In the days after the last presidential election, it was impossible to forecast that the country would spring backward at such incredible speed, both in word and deed. No matter one’s politics, in the wake of eight years of President Obama’s intellect and poise, we simply weren’t prepared for the stunning reality of a new leader with a determination to offend African Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, women, immigrants, transgender people, Gold Star families, people with disabilities, Black professional athletes and their mamas—nearly everyone. The times seemed impossibly dark, yet even then few imagined the coming of a modern day race war.
But we should have remembered that the Ku Klux Klan and all the other Nazi-loving, hate-filled groups hadn’t gone anywhere. We should have known that the horrendous events in Charlottesville, Virginia, which ended with the violent death of 32-year-old Heather D. Heyer, could happen. On August 12, 2017, not even a year into the Trump presidency, hundreds of neo-Nazis, neo-fascists and assorted Klansmen descended on the bustling college town for a rally called “Unite the Right.” They declared, among other menacing slogans, “Jews will not replace us.” The president promptly placed blame on hatred emanating from “many sides,” even as he insisted there were some “very fine people” among the marchers. This is America.
RELATED: KKK Grand Wizard David Duke Is ‘Concerned’ About How He’ll Be Portrayed In Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’
BlacKkKlansman, the Spike Lee Joint released on the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville riots, is an urgent, sobering reminder that in this country on the matter of race, the past can be shamefully indicative of the present. Shot on film instead of digitally for a more authentic visual effect and set in the early 70s, BlacKkKlansman is based on the riveting personal narrative of Ron Stallworth, the first African American man to join the Colorado Springs Police Department. His book of the same title, but spelled as two words, Black Klansman, was released in 2015. It’s almost impossible to believe the circumstances portrayed in the book and film. Without offering too many spoilers, know that the white supremacist sentiments captured were (and are)…
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