“BlacKkKlansman” director Spike Lee labeled famed explorer Christopher Columbus a “terrorist” during an interview Wednesday while also urging the United States to be truthful about the country’s past.
The Oscar nominee was a guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when he made the comments after being asked what he thought about the state of race in America.
“Well I just think that what we’ve seen, it’s evident to me that this stuff has never gone away,” Lee said, before explaining his attire for the interview.
Lee was wearing a black hat and a hooded sweatshirt, both emblazoned with “1619,” the year which he said “the first slaves were brought to this country, Jamestown, Virginia.
“I think that a lot of people need to know this. Because this is part of American history, which is not all good,” Lee said. “You know, I think that when I was in public school in Brooklyn, New York, I was not told George Washington owned slaves. I was told that he chopped down the cherry tree and wouldn’t tell a lie. In 1492, this guy, this terrorist sailed the ocean blue.
“I mean, we have got to start teaching, I feel, my opinion, let’s be honest about our history and let’s move forward,” he continued.
And if the nation does not become more forthcoming about its past, “we’re going to be talking about this stuff again and again and again,” he said, adding that “we have got to move forward.”