Director Spike Lee (left), and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. (AP Photos)
If there are two things acclaimed director Spike Lee is passionate about, it’s Brooklyn and Black people. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has these two things in common with Lee, bringing the two to together for a recent interview courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.
Lee asked Sanders a range of questions on his views on topics including voting, gun laws and youth unemployment. Here are some takeaways from the 17-minute interview:
—Sanders spoke on Hillary Clinton’s influence on the older Black vote as the wife of former President Bill Clinton: “We are getting killed frankly, not just with older African-Americans, older Whites, older Latinos, it’s the weirdest thing in the world.”
–-Sanders took time to praise President Barack Obama for his work over the last eight years: “Let me be very straight about this, this president will go down in history as one of the smartest presidents we ever had.”
—Lee got Sanders to break down issues surrounding gun laws, and how gun violence affects rural and urban America differently: “Vermont and rural America, people talk about guns—you know what they’re talking about? They’re talking about hunting” said Sanders, “I do know that guns mean something different around urban America.”
—Lee addressed Sanders support of the Black Lives Matter movement throughout his campaign, and what it means to the candidate: “Young people in African-American communities are harassed by police officers, where police departments are not there to be supportive, but are in many cases oppressive,” said Sanders.
—Despite Republican candidate Donald Trump winning many state primaries, Sanders is convinced he will not be America’s next president: “Let me just reassure the viewers, Donald Trump is not going to become president of the United States,” said Sanders.
—As Spike Lee reflected on the effects of the “War on Drugs” on black communities, Sanders took time to reflect on how it has affected the country economically: “We spend 80 billion dollars a year locking up people, and nobody thinks that makes sense,” said Sanders.
As the battle between Clinton and Sanders for the Democratic nomination heats up, Lee said sides have been drawn in his own home. He said his wife Tonya supports Clinton, while the Lee children support Sanders. “We try not to talk about the two Democratic candidates in the Lee household,” the filmmaker said.
The Lees and other New Yorkers will head to the ballot box during the state’s Democratic primary on Tuesday, April 19.