Pictures of African-Americans in “Do the Right Thing” Film

The conflict arises as Buggin’ Out is offended and finds it unacceptable for a pizza place in the neighborhood with a predominantly Black community to have no photographs of Black celebrities on the “Wall of Fame.” It might be perceived as a minor problem; however, Sal’s “Wall of Fame” serves as a background to many scenes in the movie, displaying famous white American-Italians and Americans. This might be seen as a racist way to support only white celebrities in the pizza place. From this perspective, Buggin Out’ can be justified in his demand to put the photographs of famous Black figures on the wall.

The main reason for such dispute is that Buggin Out’ views those famous Italian males as exclusively white, which is why he suggests putting “some brothers on da Wall!” However, from Sal’s perspective, it is his pizza place that he owns, which gives him the right to put any pictures he would choose to place on the wall. Moreover, it is a place with Italian cuisine, so it was reasonable to have photos of American-Italians. Nevertheless, Buggin Out’ is right when he noted that only Black people eat at Sal’s pizza place, and there are no Italian Americans. His request is a call for respect for all the Black community in the neighborhood. With this said, Lee tries to demonstrate the subtly racist character of Sal when he points out that there is no freedom in this country and that he is a boss. Sal’s view of freedom is limited and prejudiced, implying that there is no freedom for African Americans in the famous pizza place.

The discontent showcased by Buggin Out’ is acceptable since he asks Sal to respect the Black community that constitutes most visitors in the pizza place. He asked Sal to recognize his place within the Black community but received a response of disrespect. The viewers can equally accept both points of view: Buggin Out’s demand for equal attitudes towards people of color and Sal’s power to decide how to decorate his place. Nonetheless, Buggin Out’ can be entirely justified because of Sal’s racial epithets and violent behavior towards Radio Raheem. Such behavior proves the racial inequality in the neighborhood and challenges the cultural segregation of Sal’s wall. The movie reveals how Sal keeps control over Black visitors in this restaurant by denying Buggin Out’s non-violent request.

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