Spike Lee Gentrification Rant: Let The Rebuttals Begin

Spike Lee ruffled a few feathers when he let loose on the contemporary residents of Brooklyn and their dogs during his speech at the Pratt Institute. His tirade was never going to be unleashed without rebuttals, and Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service, has offered up just that.

Spike LeeSpike Lee has a go at hipsters...

Just in case you needed a reminder of what Lee’s views on the hipsters that currently dwell amidst the Brooklyn hubris are; when an audiences member suggested an ostensibly positive aspect of gentrification, Lee replied: “Let me, let me, let me, let me just kill you right now.” Lee was talking at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, an art, design, and architecture school. "I grew up here in New York. It's changed," he said. The transcript is here on The Guardian.

"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******* day when I was living in 165 Washington Park. ... 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."

Moss saw a flaw in Lee’s views, suggesting that the development of the city is a natural progression, and New York would be worse off it things had stayed the same. "Cities don't stand still, and the cities that stand still are Detroit,” he said. “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."

Are you a Brooklyn resident? Did you used to live in that part of town? Do you have a view on Lee’s rant? Let us know in the comments section below.


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