Spike Lee Rants About Gentrification

Movie giant Spike Lee raised all types of hoopla all over the web when he got into a passionate debate over the topic of gentrification in New York City on Tuesday night.

Initially guest lecturing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for African American History Month, the Knicks gear clad Lee discussed in a series of volleys with an audience member why gentrification is no good and disrespectful to communities already established in neighborhoods around the city.

Here is part of the dialogue, from NYmag:

Here’s the thing: I grew up here in Fort Greene. I grew up here in New York. It’s changed. 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 motherfuckin’ day when I was living in 165 Washington Park. P.S. 20 was not good. P.S. 11. 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.

Here’s the full audio, including the man’s response and Lee’s rebuttal: