Addressing a crowd at the Pratt Institute in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, filmmaker Spike Lee unleashed an epic rant over the gentrification of predominately ethnic neighborhoods of New York City.
According to the Daily Intelligencer, Lee was asked a question about “the other side” of the gentrification debate and he took a few moments to rail about "some bullshit article in the New York Times saying ‘the good of gentrification.’” (The NYT's “Argument Over a Brownstone Neighborhood” and New York’s “Is Gentrification All Bad?”).
In a seven-minute long mf-bombing diatribe, Lee went after the lack of social services prior to the arrival of the white gentrifiers, hipsters, dogs, and "real estate motherf*ckers' changing neighborhood names.
"Then comes the motherf*ckin’ Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can’t discover this! We been here. You just can’t come and bogart. There were brothers playing motherf*ckin’ African drums in Mount Morris Park for 40 years and now they can’t do it anymore because the new inhabitants said the drums are loud. My father’s a great jazz musician. He bought a house in nineteen-motherf*ckin’-sixty-eight, and the motherf*ckin’ people moved in last year and called the cops on my father. He’s not — he doesn’t even play electric bass! It’s acoustic! We bought the motherf*ckin’ house in nineteen-sixty-motherf*ckin’-eight and now you call the cops? In 2013? Get the f*ck outta here!"
On renaming neighborhoods :
"People want live in Fort Greene. People wanna live in Clinton Hill. The Lower East Side, they move to Williamsburg, they can’t even afford f*ckin’, motherf*ckin’ Williamsburg now because of motherf*ckin’ hipsters. What do they call Bushwick now? What’s the word? [Audience: East Williamsburg]
That’s another thing: Motherf*ckin’… These real estate motherf*ckers are changing names! Stuyvestant Heights? 110th to 125th, there’s another name for Harlem. What is it? What? What is it? No, no, not Morningside Heights. There’s a new one. [Audience: SpaHa] What the f*ck is that? How you changin’ names?"
Listen to the audio below:
[Image via Thomas Rome on FLICKR, Creative Commons licensed];