Twenty-six years after Spike Lee released one of his most iconic films, Do The Right Thing, Jimmy Kimmel decided to create a spoof entitled, Do the WHITE Thing. The four minute clip pokes fun at the immense gentrification Brooklyn has undergone over the last two decades.
We wonder if the spoof got Spike Lee’s blessing as one of the film’s cast members, Rosie Perez has a cameo in the clip. And as a choir of white actors sing the famous Public Enemy Anthem, “Fight The Power”, Flavor Flav also pops up to add his catchphrase, “Yeah Boy!”
Brooklyn may look different with its expensive condos and fancy coffee shops, but race relations in this country are just as bad, if not worse than twenty-six years ago. Unarmed black men are the victims of racism and police brutality on a daily basis and Do The Right Thing is still culturally relevant and necessary viewing for a younger generation.
Public Enemy’s producer and bass player, Brian Hardgroove once said, “Law enforcement is necessary. As a species we haven’t evolved past needing that. “Fight the Power” is not about fighting authority—it’s not that at all. It’s about fighting abuse of power.”
This clip is yet another example of White privilege and an immense disconnect between Caucasians and people of color for Jimmy Kimmel to think this satirical “tribute” to Do The Right Thing was okay. Please find another way to glorify gentrification without appropriating our culture.