Magazine September 10, 2018, Issue

Policing Racism

Adam Driver and John David Washington in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)

Suppose you were told that a prominent filmmaker had made a Trump-era movie about racism and the KKK that embodies the assumptions of establishment liberalism and annoys the radical Left with its racial optimism and sympathetic attitude toward American law enforcement. How many guesses, I wonder, would it take before you landed on Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee as the director?

BlacKkKlansman, the latest Lee joint, tells the unlikely 1970s-era story of a black Colorado Springs detective, Ron Stallworth (played by Denzel Wash­ington’s son John David Washing­ton, under a huge era-appropriate Afro), who spent a period of time impersonating an enthusiastic KKK

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