Mediaite is reporting that Spike Lee has settled out of court with the McClaine family, whose address he incorrectly posted on Twitter as the address of America’s Most Hated Man #1, George Zimmerman. The harassed and humiliated couple gave a statement to the press through their attorney, who confirmed not only that Spike Lee called them and that everything has been resolved for an undisclosed sum of money, which, isn’t that just the nicest part of the whole thing, miracles do happen, but on top of resolving the issue financially, Spike Lee was even nice about it if you can believe it. Haha. Can you believe it? Yes. You can. But what you can also do that is fun, which is what I just did, is imagine Spike Lee calling them up and just being such a dick. “What? Why don’t you grow up? It’s Twitter!” Ahh! Spike Lee! You’re so mean! But, so, I guess it’s all over, but here’s the thing that really bugs me. Here’s Elaine McClaine (ELAINE MCCLAINE! LOVE IT!) on the subject:
“He was really kind,” Elaine McClain said. “And when he called us, you could just tell he really felt bad about it. And it was just a slip, and I just know that he really, really has been concerned.”
GAHHHHHH. NOOOOOOOO! Oh man, this whole story has made me so much more upset than almost any other story in recent days, INCLUDING the George Zimmerman story itself. Like, that’s obviously just the worst thing, obviously, no one is saying that it’s not the worst thing. And I’m not the one to speak to how it has touched on the underlying racial problems in our country, or the deep, on-going, and often unexamined pain and/or fear of black life in America. I will leave that to the cast of The Help 2. But ultimately I think what happened in Florida is as much to do if not more with this country’s inherently problematic gun control laws than it does with its inherently problematic race relations. Like, both are real issues, but only one of them involves A THING THAT INSTANTANEOUSLY KILLS HUMAN BEINGS. If George Zimmerman wasn’t allowed to just carry a gun as if it’s not even a HORRIFYING THING, then Trayvon Martin would probably be alive. That is a fact, and I’m surprised people aren’t talking about it more. Moreover, George Zimmerman is just a dude who regardless of whether or not he functions as a breathing symbol of racism, or has done the heavy lifting of pointing to the bias in our judicial system, whatever the case may be, we’ve got our bad guy and we can deal with him as need be now. Justice in Court, as they say. But the Spike Lee dimension of the story is almost equally complicated and upsetting as it involves the INCREDIBLE DANGER of blank-slate vilification and calls to personal attacks, mob justice, and CROWD-SOURCED VIOLENCE, as if somehow by strangers reading George Zimmerman’s address on Spike Lee’s Twitter and going to his house and screaming and/or hitting him is going to make the situation “better.” And but, so, yes, he Tweeted the wrong address, but Elaine McClaine is 100% wrong when she says that it was simply “just a slip” because he did TWEET AN ADDRESS that he BELIEVED TO BE TRUE. The fact that it was the wrong address is the LEAST OF THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS SITUATION and I AM VERY UPSET that EVEN THE VICTIMS OF THIS HORRIBLE THING seem to think the only real problem is that the 9 SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN 8 or whatever.
By dismissing Spike Lee’s actions as a simple clerical error committed by an otherwise entirely nice man is LUNACY. It just straight up does not matter whether the address was right or wrong, the end. People should not post the addresses of other people on the Internet as a general principal but especially when the person who supposedly lives at that address is currently facing not only highly sensitive legal charges but also the frothy, hate-filled wrath of an ENTIRE NATION. Elaine McClaine says that you could tell Spike Lee “felt really bad about it” but he didn’t feel bad enough about it to actually apologize for EVER TWEETING A HUMAN BEINGS ADDRESS WITH THE CODED MESSAGE THAT OTHER PEOPLE SHOULD ATTACK AND OR ABUSE THAT HUMAN BEING IN THE FIRST PLACE. That apology is nowhere. He’s just so sorry that he didn’t get it RIGHT. So, I hope that the McClaine’s enjoy their undisclosed sum of settlement money safe in the knowledge that Spike Lee was nice to them on the phone. And I hope it was enough for them to completely ignore the actual moral ramifications of their situation. Hush hush. Let’s all make some tea and go to bed. Who cares, Jake, it’s TwitterTown.