrants. I woke up this morning and went on Instagram and felt my ancestors, not the only one saying this but I think it's a very important date today in American history."
On Trump, Lee was critical of the media walking on eggshells about Trump's racism.
"Another thing I'd like to say respectfully, why are we still asking is this guy a white supremacist?" said Lee. "I mean, like it's not even the question, I mean, the Muslim ban, all Mexicans are rapists, drug dealers. And then Charlottesville, we have marching. The KKK, the alt-right, neo-Nazis, and he can't make a decision between what's right and wrong? What's love and hate? Both people — I mean, that's going to be — I mean, 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."
"It's interesting, there is a movement among Republicans to rewrite the history of what the president said about 'very fine people,'" commented Cooper. "Because the president said very fine people on both sides specifically referencing Friday night in Charlottesville, which is the night of the tiki torch—"
"Not buying it," said Lee. "You know what that is? Subterfuge. Shenanigans."
"Maybe I'm stupid and naive, but I was shocked to see all these, you know, whatever age they were people totally fine with showing their faces, chanting 'Jews will not replace us,'" said Cooper.
"'Blood and soil,'" said Lee. "Because the guy in the White House gave the dog whistles, like 'come on out.' So our guys in the White House say we're good."