Italian Group Criticizes Planned Speech by Spike Lee

January 13, 2011

An Italian-American group is criticizing North Central College for plans to have Spike Lee as the keynote speaker during celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, the Chicago Tribune reported. "He wants to be provocative, and there's nothing wrong with that," Bill Dal Cerro, president of the Italic Institute of America, said. "Where we take issue is that he is provocative at our expense, to the point where he distorts our culture and goes out of his way almost to make us the bad guys." He cited such Spike Lee movies as "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever." Renard Jackson, a professor who organized the event, noted that Lee has offended many groups. "He's like Archie Bunker, he's an equal-opportunity portrayer of people, sometimes inadequately or improperly," Jackson said.

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