Spike Lee on the Jan. 6 insurrection: ‘The whole world is laughing at the United States’

Vanity Fair Oscar Party

While all of the major awards shows were pushed back this year in the hopes of holding in-person events once more people are vaccinated, many of the smaller critics-awards shows are being held virtually. Which is what happened with the NY Film Critics Circle Awards this year. They were held virtually on Sunday, and “attendees” got to make their speeches “live” online, or they sent in videos. Spike Lee won an honorary award presented by Martin Scorsese, and Spike had a lot to say about the Trump era in American history:

Spike Lee sharply criticized former President Donald Trump and his historical legacy during a somber speech Sunday at the 86th annual New York Film Critics Circle Awards. Lee, 63, was in no mood to celebrate during his acceptance speech for the honorary award presented by Martin Scorsese at the virtual awards show.

The “Da 5 Bloods” director Lee filmed his acceptance speech on Jan. 6, “a very sad day in the history of America,” when pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building.

“You know what, we are living in a very serious time in America. All of us as true Americans have to really think about what’s important,” said Lee. “There’s no way possible to go before the iPhone and thank you guys without telling you what’s in my heart and soul as a descendent of slaves who helped build this country. The whole world is laughing at the United States, the so-called cradle of democracy,” he added.

“We’re at the crossroads now. And everyone please be safe, this is not a game. These people got guns with ammunition,” said Lee. “This president, President Agent Orange, will go down in history with the likes of Hitler. These guys, all his boys, they are going down on the wrong side of history.”

[From USA Today]

Over the years, I’ll admit to sometimes finding Spike overwrought and a little too eager to start beefs out of nowhere. But he’s been dead right about everything during the Trump era, and I agree with him completely here. Other countries watched with horror as Trump’s MAGA terrorists tried to overthrow the government, and our allies are still horrified as they realize how much power Trump still has even out of the White House. What happened on Jan. 6th was an insurrection, a failed coup and a terrorist attack on the republic. And one political party began minimizing those facts two seconds after the traitors were out of the Capitol.

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Photos courtesy of Getty, Avalon Red.

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25 Responses to “Spike Lee on the Jan. 6 insurrection: ‘The whole world is laughing at the United States’”

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  1. Izzy says:

    They’re not laughing. They are absolutely horrified by it.

    • Smile says:

      We all are/were horrified by it.

    • Adi says:

      I agree, not laughing just horrified. Not surprised, perhaps, but horrified nonetheless.

      • Sally says:

        Co-signed. Not laughing, terrified and looking at our own fascists rather worriedly. I am however laughing at all the lawyers and attorneys getting ready to sue Trump’s ass to hell and back. You go, guys!! Bring him down!!

    • Louise177 says:

      Though Jan 5, USA was a joke but the World was horrified by the coup attempt.

    • missskitttin says:

      thats what I said!!! “meanwhile, the world is laughing at this mockery”

  2. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    We’ve been laughing (with a bitter aftertaste) for 4 years already. Now please make it so that we don’t need to be laughing nervously for 4 more years.

    • Tom says:

      To the non-USAans out there: The United States of America is the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. Our country is an experiment.

      Experiments can fail. They can succeed. This can go either way.

  3. Persephone says:

    He’s not wrong. And it’s completely sad.

  4. The Hench says:

    And now commentators here are saying the Senate is unlikely to convict. I mean if inciting your followers to subvert a democratic election and then attack and murder your key rivals in both parties so you can illegally retain power isn’t an impeachable offence, what the actual **** is?!??

    I’m enraged by the self-serving, mealy mouthed bullcrap from the GOP and I’m not even American. Fine. Don’t impeach him. Let him set up the Patriot Party and split your vote so you don’t regain power for many, many years.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “if inciting your followers to subvert a democratic election and then attack and murder your key rivals in both parties so you can illegally retain power isn’t an impeachable offence, what the actual **** is?!??”

      getting a beej from an intern and lying about it.

  5. Darla says:

    My cousin posted something on fb, a last hurrah so to speak, and that’s how i found out he’s running a pro trump political page, and let me tell you, hooboy, i didn’t know he was this crazy. And yeah, they think trump failed to use his power to stop the steal, and that “they” (democrats and us i guess?) are the enemy and now that this has all be revealed it’s time to fight. They’ve been called to war. It’s scary stuff and honestly, I am not laughing.

  6. JanetDR says:

    It’s going to take a long time for us to regain standing. And it should. What happened with the Trump administration was a horrid mix of laughable and terrifying. The worst part is he still has that base. It’s part of us as much as we don’t want it to be.

  7. Atti says:

    Yeah. We have laughed. And been scared for you. And been just shocked. I hope universal healthcare is coming for you. I hope a proper police university education is coming. I hope better workers rights are coming. I hope proper gun laws are coming. The US is looking like a mess right now, from a distance.

  8. Nina Simone says:

    Yes. Some countries are laughing. Specifically the ones that US has condemned in the past for anti democratic ways. Zimbabwé for instance released an interesting statement. I don’t blame them. Yesterday, Biden strongly requested that Navalny be released. I was glad he did and it needs to happen. But I couldn’t help but sigh because I’m sure some countries saw that and laughed because yes, at the moment we don’t have much to stand on. It’s very sad. US will take a long time repairing its image

  9. Sojaschnitzel says:

    Nobody laughed over here on this side of the ocean. We’re terribly sad for y’all. That’s all. None of is a laughing matter anymore.

  10. Mina_Esq says:

    I think that Biden’s line that, “enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward” will go down in history as one of those great lines. It acknowledges that basically 1/3 of Americans are terrible people that want to destroy the country. There is still a lot of hate in America. The country can’t afford to have “enough of us” disengage and let Trumpism thrive. I’m thankful for people like Spike Lee that continue to remind everyone of their responsibility.

  11. atorontogal says:

    Personally I am not laughing. I am scared, angry and appalled, but not laughing. I’m scared because I see the white supremacist’s here in Canada becoming emboldened by what is happening in America. I am angry that nothing seems to happen to the Repugnicans that have supported trump and his dictatorship with no repercussions. I am appalled at what has become of America – a once proud nation the entire world looked up to, which now sits as a dumpster fire with no reset in sight.

  12. Willow says:

    Politics in this country has been like this for a long time. They just used to hide it better. Trump didn’t drain the swamp. He pulled the lid off the can of worms. There is only 2 parties and if you don’t toe the party line, you don’t get any power. Bernie Sanders is a great example of that. And the GOP has been doing everything possible, working every loophole, to control elections, through gerrymandering and other tactics. It’s party over country, and individual over party.

  13. Pulplove says:

    People from other democracies weren’t laughing, they were seriously scared for the USA and for what that may elicit in their own countries.

    But sadly, there are heads of states laughing and rubbing their hands with satisfaction and schadenfreude using this insurrection to promote their own political systems, and to demonize democracy. And the damage to democracy by Trump’s demeanor, lies and instigations alone was significant already.

  14. Jo73c says:

    Um, wasn’t ancient Greece the cradle of democracy? The US is more like the grave of democracy, and no one is laughing.