In My Opinion

April 12, 2013

In My Opinion: Shaping the American identity

What an interesting time to be an American, especially considering the construction of the American identity.

For example, the controversy over the word “nigger” in the movie “Django Unchained” is ridiculous. How could it be overused in a film that depicted an era where whites in power could say and do whatever they wanted to their property? Even whites without power could improve their status by saying what they deemed necessary to avoid being at the bottom of the barrel.

In defense of black identity, Spike Lee must realize that if he is truly an admirer of Martin Luther King Jr. then Dr. King’s adage “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” must be considered relative to his challenges of Quentin Tarantino’s usage of the word in Django.

Spike claims that Tarantino, as a non-black, has no right to use language that often disparages black people, even if it is historically accurate. However, Lee, as a male, must realize that he can’t logically avoid applying the same rationale to his own projects. To avoid hypocrisy, he couldn’t excessively use the word “bitch” in any of his films, right?

From my perspective, the only controversy justified around “Django” was the timing of its release in light of the Newtown tragedy.

Campbell Brown’s April 3 Wall Street Journal article challenging President Obama about the pass he has given Hollywood film violence while chastising the National Rifle Association speaks truth to power.

The necessary conversation can’t just be about the NRA’s role in contesting gun control. If America is to create a culture where our children are safe, everyone must be present.

Obama’s identity as the first social-justice president is in jeopardy. He must challenge Hollywood’s power brokers or leave them looking like Wayne LaPierre and other soulless politicians selfishly trying to spin what just can’t be spun to hold onto their constituencies or jobs. It just can’t be about the box office on this one.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
In My Opinion
  • In My Opinion Follow Vt. lead on prescription drugs

    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin recently called attention to a national crisis when he dedicated his entire State of the State message to address what he called Vermont's "full-blown heroin crisis," writes John Coppola of New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers Inc.

    March 12, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Rail companies must take action

    I write to commend emergency response officials in Essex County for taking a proactive approach to the increasing number of freight trains carrying crude oil through our communities on the Canadian Pacific line, as described in the Feb, 23 article, "Essex County developing disaster-response plans as rail traffic grows," writes Rep. Bill Owens.

    March 4, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Communal energy conservation urged

    Recently, several articles appeared in the Press-Republican about the City of Plattsburgh's electric rates and energy policies, writes SUNY Plattsburgh assistant professor Curt Gervich.

    March 3, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Support gave boost to broadcasting

    As many of you know, this is my 40th and final year of broadcasting Plattsburgh State Cardinal Hockey, writes WIRY broadcaster Ducky Drake.

    February 20, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Prison closures will increase danger

    In January, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision released its annual report on the state of New York's prisons, writes NYSCOPBA President Donn Rowe.

    February 18, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Everyone must commit to end smoking

    Smoking-related illnesses will cause 5.6 million children alive today to die prematurely unless smoking rates drop, the latest Surgeon General's Report says, write no-smoking advocates Glenn Pareira and Kendra Gertsch.

    February 12, 2014

  • In My Opinion: The right approach to youth sports

    Another youth basketball season is upon us, writes Town of Ellenburg Youth Director Chris Brooks. Local counties do a great job of organizing these leagues for our children to be able to participate and learn skills at a young age.

    January 8, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Fair evacuation plan needs review

    A year has come and gone with another great professional job done by our Clinton County Fair management, putting on its best yet entertainment.

    January 7, 2014

  • In My Opinion: New care models for aging population

    Our communities are experiencing a growing percentage of older residents, who are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to health-care decisions, according to the administrators of local nursing homes.

    December 24, 2013

  • In My Opinion: Respect diversity of gender November is Transgender Awareness Month across the United States -- a time to celebrate the diversity of gender that many Americans, and especially many New Yorkers, share.

    November 25, 2013

Videos: Editor Picks