The first image in Spike Lee’s Blackkklansman is a scene from Gone With the Wind. The last is a memorial to Heather Heyer, murdered one year ago while protesting racism in Charlottesville. In between is a movie that, as much as it is telling a true story, is also meditating on the ways that the images we consume of ourselves and of others impacts us. Blackkklansman is not just a great piece of filmmaking from one of America’s finest filmmakers, it’s a great piece of film criticism from the man who might be America’s best film critic.
What is your problem with Nazis: their beliefs or their tactics? It seems to me that the answer should be “both,” that they use reprehensible tactics in service of horrifying ideologies. As decent people we should reject not just their beliefs but also their behavior.
I look at the response to the New York Times article about “the Nazi next door” and I’m troubled. Not that the article is criticized – all things are open to critique – but that it’s being criticized from the point of view that it’s wrong to humanize Nazis.
See, dehumanization is a Nazi tactic.
Continue reading “Humanize Your Enemy”