Spike Lee Addresses Gun Violence In Chicago

Famed filmmaker Spike Lee is speaking out against black on black violence plaguing urban America.

Spike Lee, born Shelton Lee, discussed his thoughts on the urban murder dilemma during a radio interview with Power 105’s “The Breakfast Club.”

The Brooklyn native, who is most notably known for his films tackling issues of race and political issues, said, “Young black brothers are killing each other left and right” in Chicago.

“Chicago, I don’t know what those brothers are doing out there, but they’re illin,” Spike said. “I mean Chicago… these young brothers are killing each other left and right. And New Orleans… New Orleans, their population is 500,000. New York is eight and half million. You know New Orleans, which has a population of half a million, has more homicides than New York City.

“…and these are all young brothers killing each other,” he continued. “So something is amiss. There’s so much self-hatred amongst us that this is a manifestation of that.”

African Americans represent only 12.6% of the country’s population, but account for nearly half of the citizens murdered in the U.S. each year.

A 2007 study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that nine out of 10 black murder victims were killed by other blacks from 2001 to 2005.

What is even more chilling is the amount of African Americans killed in this nation in 2009 nearly mirrors the troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

More than 6,572 U.S. service members have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operations Enduring Freedom, according to statistics compiled by the Washington Post.

6,556 African Americans were murdered in 2009 alone, according to statistics compiled by the Department of Justice and FBI.

“Black victimization is a real problem, and it’s often black on black,” said David A. Harris, a law professor at the University of Toledo who studies crime trends, according to the Washington Post. “That aspect has to be brought into any attempt to address the crime problem, and the community itself must be called into the process.”

Spike Lee commented that the media doesn’t give much attention to this problem.

The “Do The Right Thing” filmmaker alleged that Hadiya Pendleton’s murder would have gone unnoticed by mainstream media had she not performed in President Obama’s inauguration.

“The young girl…pretty young girl that got killed in Chicago… two weeks after being part of the inauguration. Had she not been a part of the inauguration, that would not have made national headlines,” he said. “But the fact that she participated in inauguration, that made it go top, but who is talking about that now?”

Spike said everyone is to blame for this culture of violence that has taken root in the nation.

“How much is the culture influencing this? The music? I’m not blasting all rap, but there’s certain elements that promotes that type of mentality, which is taken on by young impressionable black boys and try to live that life. So we’re all guilty in a part of this.”

Check out Spike Lee’s entire “Breakfast Club” interview below

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