It is a disturbing moment in the film primarily because it seems forced. Yet the implication of Lee's justification of the image and the dialogue seems inescapable. Scott, in his review, argues that the aftermath of 9/11 is "not so much the topic of Mr. Lee's movie as an important element of its atmosphere, at times an obtrusive one." More than that, however, it seems an inappropriate one, even if the viewer accepts the premise suggested above, that Lee intended to equate Monty's drug dealing with American foreign policy. Essentially, the issue of 9/11 merely seems too "big" to serve merely as a backdrop for a story that is not ultimately about 9/11. Nonetheless, Lee's purpose might only have been to suggest that 9/11 so changed New York that one cannot use the city as a backdrop without addressing the attacks.
Scott, A. O. "Film Review: Confronting the Past Before Going to Prison," New York Times (December 19, 2002): .
Lee voices these assumptions explicitly in the series of scenes where each ethnic character voices the hate-filled stereotypes of another ethnicity directly into the camera. But the next scene brings Radio Raheem who talks about the conflict between love and hate. In the final scene, Bugging Out confronts Sal about the lack of pictures of African American on the walls and Sal responds by calling them "niggers" and smashing Raheem's radio. The entire film has been leading to this scene. The scene is chaotic, but clearly delineates each character in the context in which he or she has been introduced in the film. The reality of the scene, therefore, comes for the knowledge of the characters and the understanding of the assumptions and frustration that led to this moment.
its foreign policy. Is Lee suggesting that, just like Monty, the United States got what it deserved?
Reviewers have called "Do the Right Thing" "a scary and sad glimpse of the divisive bigotry that still remains an open wound on the soulscape of Ameri