Gentrification Rant By Spike Lee Raises Eyebrows, Stirs Debate in NYC

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Film director and New York City native Spike Lee went off on an expletive-filled rant against gentrification in the nation's biggest metro area this week.

Lee grew up in the Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, where his parents still live.

Spike

In response to a question at an African American History Month lecture Tuesday at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, the 56-year-old film great said:

"Why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers into the South Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Brown Heights, for the facilities to get better?"

Explaining this quote, he told Anderson Cooper, "My problem is, when you move into a neighborhood, have some respect for the history, for the culture."

To stay a great city, Lee said NYC needs more affordable housing.

He also offered these choice, NSFW quotes on the subject ...

  • "The garbage wasn't picked up every (expletive) day when I was living in 165 Washington Park."
  • "Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning? It's like the (expletive) Westminster Dog Show."
  • "Then comes the (expletive) Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can't discover this. We been here. You just can't come and bogart."
  • (Renters) can't even afford (expletive) (expletive) Williamsburg now because of (expletive) hipsters."

In a response to the controversial, racially charged remarks, Joshua Greenman, who is white and lives in Brooklyn, called Spike Lee's rant "ignorant."

"The phenomenon he decries is mostly innocuous, inevitable and, in a diverse and economically dynamic city, healthy," Greenman writes in the N.Y. Daily News.

Greenman pointed to studies that demonstrate how gentrification is actually good for long-time residents because businesses and services improve.

Like Lee, though, he pointed to the need for affordable housing.

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To Spike Lee: Affordable Housing is not the answer. If Affordable Housing were the answer, look no further than New Orleans, the Free Lunch Homestead Exemption where property owners have no incentive to improve their house in the ghetto as long as they get cash payments for rent from welfare queen and their thug boyfriend and have no property taxes to pay while living in a different state. Plus, if Affordable Housing was the answer, shouldn't public housing been successful? Affordability versus Responsibility
Affordability will mean nothing if there is no personally responsibility in the community you live in. It's not about the garbage being picked up or more cops. It's about individual responsibility just as much as social responsibility. Twitter: AhContraire.

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JUST A DUMB NIGGER BEING A DUMB NIGGER - LIKE HIS DADDY - THE MOOLIE OBAMA .. HEY , DADDY !!!!1 WHEN ARE WE GONNA OVERTHROW WHITE PEOPLE ?? WE'S BE WORKING ON THAT WITH THE JEWS AND OTHER SUCH GENIUS FOLK !! HEY , DADDY ?? IF JEWS ARE SUCH GENIUSES , WHY THE FUCK DID MOST OF THE OILY - LOOKING PENQUEN S GET EXTERMINATED BY THE WHITE NAZI BASTERDS ?? WELL , URR , SON .... I GUESS THE WHITE FOLK JUST GOT LUCKY .. HEY , DADDY ? DIID THEY JUST GET LUCKY WITH THE INDIANS , MEXICANS , AND GOOKS , TOO ... ? UHH. I GOTS TO GO AND HIT THE BATHROOM , SON - GOOD TALK ..

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World's passive aggressive man ↑↑↑↑ and jealous. .. it took Perry one year to accomplish black and white people to find comman ground and learn from each other. Spike is an instigating punk. He causes racial wars with his movie. Tyler more famous in one year than spike took in 20. Jealous. Jealous. Jealous

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Basically. .. he's saying the projects don't need cleaning up by the white man. We need more projects (low in come housing) , so I guess striving for more or better yourself is only Cosby talk. What culture is he talking about? Rap music, where you hear about gangbanging? Spike is ignorant and has a chip the size of Texas on his shoulder. He needs to be takin to school and learn from Tyler Perry & Cosby.... the kkk is almost instinct. Martin l kings dream is coming true. So stop the drama spike! I don't see Jewish people still angry. Move on. Strive to love and be better.