Spike Lee Defends 'Chiraq'

Well, it’s an interesting premise for a movie, but see if you can spot some of the flaws in the reasoning here:

The title of Spike Lee’s new movie might not sit well with some, but the filmmaker was not backing down from calling his upcoming film on Chicago’s gun violence “Chiraq,” as he defended his controversial work on Thursday.

Lee plans to set his movie in Englewood, one of several violence-plagued neighborhoods that have earned the nickname “Chiraq.” Some feel that name—a blend of Chicago and war-torn Iraq—furthers negative perceptions about the city.

The label has been slapped on the city by rappers and spread through social media because of gun violence in some Chicago neighborhoods including Englewood, where Lee plans to set his movie.

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Lee said his film will hold a mirror up to reality, like the spate of violence on Wednesday, when more than a dozen people were shot, three of them fatally.

“We have to stop the madness. This is insane,” he said. “This is nothing to do about Chicago losing tourism. This is not about Chicago losing business. Let’s not put the loss of property and profit over human life.”**

He said, like early critics of his film “Do The Right Thing,” those who have criticized “Chiraq” will “look stupid and be on the wrong side of history.”


But Chicago has had draconian gun control laws for decades that prevent law-abiding citizens from defending themselves, and (not coincidentally) has had a monolithic block of Democrat mayors since 1931.* What would Spike do differently?

* Which is probably why critics loathe the title of his film.

** Let’s not dox innocent people, either, eh?


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