Film Director Spike Lee is certainly no stranger to controversy. However, with his latest film project, the cinematic maverick sparked anger, even before the cameras begun to roll. At the very center of this debate is the name which Lee has selected for his newest work: Chiraq, a toponymic word blend between the city name Chicago and the country name Iraq.
While critics worry that Lee’s name choice heralds a film which will glorify the violence in Chicago’s streets, supporters state that the movie name Chiraq brilliantly brings attention to the grim reality facing Urban America.
As the controversy over the appropriateness of the name continues to rage, the name itself has already entered public, contemporary discourse. According to the Urban Dictionary, an online lexicon with more than 6 million entries uploaded by the internet community, the name chiraq currently has more than three times as many likes than dislikes.