The forgotten man is a familiar archetype in American history. President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously made reference during a 1932 radio address, speaking to those at the economy’s bottom rung whom the New Deal would revitalize. Donald Trump weaponized it as he entered the White House, galvanizing blue-collar whites who not only felt disenfranchised by a rapidly changing America, but simmered with bitterness as a result. Spike Lee, meanwhile, has made the various injustices America has enacted against Black people central to his work. His latest film, Da 5 Bloods, emphasizes just how little America values Black people by designating Black veterans as the forgotten.
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