Spike Lee Is Against Newcomers Taking Over His Former Neighborhood

February 27, 2014 15:05:46 GMT

The director went on a full seven-minute rant about how the once predominantly poor and African-American invested neighborhood had changed.


Spike Lee
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Photo credit: DJDM/WENN

Spike Lee made his view on gentrification clear during an African-American History Month lecture at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute on Tuesday, February 25. The director launched expletive rant against the newcomer influx to his former neighborhood in New York.

"I grew up here in New York. It's changed," Lee said. "And why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the South Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better? The garbage wasn't picked up every mother******g day when I was living in 165 Washington Park. PS 20 was not good. PS II. Rothschild 294. The police weren't around. When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers, three o'clock in the morning on 125th Street, that must tell you something."

He went on explaining what he called "the mother******g Christopher Columbus Syndrome." He said, "You can't just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you're mother******g Columbus and kill off the Native Americans."

Responding to Lee's rant was Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service. Moss noted how Brooklyn had changed for the better since its recovery in 2001.

"Cities don't stand still, and the cities that stand still are Detroit," Moss said as quoted by CNN. "So if Spike Lee wants to see a place where there is no gentrification, he'll also find a place where there are no investments. Obviously, he's someone who knows how to make a movie but doesn't know anything about cities."

He continued, "Brooklyn has become more attractive to more people. Of course, that means some people are going to have to find other places to live, but that's the magic of New York. We create new places. Today, Bushwick, which was an area that people were afraid to go to, now has some of the best restaurants in the city."

© AceShowbiz.com




Post Your Comments

posted by Gray-Man on Feb 27, 2014
Sounds like a racist rant to me. What if whites didn't want "blackification" of "their" neighborhoods. Would that not end up in court ASAP as illegal discrimination of a protected group. What happended to pro-change, and the desire for progress, acceptance, and toleration of all law abiding citizens regardless of race, religion, creed, etc. ....
posted by cafenitro on Feb 27, 2014
Because white people are used to living or at least aspiring to that sort of affluent lifestyle. Most white people have had the chance to live a gentrified life (or at least have grown up with it on their radar) and some black people have not. If you're steeped only in black urban culture then it's hard to learn how to live a gentrified life without example.

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