What Did Ron Stallworth Actually Do?

Disclaimer: There are a ton of BlacKkKlansman spoilers in this bitch, son. Please, act accordingly.

So, on Friday, I saw BlacKkKlansman with my wife. Now, as a piece of art, I feel like the film is a return to form for Spike Lee. I mean, I’m a diehard Lee fan, but over recent years, his movies have been hit-or-miss, man. In any case, I feel like he nails it out of the park with this one, fam. With all of that being said, despite thoroughly enjoying the movie, I left the theater with one question in mind, bruh: what did Ron Stallworth actually accomplish?

Ok, for those who have seen the film or don’t mind spoilers, here’s how the story goes: Stallworth joins the Colorado Springs Police Department. Despite being new, he pitches his captain to become an undercover officer. From there, his first assignment is to infiltrate a Black Power rally featuring Stokely Carmichael, later known as Kwame Ture, as the keynote speaker. Next, he cold-calls a local Colorado Ku Klux Klan chapter and pretends to be a White man looking for entry into the group. After an elaborate ruse which includes using his White partner as a stand-in for Stallworth, he’s able to gain the trust of David Duke, the Grand Wizard of the KKK. Finally, Stallworth and his team thwart a bombing attempt by the Klan on the head of Colorado College‘s Black student union, who also happens to be Stallworth’s love interest.

Now, based on the story I just outlined, it would seem like Stallworth accomplishes a lot in this story. However, here’s my problem with all of this, son: the Klan isn’t really damaged in any significant way. Ok, yes, the police are able to stop a bombing, but “The Organization” is never really dismantled, man. Hell, as of today, I can still see Duke on my TV screen, talking a bunch of bullshit about Black people and Jews. So, did Stallworth’s work really achieve anything? Look, his department is most likely to blame, since they end the investigation early. But, the KKK is able to continue business as usual, fam.

Listen, I don’t know enough about Boots Riley‘s criticism of Stallworth to have an opinion. Shit, maybe Stallworth was nothing more than an agent of COINTELPRO. I mean, his undercover work on Ture does give some credence to that theory. But, in regards to the storyline of this movie, I feel like Stallworth and his team risk their lives for minimal return. Then again, like I said before, maybe their work is cut short before they can really make a difference. All in all, we’ll never really know, bruh.

In the end, BlacKkKlansman is still a dope ass movie, son. Ultimately, I suggest that everyone out there gives it a shot. By and by, I’m happy to see the rebirth of Spike Lee, man. Listen, I know he gets shit from people sometimes, but I still feel like he’s an important voice, fam. At the end of the day, we always need people who care, bruh. That is all. LC out.

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