“Wake up, South Carolina! This is your dude, Spike Lee.”
So begins a new radio ad in the Palmetto State. But the acclaimed black filmmaker isn’t trying to combat the silent epidemic of sleep-driving: He’s trying to get South Carolina “woke” on Bernie Sanders.
“For too long, we’ve given our votes to puppets, sold the okie-doke. Ninety-nine percent of Americans were affected by the Great Recession of 2008,” Lee says, before assuring the listener that Sanders is “not on the take” and will “do the right thing” as president.
“He fought for wealth and education equality throughout his whole career,” the filmmaker says, after invoking Sanders’s participation in the civil-rights movement. “No flippin’, no floppin’. Enough talk. Time for action. Hey, Bernie from Brooklyn, talk to the folks.”
Then a beat drops in, and Sanders begins a very awkward freestyle rap about income inequality. Okay, that doesn’t actually happen, but we can all agree it should. (Sanders just reads his standard “I approve this message” spiel.)
It’s not clear how much influence Lee has with South Carolina voters. But the Vermont senator needs all the help he can get reaching progressives in the African-American community. He trails Clinton by more than 30 points with black voters in ten of the next 13 nominating contests, including this Saturday’s primary in South Carolina.