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do the right thing “race off” (explicit)

Do The Right Thing is a highly controversial 1989 film, written and directed by Spike Lee, about a Brooklyn neighborhood gripped by racial tension. In this scene, two of the film’s main characters, Pino and Mookie have a candid conversation about race and racism. Mookie points out Pino’s hypocrisy: he is racist, but many of his heroes happen to be African-Americcan. As their conversation gets heated, the director takes the audience outside of the scene in the pizza parlor and outside of the story by inserting a series of characters–all different races–yelling racial stereotypes and epithets directly into the camera. The scene ends when the local DJ calls for everyone to take a time out.


What does the conversation between Pino and Mookie reveal about race and racism?

Why does the director (Spike Lee) break from the film’s story by having the characters directly address the audience and call out racial stereotypes?

What is the intended impact on the audience?

Why does the scene end with the DJ’s words? Who is he speaking to?

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