Hollywood director Spike Lee insisted that President Donald Trump is a “man of hate, violence, and can’t be trusted to make moral decisions.”
Lee made his comments during the debut of his newest film, BlacKkKlansman, the real-life tale of a black Colorado police officer who infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s while investigating a Klan office opening in his jurisdiction, Vanity Fair reported.
“Agent Orange, wake up! Wake the fuck up,” the director said at the film’s premiere Monday held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater in New York City. “He’s a man of hate, violence, and can’t be trusted to make moral decisions. We can’t be silent anymore. He’s on the wrong side of history, and we are on the right side of history with this film.”
That same night, cast member John David Washington (Starring as officer Ron Stallworth) went on to insist that the 1970s period piece was a reflection of today.
“This is not a Dave Chappelle skit. It’s an incredible true story that is a period piece but has a contemporary rhythm and feel to it that addresses race and bigotry. It’s a story that continues to resonate today,” said Washington, the son of actor Denzel Washington. “My hope is that people will watch the movie and be aware of what’s going on today. There’s this language of hate used among people today, and it seems to be the same as it was in the 70s.”
Co-star Topher Grace, who plays KKK head David Duke, added that Trump uses code words to relay his racism.
“He uses the terms ‘America first’ and ‘Make America Great Again’ more than once,” Grace exclaimed. “Watching and hearing Trump say those exact words in 2017, the similarities were pretty eye-opening, which is really scary. I think the bold message of the film is, if you don’t look at your history, you might be condemned to repeat it—and we might be repeating a bit now.”
Actor Ryan Eggold also chimed in that night claiming that Trump tries to set people against each other and then absurdly praised Barack Obama for “bringing people together.”
The worries over the Ku Klux Klan seem widely exaggerated, though. Where once the hate group boasted four million members, today the group has fallen to a paltry 5,000 and no longer claims people in high offices as members. When the Klan formed as the terror arm of the Democrat Party in the aftermath of the Civil War, the group counted local, state, and federal politicians and party leaders as members. At the height of its power in the 1920s, the Klan even secretly ran the entire government in the state of Indiana. Today it has no such power.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.