Response to Do The Right Thing

Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in RCL | 2 comments

The film Do The Right Thing explores various themes of racial tension, civic duty, and conflicting ideologies¬†among¬†racial groups. The film presents a very honest look at the lives, actions and inner thoughts of the various characters and their struggles and opinions. Each character seems to act according to what, in their minds, is the “right thing”. For example, Buggin’ Out believed that his civic duty was to convince Sal to put black people on the wall of fame, Radio Raheem’s was to spread his music’s message no matter the occasion. When the fights broke out in front of Sal’s the cops fought to contain the crowd in anyway possible, including violence, later resulting in the death of Radio Raheem. There is nothing wrong with being a part of one’s community or having a civic life. However, the characters in the film all have ideologies that conflict to the point of chaos, violence, and tragedy.

Throughout the film there are various instances of racism and racial contempt. A prime example of this is Sal’s son Pino. Pino hates the primarily black neighborhood in which he works and often refers to black people as apes or ”niggers”, a part of the movie I felt did not deserve laughter. His contempt for his fellow black citizens was not only disturbing but unfounded.

The panel discussion that followed not only was controversial but shocking as well. What I saw from some of the speakers upset me greatly as a black person. I felt that pointless stereotypes were being perpetuated and agreed with by a large amount of the people present. I had hoped that the movie and the subsequent discussion would clear away peoples’ preexisting thoughts concerning the subjects presented in the film, but that didn’t seem to be the case.


  1. I was disappointed by the conversation as well mostly because I feel most of the kids there might be able to elaborate on their thoughts in a smaller setting. The microphone really limits people to say their speech and there really isn’t any back and forth so many might have misrepresented themselves. Personally I thought it was weird to have a panel of white people talking about racial tension because their perspective is simply different from a black person’s. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are racist, it’s just something that is out of their experience. Overall good post.

  2. Natalia,
    I agree that the discussion following the movie was confusing and disappointing. What do you (or others commenting on this blog) think contributed to it being counterproductive?

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