Spike Lee, the champion of bringing Black imagery to the big screen, has always been a visionary filmmaker. That’s why it should come as no surprise that “Drop Squad,” a film he executive produced, has seemingly become more relevant than ever after it was released 23 years ago today. That’s due in no small part to the presidential candidacy and subsequent election of Donald Trump, which has not only emboldened White supremacists, but certain Black folks, too.
Let us explain.
The collective rhetoric coming from a certain portion of upwardly mobile Black America has the potential to do longer-lasting damage to African-Americans than perhaps Trump could ever do. And that’s where “Drop Squad” comes in.
An acronym that stands for “Deprogramming and Restoration of Pride Squad,” the movie depicted a team of proud African-Americans who target, kidnap and then brainwash (or re-program) Black people it feels have lost touch with their racial roots. While the movie reviews were nothing to boast of, the film’s objective certainly is.
(Editor’s note: To be clear, NewsOne does not advocate the type of violence during the movie’s “deprogramming” scenes. However, the underlying message still resonates: Black people need each other’s support to progress as a race, and anything less is seen at best as taking steps backwards. Everybody is redeemable.)
So, in keeping with that theme, NewsOne has assembled a motley crew of what have become the usual suspects of apparent shucking, jiving, self-hating African-Americans who might could use a refresher course in what it really means to be Black in America. While the list keeps growing, the following eight people, listed in alphabetical order, are consistently Drop Squad-worthy.
It’s hard to reconcile this one. Carson made Black history as a brilliant neurosurgeon who rose from poverty to become he very best in his profession. But that legacy has nearly been eclipsed since he ran for president and ultimately called slaves “immigrants,” which led in part to him being labeled a “Black White supremacist.” Drop Squad time, for sure.
The man who has called Black Lives Matter a hate group, shamed Black politicians and disrespected Colin Kaepernick has become quite the pro-Trump presence on Twitter since he resigned as sheriff of Milwaukee County earlier this year — you know, the same place where four people died in a jail he ran. Call the Drop Squad right now.
The card-carrying Republican actress has made not secret of her love for Trump. And while personal politics is one thing, defending White racism is another. She has repeatedly called for an end to Black History Month, supported Paula Deen’s overt racism toward Blacks and called Obama a word that Trump once said is where women allow him to grab them by because he’s famous. She has actually been Drop Squad-eligible for longer than most know.
This once-obscure politically conservative, pro-Trump talking head was a constant TV presence during the presidential campaign, but it was perhaps his argument on CNN with a liberal Black commentator that cemented his position on this list. Not only has Dennard said Trump was doing more for HBCUs than Obama ever had, he praised Trump’s defense of violent White nationalists at a Charlottesville rally in August. Dennard isn’t only a client, he may need to be the Drop Squad president.
The Super Bowl winning linebacker who is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame caught hell for telling Kaepernick to quiet his social activism protesting racial injustices against Black people. Those comments came more than a year after Lewis praised Trump, the then-candidate whose history of discriminating against Black people has been well-documented. Drop Squad time.
The former reality TV star who shared the screen with Trump on “The Apprentice” has since become one off the most reviled people in Black America because of her allegiance to the president. She once told Black students assaulted as Trump campaign rallies that they “get what’s coming to you” and caused an uproar at last summer’s convention for Black journalists, prompting her Black friends to stop associating with her. She needs to be Drop Squad-ed immediately.
The Juice’s friendship with the Donald is nothing new, but the extent of their relationship since his release from prison was uncertain. What was certain, though, was that O.J. was convinced he wasn’t Black. Chances are he still sees himself today as he did in 1969, when a White woman at a wedding saw him and reportedly remarked, “Look, there’s O.J. sitting with all those n****rs.” When asked if he was offended, O.J. was, well, O.J. was O.J.: “It was great. Don’t you understand? She knew that I wasn’t black. She saw me as O.J.’” The Juice may have very well been the one to inspire the Drop Squad.
While Supreme Court justices are supposed to be apolitical, it’s a safe bet that Thomas is a fan of the president. Trump has called him his favorite Supreme Court justice, probably due in no small part to Thomas’ opinion that affirmative action is a biased crutch to accommodate Black people’s laziness that should be extended to so-called disadvantaged whites. Drop the entire Squad on him.