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Daily News (NY), Jul. 13
Don’t go looking for Spike Lee at any NASCAR events this summer.
The ornery movie director and Knicks fanatic nurses a paranoid fantasy about the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing circuit.
“I just imagine hearing some country-and-Western song over a loudspeaker at NASCAR: ‘Hang them n — up high! Hang them n — up high!’ I’m not going to no NASCAR,” Lee vows in the August issue of Playboy.
Lee, husband of “Gotham Diaries” novelist Tonya Lewis Lee, shares some equally provocative observations about Lakers star and rape defendant Kobe Bryant and embattled R&B; star R. Kelly.
“I was telling my wife that the Knicks may be getting Kobe, and her feeling was, Why would the Knicks want Kobe Bryant, an alleged rapist?” Lee recounts. But “in the sports realm today, the bottom line is to win. If a great athlete has some character flaw or problems, that’s overlooked as long as he is able to perform.”
Lee — whose latest movie, “She Hate Me,” is due out July 30 — is less forgiving of Kelly, who was accused of having videotaped illicit sex with a 14-year-old girl.
“I can’t make that separation,” Lee says. “I saw that DVD with him and those girls. I have a 9-year-old daughter. I look at him in a different light now. I can’t listen to his music, and I wouldn’t buy a record of his.”
Ditto 50 Cent.
“What was the title of 50 Cent’s debut album? ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’,’” Lee says. “When young African-Americans live by the code ‘Get rich or die tryin’,’ it’s a very sad state.”
Comments from Readers
From: James in IL
Don’t worry about NASCAR Spike, us rednecks will get along fine without you. Nice of you to stereotype us into one neat package though. And yes, we all date our cousins and live in trailer parks, really we do.
I do agree with Spikes’ assessment of R. Kelly and that 50 guy. Both are useless and offensive, but should I say that, I’m sure Spike would have to call me something nasty since whites cannot criticize blacks in this country..
The important point to consider is not whether Lee’s statements are accurate, but that his statements are considered important by many Americans in positions of power and influence.
From: James from N.O.LA.
Spike Lee: “”I just imagine hearing some country-and-Western song over a loudspeaker at NASCAR: ‘Hang them n?up high! Hang them n?up high!’ I’m not going to no NASCAR,” Lee vows in the August issue of Playboy.”
Wow, what a truly Deep Thinker spike is. What world does he live in??? He has never been to a NASCAR event, but he IMAGINES what it is like. Yep, that’s why hundreds of thousands of families go to NASCAR every year, to sing along to such popular country songs as “Hang Them N-gg-rs Up High”??? That rates up there with his suing Spike TV network last year for “stealing” his name. First off, I didn’t know Mr. Lee owned the copyright to the name Spike. Secondly, Spike TV was touted as the “First Network For Men”, Not a “Network Dedicated To A Washed-Up Third Rate Director Of Crappy Rascist Black Movies”. This guy’s ego has no limits.
I view this interview as mostly positive comments by Spike Lee - a man I used to despise. Spike doesn’t feel comfortable going to a NASCAR event with 100,000 plus White redneck types - good! That’s the way it’s supposed to be, Whites need cultural events where we can be with our own kind. It’s ok for Blacks to be with their own kind, same with us. I hope no NASCAR fans are going to work hard to change the culture of NASCAR events so Black racists like Spike will feel safe and welcome. As for his comments about Black sports and music stars, at least he is showing some growth in that he doesn’t like Black celebrities who sexually abuse black girls. I think Spike’s wife is working on him there.
From: John Ruskin
So being a rapist is a “character flaw.”
And he talks about non-existent C&W; songs that advocate lynching, but is mum about the very many real rap songs that advocate “kill da devil.”
Outside of Hollyweird, only blacks think Spike Lee is a genius. I wonder why nobody else thinks that.
(Posted on July 14, 2004)