Posted By on 30th October 2015


Director Spike Lee finished shooting his controversial film “Chi-Raq” in July. The film addresses the crime and violence taking the lives of young people in the city of Chicago, thus “Chi-Raq” an urban slang name for Chicago coined by rappers that compares the city’s rampant black-on-black violence to that of Iraq.

Several months ago the Huffington Post reported that “Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Senator Dick Durban, and local [Chicago] Alderman Anthony Beale expressed concern over the title, with Beale calling it “insulting.”

Lee recently discussed the meeting and confrontation with Emanuel with Chicago Magazine. Emanuel wanted to “paint me as this villain,” Lee said. “To be honest, he’s a bully.” And how did Lee respond to being bullied? “You know I’m from Brooklyn, so. … He’s not gonna bully me. My tactic with the mayor—any bully—is to come out swinging. I said, ‘Mayor, your honor, you’re gonna be on the wrong side of history.’ ”

The history that Lee is talking about is bringing to light the type of statistics that Market Watch posted in July, 2014. “Chicago remains No. 1 in terms of the actual number of murders…the third-largest city in the country [Chicago] had 500 murders, more than any other city, and it has been among the top three cities with the most murders since 1985, according to data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation…82 shootings over the July 4 weekend resulted in at least 16 deaths.”

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  1. Lee further said that Emanuel just didn’t want the truth about Chicago to get out “on his watch.” Lee, however, is not concerned with the politics. During a speech at a church in Chicago’s south side in May, Lee was quoted as saying, “This is not about Chicago losing business. We have to stop the madness. This is insane.”

    In response, Emanuel says that he is looking out for the reputation of his city and the hard working people of Englewood, the part of Chicago the film is mainly about. “[Mr. Lee] said that while the movie is about the neighborhood of Englewood, I was clear that I was not happy about the title. I told him also that there are very good people that live in Englewood who are raising their family, and there’s a lot of positive things that are happening in Englewood mainly driven by the people that make up Englewood.”

    Lee says that Emanuel isn’t being honest, but it doesn’t matter because he (Lee) has the people of Chicago behind him. “As I’d be walking the streets, going to games, the airports, everybody would say, ‘Keep ‘Chi-Raq.’ Don’t change the title. [Expletive] him.’

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