Spike Lee Gets Real About Gentrification

The director has some choice words for new Brooklyn, N.Y., residents.

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Spike Lee 

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Director Spike Lee let them know how he really felt on Tuesday night.

According to New York magazine, Lee was speaking at Pratt Institute for a Black History Month lecture when an audience member asked him about “the other side” of the gentrification debate.

“Let me just kill you right now, because there was some bulls--t article in the New York Times saying ‘the good of gentrification.’ I don’t believe that,” said Lee.

Over the course of the seven-minute rant (with a lot of f-words), Lee explained his stance on gentrification in New York.

“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?” Lee said. “The garbage wasn’t picked up every motherf--king 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.”

You can listen to Lee’s full thoughts on gentrification here.

Read more at New York magazine and the New York Times.

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