Spike Lee to Shoot a Film Called “Chiraq” Making Some Chicago Residents Unhappy


(Getty Images/Patrick Fraser)

Well I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been waiting for the return of Spike Lee for a very long time. Kinda like how we felt when Mike made a return, wearing the number 45, we’re excited, we’re watching, we’re hopeful.

While I couldn’t be more happy to see Spike getting back to work, it seems like he’s already ruffled some feathers.

Spike’s latest project, titled “Chiraq” is causing lots of debate amongst Chicago residents. Though I think the title of the movie is accurate as HELL, some people think Spike should consider changing the the name to something…less offensive.

The city of Chicago has developed a bad reputation over the years, that undoubtedly has been compounded by the media. But let’s be clear, the media isn’t behind the guns, pulling the triggers. Violence HAS been a problem in Chicago and continues to be.

According to HeyJackass.com, in 2014, 388 people were shot and killed, and 2,231 were shot and wounded, leaving the people of Chicago with a total of 456 homicides for the year. Those numbers however, still don’t give Spike the right to stick them with a label Aaron Pierce told the Chicago Tribune.

“I’m just really concerned about using that name,” said Pierce, a South Side rapper who started an “Anti-Chiraq” social media campaign and also runs a mentoring program for public school students. “That name does not really give us a positive look. That name belittles our city and I feel like it dehumanizes us. We are from Chicago. It is not like Iraq.”

Some people say that the title and movie itself is problematic because it doesn’t focus on the issues at the root of the violence.

“The word implies we are at war — but who the opponents are is misplaced,” she said. “There are black people in communities in Chicago that are exposed to a reality where they don’t have enough resources to live with full dignity. Then there are people who wonder why there is violence in communities that have suffered with years of divestment,” a community organizer by the name of Charlene Carruthers told the Chicago Tribune.

Then there are those who think Spike’s movie is a great idea. Rev. Corey Brooks, though he doesn’t necessary like the term “Chiraq”, agrees that the movie’s message is important.

“I do know that art imitates life, but life imitates art,” he said. “We do have a severe problem with gun violence and we have murders every single day. I’m grateful for anyone who wants to bring light to the situation. I don’t think Spike Lee is a director who will be insensitive, and knowing him, he will be very accurate.”

The film, brought to us by Amazon, will feature Chi-town natives Kanye West and Common. As of now everything is being kept top secret, so details about the film are still blurry.

My opinion? I see no problem with the title. Maybe it’s because I’m not from Chicago, but I reaaallly doubt Spike is going to make a film that isn’t thoughtful, thought-provoking, and multi-dimensional. I mean, this is Spike, we’re talking about here. It’s my prediction that all of the naysayers will be singing a different tune when the final product is revealed. When will it be revealed?…we don’t know.



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