Spike Lee on why Americans Don’t Care About Chicago Violence: “It’s not Sandy Hook”

Spike Lee’s recent movie Chi-Raq is a social commentary and satire about Chicago’s prevailing problem of black-on-black gang violence. The title Chi-Raq is a portmanteau of Chicago and Iraq, comparing the South side of Chicago to a war zone.

Lee noted that even on the first day of pre-production in Chicago, he had to attend a funeral, because one of his own film associates was shot and killed there. He said that from June 1st to July 9th (the time span of their pre-production), there were 331 who were shot and wounded in Chicago, and 65 were murdered.

Chuck Todd asked him in an interview about the film why it is that Americans don’t seem to care about Chicago’s violence. Lee shot back, “It’s not Sandy Hook.” Watch the interview here:

I actually appreciate a lot of what Lee had to say. I haven’t seen the movie, and I’m not interested in it, and I certainly don’t agree with his gun control solutions. But so many anti-gun politicians, including our own President, completely ignore Chicago’s insane violence.

Obama and the rest of the Democrats are all in favor of politicizing mass shootings. The President will call a press conference, issue a statement, and shed a tear for the cameras anytime there’s a mass shooting. He said Americans have become numb to these incidents, because shootings and the subsequent media reactions have become all too routine.

But we never hear a word about the massive amounts of blood shed in Chicago. And these aren’t crazy, white kids committing mass shootings. And, even as Lee stated in the interview, “It’s not always policemen.” They’re black people killing other black people.

Perhaps that’s why Obama and the rest of the gun control crowd shy away from talking about it. It’s embarrassing. It doesn’t fit the narrative. Sandy Hook fit perfectly with the narrative. Spike Lee’s right about why Americans don’t care about Chicago’s violence. And his point in making the film was to show that people should care about Chicago, just as much as people cared about Sandy Hook.

Americans don’t care about Chicago violence, because the media aren’t telling Americans to care. They convince Americans to care only about incidents like Sandy Hook, Charleston and San Bernardino. Yes, far more Americans have been killed in Chicago alone in the past year than all the widely publicized mass shootings over the past decade put together. But it’s not about how many lives are lost. Let’s not make the mistake of thinking the media actually care about people. Media networks are businesses. It’s about oversensationalizing single incidents to cash in on increased ratings.