Besides directing movies and performing high crane video shots, one of Spike Lee‘s other area of expertise is ranting. But there’s so much truth to what he is saying when it comes to the issue of gentrification in what used to be black neighborhoods.

When speaking with Pratt Institute, he stated his feelings on the influx of whites moving into black neighborhoods. It’s not that he doesn’t want them to move there, it’s the fact that the entire dynamic of the neighborhood changes and pushes the people who have lived there all of their lives out.

He recalled an article from the New York Times that stated gentrifications really isn’t all that bad. “When you see white mothers pushing their strollers on 125th Street [in Harlem] at 3 a.m., that doesn’t tell you something?” Lee asked.

Listen to the entire rant below:

He calls it the Christopher Columbus syndrome – acting like one discovered something when it’s been there all along.

I mean, they just move in the neighborhood. You just can’t come in bogarting. I’m for democracy and letting everybody live, but you gotta have some respect. You can’t just come in when people have a culture that’s been laid down for generations and you come in now and sh-t gotta change because you’re here. Get the f-ck outta here. You can’t do that!

Here are the stats according to Policy Mic:

  • Hispanics made up 52.7% of Harlem in 2000. By 2010, that fell to 47.5%; Whites increased from 11.5% to 17.%.
  • Cost of homes rose 174% in Williamsburg, Brooklyn from 2004 to 2012.

After listening to the audio and seeing the stats, do you think Spike Lee is right or is not that big of a deal?


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