Spike Lee’s Latest Flick ‘BlackkKlansman’ features KKK Members chanting ‘America First’
Hollywood director Spike Lee’s newest film, “BlacKkKlansman,” features a group of Ku Klux Klan members chanting the slogan “America First.”
The film is based on the real life of Ron Stallworth, an African-American detective from Colorado Springs, Colorado, the first black member of the Colorado Springs police force.
Stallworth, played by John David Washington, son of actor Denzel Washington, and his partner Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) go undercover to infiltrate the KKK at its highest levels in order to thwart its the klan’s attempt to take over the city. The two become so enmeshed in the KKK that they strike up a friendship with notorious former Grand Wizard David Duke.
Duke is featured toasting “America First” near the end of the trailer.
Nonetheless, the “America First” slogan has a long pedigree in American politics and has been used as early as the 1890s by U.S. politicians of all parties.
Noted politicians including Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Warren G. Harding, William McKinley and Henry Cabot Lodge all also used the phrase. The Klan also employed the term in the 1920s. Even the liberal “fact checking” site, Snopes, notes the slogan is not exclusively connected to white power groups.
Duke himself used “America First” as a political campaign slogan, but not until 2016.
Lee recently attacked President Donald Trump in a press junket for the new film, calling him “Agent Orange” and arguing he is on the “wrong side of history” for his remarks during the riots at Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.
In 2008, Lee compared Obama to Christ, telling reporters, “You can divide history. BB Before Barack. AB After Barack.” The director has also described the United States as “the most violent country in the history of civilization.”