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Spike Lee: There must be a whole new agenda after pandemic

The director said the gap between haves and have-nots needs to close.

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Spike Lee said the gap between rich and poor must be closed (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Spike Lee said the gap between rich and poor must be closed (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Spike Lee said the gap between rich and poor must be closed (Isabel Infantes/PA)

There must be a “whole new agenda” after the coronavirus pandemic, director Spike Lee has said.

The US director said the gap between the rich and poor needs to be closed when the world recovers from the crisis.

Discussing how it has disproportionately affected black people, he told The Big Issue: “Racism is not any more just wanting to be able to sit down at a counter and eat. There’s redlining (the practice of putting services out of reach for residents of certain areas based on race), social inequality, lack of education.

“For example, here we are in the middle of the pandemic, schools are closed.

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Spike Lee with his screenplay Oscar for BlacKkKlansman (Ian West/PA)

Spike Lee with his screenplay Oscar for BlacKkKlansman (Ian West/PA)

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Spike Lee with his screenplay Oscar for BlacKkKlansman (Ian West/PA)

“People of colour have a greater chance of not having wi-fi in their home, have a greater chance of not having computers. So how are children being taught?”

He added: “When they find a vaccine, we can’t go back to what was. It has to be a whole new agenda. These vast differences between the haves and have-nots, these humongous gaps, have to be closed.

“That’s my hope and dream. We have a great country, greatest country in the world, we’ll make it even greater. It won’t take long, it’s not going to take long.”

Lee said his new film Da 5 Bloods, about the Vietnam war, shows how much black people are still fighting for their rights.

He said: “You had the Vietnam War, the peace movement, the civil rights movement, the black power movement… here’s the thing. You have black soldiers who are fighting the Vietnamese yet back home, Martin Luther King, who’s fighting for their rights, is assassinated.

“Since day one, black people have been fighting for this country… we’re still fighting for our own rights. We’re still fighting for this country today.”

He continued: “Way back in 1989 with Do The Right Thing I was asked this question: ‘Spike, do you have the answers to stop racism?’ And I said no. People are still asking that question today.”

(Big Issue)

The Big Issue’s vendors are not working amid the coronavirus outbreak but people can support the magazine by subscribing online at bigissue.com.

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