Spike Lee: Christopher Columbus Was a 'Terrorist,' USA Built on 'Genocide and Slavery'

With the Academy Awards in the offing, Morning Joe had Spike Lee on today to promote his "BlacKkKlansman" movie, which has been nominated for a number of Oscars.

Lee predictably seized the opportunity to bash America. He first referred to Christopher Columbus as a "terrorist," and a bit later claimed that the USA was built on the "genocide of Native Americans and slavery."

Mike Barnicle teed Lee up with a sycophantic question, asking why he hadn't received a lifetime achievement Oscar, given that his films deal with race, "the biggest issue in this country?" Lee had to correct the hapless Barnicle, pointing out that he had, in fact, received a lifetime achievement award [in 2015], but that this year was different in that he is vying for Best Picture and Best Director Oscars.

And of course, Lee blamed the failure of his earlier movies to receive such Oscars on the fact that the voters weren't sufficiently "diverse."

 


SPIKE LEE: When I was in public school, in Brooklyn, New York, I was not told that George Washington owned slaves. I was told that he chopped down the cherry tree; wouldn't tell a lie. Or, in 1492, this guy, this terrorist, sailed the ocean blue . . .  Another thing I'd like to say -- I know we got to go. We have to talk about the genocide of Native Americans! They get overlooked! This country was built on, in my opinion, genocide of Native Americans and slavery. That's the foundation of this country.

Don't worry, Spike. Back in your Brooklyn day, you might not have been taught that Washington owned slaves, or that Columbus was a terrorist. But the government schools of today are force-feeding that kind of message to students. It's the other stuff that isn't being emphasized. Like the fact that the Founding Fathers created a country based on the notion that all men are created equal, and that hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers died to help free the slaves.

NB Daily Race Issues Racism Movies MSNBC Morning Joe History Joe Scarborough Mike Barnicle Spike Lee

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