Do the Right Thing: Still Reflected in the News

Someone shared this post on my Facebook timeline and I thought it was very relevant to the issues we discussed last week related to Do the Right Thing.

The link to the article is here: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/15/602598119/black-teenager-shot-at-after-asking-for-directions. Unfortunately, it is not that uncommon to see something like this in the news. I thought this case was particularly relevant because it points out some of the serious flaws present in many Americans today. Fortunately, the African American boy that was shot at in the article was not injured, but it is still a heartbreaking event nonetheless.

The boy knocked on the door of a woman’s house to ask for directions to school, as his phone was not with him. Immediately, the woman who answered the door assumed he was trying to break in. It is troubling that so many people have a racist mindset such as this one and it reminded me of many of the characters in Do the Right Thing. The situation further escalated as her husband came downstairs with a gun and the young man had to run for his life.

The escalation of pulling out the gun reminded me of Sal pulling out the bat in Do the Right Thing when Radio Raheem was playing his music. A completely absurd overreaction based on racial profiling and discrimination.

On the tape, you can hear the woman who answered the door says “why did these people choose my house?” This idea of the black community as separate and lesser, as “these people” is unfortunately a view that is still held by many, whether it be consciously or subconsciously. A young boy should be able to ask for help or ask for directions without fearing his life.

 

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