Bil Browning

Couple items of interest

Filed By Bil Browning | January 19, 2006 9:24 PM | comments

Filed in: Living

There were a couple of interesting articles in the Star recently...

First, Spike Lee gave a speech at Purdue University. Now Spike's a smart guy - made several movies of critical acclaim - what could he have to say to young people? How to get in the industry? How to make a movie? What it's like to be a Hollywood visionary? Nope. He talks about what a loser Condeleeza Rice is. Way to go, Spike. Preach it.

Filmmaker Spike Lee urged blacks not to support Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice if she seeks the Republican presidential nomination.

Lee, director of "Malcolm X," "Jungle Fever" and "Do the Right Thing," spoke Wednesday on the Purdue University campus.

He said everyone should register to vote -- and cast their ballots. And he urged blacks to look beyond race if Rice runs for president in 2008.

The other quip was that Senator Brent Steele's "Defense of Funerals" bill has passed the state senate. This bill is specifically aimed at Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps gang of ne'er-do-wells. They've been picketing military funerals lately claiming that God smote the soldiers because the United States is too tolerant of gays and lesbians. (Advance Indiana takes on the story too - along with more on the Brizzi hate crimes bill that's gone AWOL.) Keep in mind, Steele's bill isn't up for passage because of his disgust with the protesters' message - after all he's a homophobe himself - it's his respect for dead servicemen. Nothing like being slapped on both cheeks, etc?
A bill to keep protesters at a distance from grieving families at funerals passed the Indiana Senate today 47 to 1.

The measure, Senate Bill 5, now moves to the House. The author, Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, said he plans to seek changes there to ensure that even quiet protesters are not allowed to violate the 500-foot distance from the gravesite or funeral home.

Under the bill, people who protest within 500 feet of the grave or funeral home would commit a Class D felony, punishable by up to three years in prison.

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The Star piece gave no indication that Lee’s speech bashed Condoleezza Rice as a ‘loser’. So I’m wondering what the heck did I miss... I’ve googled several times and cannot find anything written to that effect or a transcript of his speech. Can/will you post a link, or add a bit more about what led you to think that was the upshot of his speech?

Perhaps you should read the Purdue Exponent site? There were also plenty of people who attended... I was not one of the lucky few.


Per your suggestion, I did go to the Purdue Exponent site. The feature article reporting on Lee’s speech is copied below. I found no reference to Lee saying Rice was a loser. Perhaps you can/will post the article(s) URL(s) I must be missing. Thanks.

Publication Date: 2006-01-19
Spike Lee engages, motivates audience at lecture
By Crissanka Christadoss
Senior Writer
Loeb Playhouse was a full house Wednesday night as one of the most well-known film directors, Spike Lee, spoke about a variety of topics ranging from finding one's passion to expressing his political views.
The lecture Lee gave, titled "African-American Images in Hollywood," was presented by the Black Cultural Center. Several hundred people attended Lee's lecture, part of the center's annual Martin Luther King Jr. week of events.
However, Lee hardly gave a lecture.
He spoke with and engaged the audience, telling college students to find their passion. He also discussed the current state of America, which he said is a dangerous time, politically and socially.
Lee used many personal experiences to show how it was for him when he entered the film business, a time where black directors and actors were a novelty.
"When a black film came out, it was a national holiday," he said.
Like many college students, Lee didn't know what he wanted to do while he was a student at Morehouse College, but eventually found that film was his passion.
Lee mentioned that though he was a talented film student, upon graduation from New York University film school, it took initiative and self-motivation to get into the film business.
"I didn't roll out of bed and direct Malcolm X," Lee said. "Whatever you do, go out there and work hard."
Lee said that his family was an important factor in his success. His grandmother, who is 99 years old, helped put him through his education by saving her money from teaching and her social security checks. The current government was also on his list of topics of the night, subtly referring to his dislike for Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice, citing that she was buying shoes while people were suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Though he touched on several relevant issues, Lee managed to keep the audience laughing and engaged. He talked about the documentary he is making on Hurricane Katrina and disagrees with how the media portrays the survivors.
"How can an American citizen be a refugee in their own country? I don't understand that," he said. He continued to cite examples of how the media portrays white and black people in the Katrina aftermath, citing that the news shows good white citizens going to Wal-Mart and "darker" citizens looting.
"There were a couple of brothers with large screen televisions," Lee said, causing the audience erupt with laughter.
He made sure that the college students in the audience were aware of their power to influence the future and their ability to do what they love.
Ben Deckard, a Purdue alumnus and aspiring filmmaker, said what Lee had to say about working hard pertained heavily to him.
"He had a lot of good things to say and it is encouraging to hear it from someone," he said.