Friday, March 6th, 2015

After Spike Lee Rips Into Gentrification, He Refuses to Back Down From Backlash

TCM Road To Hollywood / New YorkAfter Spike Lee ripped into the evils of gentrification with an expletive-filled rant about his native Brooklyn that touched many Black people around the country who have seen the same forces at work in their own communities, Lee has refused to back down following the predictable backlash that has come his way from white commentators.

Lee decried the insensitivities that many whites bring along with them when they gentrify a previously poor and Black neighborhood. He called it the “Christopher Columbus Syndrome,” describing whites who act like they are the first inhabitants of the neighborhood. His comments spread across social media like a forest fire and prompted a national discussions about the effects of gentrification.

“You can’t discover this! We been here,” Lee said on Tuesday at Pratt when he was asked about “the other side” of the gentrification debate, an issue that had been raised in recent articles in the New York Times and New York magazine. “You just can’t come and bogart. There were brothers playing motherf***** 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 19 motherf***** 68, and the mother***** 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***** house in nineteen-sixty-motherfuckin’-eight and now you call the cops? In 2013? Get … outta here!”

On Wednesday, Lee told “Anderson Cooper 360″ that he’s not against new people moving into areas that were once predominantly poor and predominantly African-American.

“My problem is that when you move into a neighborhood, have some respect for the history, for the culture,” Lee said.

This is how he said it in his talk at Pratt Institute on Tuesday night.

“You can’t just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you’re Columbus and kill off the Native Americans,” he said. “Or what they do in Brazil, what they did to the indigenous people. You have to come with respect. There’s a code. There’s people.”

“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?” he continued. “The garbage wasn’t picked up every 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, 3 o’clock in the morning on 125th Street, that must tell you something.”

But as far as Lee’s diatribe, Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, would have none of it. Moss told CNN that New York has seen an enormous recovery since 2001. He said the greatest change has been in Brooklyn, which has drawn newcomers because of its housing, access to Manhattan and improved safety.

“Cities don’t stand still, and the cities that stand still are Detroit,” Moss 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.”

“Brooklyn has become more attractive to more people,” he added. “Of course, that means some people are going to have to find other places to live, but that’s the magic of New York. We create new places. Today, Bushwick, which was an area that people were afraid to go to, now has some of the best restaurants in the city.”

The New York Times investigated Lee’s claims about his father’s music and found that police have received 17 noise complaints—most of them from a woman who lived next door. This is a prime example of Lee’s point—a woman not even aware that the music was coming from a man who is not only a treasured institution in Brooklyn, but also a national treasure.

In his interview with Anderson Cooper, Lee didn’t dispute that gentrification raises home prices, but he wondered what happened to the people who are priced out of the neighborhood.

“There’s good. But what cost? If we lose half of the African-American population, in my neighborhood, Fort Greene, and the schools become better, what happened to half the people that left?” he said.

“I just find it interesting you have to have an influx of white New Yorkers to move into these neighborhoods for the services to go up, for the schools to be better,” he told CNN. “They get better sanitation, get more police protection. Why didn’t that happen before gentrification? We’re still paying taxes. We’re still New Yorkers.”

About Nick Chiles

Nick Chiles, Editor-in-Chief of Atlanta BlackStar, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. He has written or co-written 13 books and won over a dozen major journalism awards during a journalism career that brought him to the Dallas Morning News, the Star-Ledger of New Jersey and New York Newsday, in addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief of Odyssey Couleur travel magazine.

Comments

  1. what happens to the ones who are pushed out of their neighbourhood by shiny and nice looking from every angle "stars"? they become palestinians.

  2. Respect to Spike Lee for his Comments on a issue I've seen my whole life.

  3. Fred Cotton says:

    Hope there is no doubt about the points made by Mr. Lee, many will criticize him for his point of view on this subject. What did happen that the sanitation, police, and schools were not given the attention like it is receiving today? The only time police came was to bash in the heads of the African- Americans living there in those turbulent times. Join in with Mr. Lee to show support and to demand investments in these areas while we still maintain occupancy in these communities.

  4. Some of us need to get a clue. Its silly to expect our former slave-master and their children to have any type of compassion, empathy, conscience, consideration, understanding, sympathy, culturally awareness or honorable intentions. Remember Spike They Stole us!!! If black people continue to take weak entertainers, politicians and pseudo activist/spiritual leaders that only speak to things that have little or no effect on the status quo then we'll get this type of stuff. Until we start owning instead of renting we'll always get shifted around like dust. He's not backing down from nothing because he has no financial interest involved.

  5. Neighborhoods are made up of people. If the services are bador the neighborhoods are dirty it is up to the people to clean it up.

  6. Marianne Park says:

    The person who made the nasty comment about Detroit has obviously never been there as gentrification is an issue

  7. Michael Hunter says:

    The People paid taxes in order to receive those services. Why should they then have to clean it up. Would you pay a maid to clean your house, only to come home and have to clean? Why should other neighborhoods get more services when we all pay the same tax?

  8. this is going on in Detroit to the whites are moving back in, thing will change for the better I hope but the Blacks that are here are not going any were that's for sure !

  9. this is going on in Detroit to the whites are moving back in, thing will change for the better I hope but the Blacks that are here are not going any were that's for sure !

  10. People of culture are the creators of the arts. We possess imagination and creativity far beyond the capabilities of the European RACE. Its been a race since their historical emergence. Every time that Europeans/descendants show up on the set, their intent is to conquer, steal, rape, pillage, re-direct and re-write his-story and ours.
    I agree with SPIKE LEE! Europen-Americans, their descendants and their sheep-like followers should learn to respect the inhabitants of the land upon witch they DESCEND! This is so much deeper than the obvious…..

  11. (Gen) – Birth, RACE, PRODUCE GENESIS, GENETICS, EUGENICS, GENEALOGY, GENERATE, GENETIC, ANTIGEN, PATHOGEN. (GENTRIFICATION) A WORD CREATED IN 1970- gen·tri·fi·ca·tion [jen-truh-fi-key-shuhn] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or middle-income families or individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses. AS YOU CAN SEE…(THE BIBLE), (HIS-STORY), (GENESIS)…THEY ARE COMMITTING GENOCIDE REFERRING TO IT AS: DETERIORATING….. THE TRUE ORDER IS TO CONQUER!!!!!!!

  12. Lissette Cheng says:

    What nobody wants to say, is that gentrification can be fueled by racism, anti-semitism and other forms of prejudice. Kind of like a reverse "white flight" kind of phenomenon.

  13. Go, Spike. When your quoted critic can only come up with this–"Brooklyn has become more attractive to more people,” (Moss) added. “Of course, that means some people are going to have to find other places to live, but that’s the magic of New York. We create new places. Today, Bushwick, which was an area that people were afraid to go to, now has some of the best restaurants in the city.”–you're on the right track.

  14. Geleni Fontaine says:

    "People" were afraid to go to Bushwick, really? Let me guess which people are being referred to. Sick and tired of white "experts" unable to grasp beyond a privileged perspective what it means to be pushed out of one's own community because your life and culture are deemed undesirable.

  15. Lissette Cheng says:

    Right on Geleni & Eva!

  16. Lissette Cheng says:

    Right on Geleni & Eva!

  17. Geleni Fontaine says:

    Lissette Cheng – and what about the people who already live, and have long lived in Bushwick? Disregarded and invisible.

  18. Get 'em,Spike!Of course,the truth hurts,and the powers that be, are upset,that,he would dare speak out,and speak up for his Dad.

  19. Compare the affects of the "Sundown Town" with white gentrification of Black Communities!

  20. Lissette Cheng says:

    As a born & bred Brooklynite who's lived through all the changes, preach honey, preach!

  21. Lissette Cheng says:

    Mostly poor and working class Latinos and Blacks are the undesirables or whom the gentrifiers derogatorily call "leftovers". Hate entitled people – of all backgrounds!

  22. Lissette Cheng says:

    You can be financially well off, rich or even a billionaire and I have no issues with rich folks but when you start acting in that entitled, holier-than-thou, "I'm-better-than-you" or "you're-beneath-me" kind of attitude then YOU ARE CLEARLY THE PROBLEM!

  23. Willie Pagan says:

    the reality is to improve a neighborhood and increase investment there has to be a decrease in the black and an increase in the white… really quite simple… its called progress… like the author points out… want to remain a Detroit… stay black.

  24. Idiot

  25. We Love you Spike Lee !!! keep it moving!!

  26. These clowns laugh at you whether you contest their piracy or kiss their behinds. Parasites is what they are. It's taking place nation wide.

  27. As a resident of Fort Greene since Spike was a pup, I can only say Amen.

    Like the media to miss his points. And what about the Black political power lost when, as of the last census, 70,000 African descendant people have left Brooklyn in the previous decade. It's about respect, it's about power.

    When Whites move to other suburban towns, they try to FIT IN, not TAKE OVER! They can't just move in, they have to try to take over. It's called the ideology of White Supremacy!

    Douglass is still right. Agitate, Agitate, Agitate. We gotta start demanding again. It's the only thing that gets heard. And it's not just gentrification. Stand your ground, voter disenfranchisement, the cradle to prison pipeline…

    If we aren't careful, this will be a repeat of the post reconstruction period. Only some 30 years between the end of reconstruction and the Jim Crow, segregation, lynching that gave rise to the NAACP. It's now or after it gets much worse.

  28. Lynn Franklin says:

    The South Bronx was burned then the property warehoused and everybody knew it, many minority owners complained about the way Harlem was being gentrified and Brooklyn property owners were complaining about prospectors trying to harass them out of the areas,(also the eminent domain plan in downtown Bklyn). That was not "Magic" in NY, that was Planning by certain political entities who put profit before real established NY communities!

  29. Rashad Bumpy Good says:

    you know nothing of gentrification and how it works. The clear OUTLINING WHAT MAJORITY OF YOU PEOPLE REFUSE TO UNDERSTAND THAT GENTRIFICATION EXPOSED IS ECONOMIC PROSPERITY! Thats right. No strong tax hold in the black communities due to low wage and no WORK! Detroit prime example. Jobs moved out of the city to the suburbs Whites followed laid claim to locations with red tape and acquired the jobs for themselves and kept the neighborhoods white! No jobs = poverty with poverty = no taxes no taxes = no services which = low education then turns into crime. This is a proven fact! Still going on to this day. Prove it WRONG!

  30. Willie Pagan says:

    Rashad Bumpy Good … cant prove you wrong… you are indeed correct… like I said… its called progress…

  31. Antonia Toya Fontaine says:

    This is happening world wide God knows where we will be in the next 20 years

  32. Rob Dixon says:

    This is an awesome dialogue… I think we can learn a lot. I get both sides. Spike has a point for the community members who are upstanding yet don't make a lot of money. What happens to them? Why do they deserve less? I think the problem in the black & hispanic community is that we don't own it.

    Our landlords don't look like us, so when the highest bidder comes, they sell to build better, which raises rents (capitalism). It's unfortunate that blacks/hispanics or those with less financial resources lose out. Definitely not a level playing field and never was.

    Bottom line, the rich win every day. And it just so happens to be that the majority are white.

    Until blacks/hispanics stick together and own, they will continue to have a smaller percentage of the pie. We can't maintain the "crabs in a barrel approach". We must work together to turn the tide toward owning in our neighborhoods and creating a lasting legacy. I have seen my friends in more affluent neighborhoods; they have a propensity to organize better, even when they are fighting. They make the most of every resource.

    My disclaimer: I love all people, but I'd be blind if I didn't observe the percentages of those who have the upper hand from a race perspective with money and power. People have to be sober about that. Minorities don't have it. Just look at the US Gov't socioeconomic studies. Minorities are down in every category.

    One might contend; look at your minority actors, performers, artist… I'll argue that they barely make a dent in the overall scheme. They can help in the black community but most are out for themselves (crabs in a Barrel).

    So I welcome and enjoy this dialogue, but more importantly, I have a greater question that only we can answer, How do we win in the black/hispanic community? We must find ways to come together and own. Recirculate wealth in the community so the next generation can grow.

    Good stuff, gotta do better….

  33. Renee Henryhand says:

    You right. Tell the Truth Shame the Devil and the Truth always hurts the Untruthful. Ya Dig!

  34. Jamalia Sheets says:

    I'm glad you mentioned sundown towns not a lot of people of my generation know what that was about and when I tell them they are utterly shocked!

  35. White privilege is a powerful drug

  36. Sieg Aurich says:

    Any "expletive-filled rant…" diminishes the "message!!!

  37. I know this is not the same but a parallel development. In the old days of American industrial malaise, there was lots of cheap, non-residential warehouse space to be cheaply rented. Many artists, myself included, moved into rough, largely uninhabitable spaces and upgraded them through long hours of hard work. Not having money to purchase the space, yuppies with money (and little imagination) purchased the spaces and the artists got the boot. This was a national trend and led to gentrification of urban areas. SOHO was once bohemian and now is a land of un-affordable real estate inhabited by yuppies….etc….whilst the previous occupants…the poor, artists (most of which are poor)……all got the boot…..

  38. Salim Kc X says:

    Sieg Aurich How are you suppose to rant. By not ranting at all and just accepting ,I suppose?

  39. LaHendra Talai Brown says:

    So true! Its progress that doesn't include us more often than not!

  40. Spike Lee is still doing the right thing. I want us to reclaim what is ours. It is time.

  41. Korey Keyser says:

    In the last lines of the article, Spike Lee is quoted by saying: "They get better sanitation, get more police protection. Why didn’t that happen before gentrification? We’re still paying taxes. We’re still New Yorkers.” BUT WE ARE NOT WHITE. That is the answer why these issues are not addressed. I urge all of you to take action in your own community, and build it from the inside out. First by recognizing that white influence is not going to help you; so we have to help ourselves. Paint the graffiti. Sweep the next door neighbor's sidewalk. If sanitation doesn't get the trash, get a pickup and take the neighborhoods garbage if necessary. TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY. And SHOW THE CHILDREN that they can live in clean safe communities just like their white counterparts.

  42. Tarig Musa says:

    It's happening world wide brother!

  43. Cory Andrea Gropp says:

    I am curious, what is yours?

  44. Cory Andrea Gropp says:

    I am curious, what is yours?

  45. Rashad Francisco says:

    Who cares… blacks always got up and moved and made other areas become the place to be.. Look at down south. Jackson, Miss.. Memphis, Tenn.. Inland Empire , California, Sacramento, CA etc.. The Black Culture is like BeBe Kids, we don't die we multiple. We are coming to a neighorhood near you.

  46. he is.

  47. he is.

  48. Jamalia Sheets The subliminal affect of black communities being gentrified displacing people of color allows fewer relocation options when Sundown Towns threatens the black presence as a resident. Red lining black folks from purchasing homes in upscale neighborhoods morphed into the mortgage industry predatory lending targeting people of color. Black people must build our own wealth industries and not be variables resourcing the benefits of others. This is why immigrants come into this country and set up shop in black communities to drain our resources then call us the "N"word; because we do not possess our own wealth industries to offset the downtrodden affect of the insult. Imagine an empowered black child whose parents are savvy enough to shelter their business in the child's name. If the child understands the functions of business; in every sense the term; "N*gg*r"could not be an applicable option.

  49. Jamalia Sheets The subliminal affect of black communities being gentrified displacing people of color allows fewer relocation options when Sundown Towns threatens the black presence as a resident. Red lining black folks from purchasing homes in upscale neighborhoods morphed into the mortgage industry predatory lending targeting people of color. Black people must build our own wealth industries and not be variables resourcing the benefits of others. This is why immigrants come into this country and set up shop in black communities to drain our resources then call us the "N"word; because we do not possess our own wealth industries to offset the downtrodden affect of the insult. Imagine an empowered black child whose parents are savvy enough to shelter their business in the child's name. If the child understands the functions of business; in every sense the term; "N*gg*r"could not be an applicable option.

  50. Marcus Wood says:

    The power of White Privledge in a racist society

  51. Marcus Wood says:

    The power of White Privledge in a racist society

  52. Now y'all want the police in your neighborhood? Used to be no one wanted them around, now that white folks got them you want them too? Spare me your hypocrisy and move on to something important, like teaching our youth how to invest in their futures so they can own something one day.

  53. Very good article. There has to be a better way than gentrification. He's just saying that we don't need to whiten a neighborhood in order to make it better. Its been done before and we can do it again.

  54. John Artoffact Bailey says:

    if you want investments in the neighborhood, those people need to be other than black. interesting…

  55. John Artoffact Bailey says:

    if you want investments in the neighborhood, those people need to be other than black. interesting…

  56. White people are able to get away with this because they know most black folks don't know their own history. For example, who built the cities of America and and for whom were they built? Exactly. White European immigrants. The first urban ghettos and slums in America were ALL populated by European immigrants. And the first riots and city burnings were held by who? You got it, white European immigrants. But to hear them tell it, America was all quiet all the time and black folks were the ones making a fuss. Not to mention that most of the riots and assassinations and unrest in this country were of white European immigrants causing a ruckus to DEMAND that they get the goodies that they were promised when they came here. Yet black folks have never gotten ANYTHING and the only time they rioted were in the 60s in any major way. And almost every riot held by whites before that involved summary execution and murders of black people because they represented a threat to the average white European immigrant. The riots only stopped when the government started giving more hand outs to Europeans and reinforced more oppressive laws against blacks to maintain the status quo that America was a country FOR WHITE FOLKS. So by definition, any development or redevelopment in this country whether it be in the creation of the cities to begin with, the creation of the suburbs OR the redevelopment of the cities has always been for white people. That is why James Baldwin coined the phrase "urban renewal = negro removal" over 50 years ago, because this practice has existed from the very beginning. Yet because white people know we don't seriously study history, they know they can get away with saying things that are stupid.

  57. you said it brother, i'm sick of us complaining, sick…sick, sick of us complaining. If the sanitation is not being picked up in a predominantly asian neighborhood, they will get to work and get their men to pick it up and put their money together and find a dump to dump it in. If their plumbings are not working, they will get their plumbers to get to work, hire their own people to do the job, circulate their own money.

    US…..SHIT, we're always looking for the white man to take our hand and walk us to the bathroom and when we get in the bathroom, we expect him to wipe our asses or take our dicks to help us pee. If they do that for you, then they have the fucking right to piss you on you however they like.

    Think about many of us in our black neighborhood spending money in worthless items like rims for vehicles, air jordans, jewelry, expensive, white, name brand clothes, on and on. Imagine if we took a third(1/3) of that money and give it to off duty cops or pay the cops for protection. We have plenty of black men police officers, former army officers, full of experience from the war, they can't find jobs, we can't put them to work to work for us. We are not thinking for shit. I envy white people and other races that put their minds to work and roll up their sleeves. I'm of us complaining.

    This is the same thing with Tay Diggs who has recently been crying about how hollywood doesn't make black movies, THEN MAKE YOUR GOD DAM OWN. Get all the Black Hollywood heavyweight, come up with a good script, get directors, and make movies. You can pretty much sell the things online now and make millions. His name alone would be good enough to create a production team but no, all we ever do is complain.

  58. i'm sick of us complaining, sick…sick, sick of us complaining. If the sanitation is not being picked up in a predominantly asian neighborhood, they will get to work and get their men to pick it up and put their money together and find a dump to dump it in. If their plumbings are not working, they will get their plumbers to get to work, hire their own people to do the job, circulate their own money. US BLACK PEOPLE…..SHIT.

    We're always looking for the white man to take our hand and walk us to the bathroom and when we get in the bathroom, we expect him to wipe our asses or take our dicks to help us pee. If they do that for you, then they have the fucking right to piss you on you however they like.

    Think about many of us in our black neighborhood spending money in worthless items like rims for vehicles, air jordans, jewelry, expensive, white, name brand clothes, on and on. Imagine if we took a third(1/3) of that money and give it to off duty cops or pay the cops for protection. We have plenty of black men police officers, former army officers, full of experience from the war, they can't find jobs, we can't hire them to work for us? We are not thinking for shit. I envy white people and other races that put their minds to work and roll up their sleeves. I'm sick of us complaining. We have all these gazilionaire celebrities and they ain't do ain't doing shit to help uplift the rest of us. How much money has spike lee made over the years he could've hired some black officers to help police the neighborhood. Get with some business people and find out how to get into the real estate business and buy the property in the neighborhood he so loved so the whites would've have taken it over. Put your money where your mouth is barking, Spike.

    This is the same thing with Tay Diggs who has recently been crying about how hollywood doesn't make black movies, THEN MAKE YOUR GOD DAM OWN. Get all the Black Hollywood heavyweight, come up with a good script, get directors, and make movies. You can pretty much sell the things online now and make millions. His name alone would be good enough to create a production team but no, all we ever do is complain.

  59. Amy Turnbull says:

    Spike Lee is absolutely right and the planner can take a refresher class in neighborhood empowerment and social equity. Yes, government needs to step it up in low-income neighborhoods. There also needs to be affordable housing. Spike, I guess you should be happy they don't want to put a stadium in and wipe out the whole damn neighborhood at once. Hmmm. Happy Independence Day from Los Angeles!

  60. Amy Turnbull says:

    Spike Lee is absolutely right and the planner can take a refresher class in neighborhood empowerment and social equity. Yes, government needs to step it up in low-income neighborhoods. There also needs to be affordable housing. Spike, I guess you should be happy they don't want to put a stadium in and wipe out the whole damn neighborhood at once. Hmmm. Happy Independence Day from Los Angeles!

  61. Spike is way off mark here.
    First gentrification happens in all cities, all over the world , to all races and denominations.
    Second , this isn't some pristine rain forest with natives being forcibly ejected by unscrupulous ranchers, it's poorer people being muscled out by people with more money and power. Poison tipped arrows aren't going to help you here. Making an economically and socially tougher community will. Also the black influx into Harlem only started in the early 20 th century. Maybe the Dutch should lay claim to it over the black interlopers.
    Last , seeing one particular factor as the cause of all problems is quite familiar. Various assholes and groups of assholes have tried this trick over the years, generally they're wrong and usually they're bitter and stupid people.
    Spike's starting to resemble them.

  62. Salim Kc X says:

    Jamie Beatty Most certainly.

  63. Im from bk and my neoghborhood was taken over by theae yuppie mother fuckers. Mostly all my friends had to move nc they couldnt afford it nemore. This city has no soul nemore bc rich white ppl are malomg it that way

  64. I concure with Mr. Lee . Now let me brief my grandsons on the situation. By the way…….those of you that disagree ;
    go to your kitchen ,
    straight to the knife section and just grab a knife and ''CUT the B.S. OUT''!

  65. I concure with Mr. Lee . Now let me brief my grandsons on the situation. By the way…….those of you that disagree ;
    go to your kitchen ,
    straight to the knife section and just grab a knife and ''CUT the B.S. OUT''!

  66. Wayne Carter says:

    It is called collective economics or collaborative economics, where people with few dollars pool their resources and become collective owners. Malcolm X said it best, "We're all poor, individually, but when we join our dollars together, we become rich, richer than rich". Isn't there a Kwanza term for collective efforts? Think, it ain't illegal yet!

  67. Wayne Carter says:

    It is called collective economics or collaborative economics, where people with few dollars pool their resources and become collective owners. Malcolm X said it best, "We're all poor, individually, but when we join our dollars together, we become rich, richer than rich". Isn't there a Kwanza term for collective efforts? Think, it ain't illegal yet!

  68. Marsha Battle Philpot says:

    Nick Chiles could stand to learn more about Detroit; a city that is not only not "standing still" but faces gentrification conflicts, as well.

  69. Marsha Battle Philpot says:

    Nick Chiles could stand to learn more about Detroit; a city that is not only not "standing still" but faces gentrification conflicts, as well.

  70. Lee is right on with every single one of his comments. I'm seeing the same thing happen here in Venice, CA… Was flabbergasted a Professor of Public Policy and Urban Planning would say such a thing about Detroit until I realized he was from NYU (my alma mater.) NY'ers are oblivious of everything west of the Hudson…

  71. To be frank, Gentrification should be synonymous with Colonializm. Often promoted as the transformation of neighborhoodz from low to high value, the residual benefit is the displacement of long-time residents and businesses—which is cleverly and I dare even say purposely overlooked. Learn more of the driving forces behind it; you'll find ethnic racizm at its core.'

    I humbly offer this article for further understanding, 'The Unapologetic Quest to G.E.N.T.R.I.F.Y.: Ethnic Cleansing Through Economics' — http://daghettotymz.com/current/gentrify/gentrify.html

    Each one teach MANY!

  72. New age colonialism,disguised as "improvement". Thanks for posting!

  73. To be frank, Gentrification should be synonymous with Colonializm. Often promoted as the transformation of neighborhoodz from low to high value, the residual benefit is the displacement of long-time residents and businesses—which is cleverly and I dare even say purposely overlooked. Learn more of the driving forces behind it; you'll find ethnic racizm at its core.'

    I humbly offer this article for further understanding, 'The Unapologetic Quest to G.E.N.T.R.I.F.Y.: Ethnic Cleansing Through Economics' — http://daghettotymz.com/current/gentrify/gentrify.html

    Each one teach MANY!

  74. YOUR a Piece of work, SMH… black interlopers really. PLEASE go kill your self….PLEASE do Japan a favor. I just got back from Osaka and i can't tell everyone here that you definitely don't belong in JAPAN. Infecting (Parasite) that beautiful place. By the way Lenny White is sitting next to me and thinks your a A#@hole.

  75. Your a fucking T-shirt.

  76. Spike is correct, you would not go into another's house and imposed your standards in that house.

    That is the problem with strangers, they come in and expect for those that was in the community to follow what is right for the stranger.

  77. Jean-Pierre Wiggins wrong they are looking to get the same thing the white people get when they pay the same Taxes! And when it happens in the Asain Neighborhood they complain too! Why is it so hard to understand people should be treated the same period! and when they are not they should complain! I bet when it happens in a White neighborhood THEY Complain! You not mad about that huh?

  78. They steal our land, culture and arts but don't worry their species expected to die out in 5 generations.

  79. They steal our land, culture and arts but don't worry their species expected to die out in 5 generations.

  80. I AGREE WITH SPIKE LEE WHOLE HEARTEDLY.

  81. I know I may get backlash about this, but that's incredibly without a doubt as racist as any Jim Crow comment. You (and I am assuming you are black?) should know better than to be racist. To lump all of any ethnicity in the same league with a few deplorable and disgusting examples is as ignorant and hateful as any garbage that the KKK spews. As for arts, all races have their own; i.e. Ancient Romans, the Celts, Ancient Greeks, not only yours. Each one has masterpieces and have equally contributed to history and the arts. And blacks sold their own people to whites as well, in case you forgot. One should not sugar coat some of history just to make one race look worse than another. Wrong is wrong. I am white and I routinely speak up about inequality to my family members when they ignorantly spout off about something that's racist. I do agree with you about one thing: it is deeper than the obvious. But no change will come if you keep blaming all of one race just because a few committed heinous, atrocious acts. That's like saying all blacks steal, rape and kill just because you see it sometimes on the news. We both know that's not true. A man should be judged on his character, not by his color…(to paraphrase MLK).

  82. Use logic, common sense and not emotions when looking at this reality. There's a class warfar going on and has been going on for decades, but most of you are asleep and haven't noticed until your displacement.
    Spike no longer lives in Brooklyn, he now lives in Manhattan, so he really has no say in the matter. Everyone wants to talk about gentrification, but no one wants to talk about ownership of those blocks.
    You can't claim anything you do not own and there is no excuse for not owning any land.
    NYC has just as many black millionaires who could have or probably have sold several parcels of land to non-black developers. Spike is just talk and no action, he has the means to buy and so do many other's collectively.

  83. White people are so arrogant in west Philadelphia and the police protect them. The don't care about our culture, they want property investing. They come in like missionaries, acting all concerned, cozying up to the police, acting like they are afraid of blacks. We end up having to leave our communities. And even though crime head been down for the last 4 years, your youth are still being locked up in higher numbers. Fear, it's all in the media, fear sells, white folks are buying. Everything must come to an end. Respect the culture. People getting fed up.

  84. Gotta go with Spike on this one! The only reason for gentrification in the first place is Price! They have always controlled money so they had the cash to out bid any moniroties who might have tried to own! They like the culture without the pain! Now they just want to remove those without jobs and like the end of slavery send them whereever they can go! Many of them might say to the river! Remember "Do the right thing" when the Whirte guy stepped on Buggin out's sneekers and gave a priviledged answer as to why?

  85. I agree with Spike lee, I see this also in Los Angeles. Area such as Echo Park and parts of Downtown which used to be latino and black is now white yuppies. Nohing wrong with it but they should respect the culture in the area.

  86. Maybe its time for wealthy black folks to return to the neigbourhoods… instead of leaving into white neigbourhoods once the dollars start rolling in..,…. or else, same will happen as it has done in many cities… the previously poor neighbourhoods are now in the centre of town.. cl;ose to everything… the kids whose parents moved away into the gated communities and the suburbs want back in….

  87. Lee is correct. Funny enough I see the same things happening here in London.

  88. I have to agree with what Spike has said,although I may express it differently, the sentiment is the same.
    I have been part of the reverse, Black/Latino family moving into a predominantly White neighborhood and we were EXPECTED to uphold the peace, decorum and basic sense of community of the neighborhood. Fortunately the vast majority of the neighbors saw us as people FIRST who just happened to be of a darker hue.

    I've also been in a neighborhood of Black and Latinos and watched the influx of people with lighter skins and some quite prejudiced who decide that the rent is cheaper in my neighborhood or that developers and real estate bigwigs have decided that buying cheaply and renaming a neighborhood will allow them to get more bang for their buck. The rents are higher or out of stabilization or non rent controlled and if they're coop or condos the structure is for people who live outside the local median income level.

    With the new neighbors came better services, wider variety of goods and serbices. It's as if the request by the minority neighbors had fallen on deaf ears or it was thought we wouldn't appreciate it BUT as soon as the European migration starts all of a sudden those requests for goods and services are realized!

    Seriously, I asked my local supermarket if they would start to carry soy cheese and half gallons or gallon containers of soy or almond milks and was told they'd think about it. That was 12-14 years ago early last year they started carry-on those things because they saw too many of the new people were getting off the train with Trader Joe and Whole Foods bags. Never mind that several of my friends and neighbors as well as myself were doing the same thing for years; it didn't count!

    We,the pre-existing residents, some who have lived here for generations, are subjected to people who look at us warily, or walk around or come through on bus tours or real estate hunts and regard us as curiosities or potentially dangerous animals who will either ravage them or rob them! But they want to move in and run ruffshod over everyone. On more than one occasion while waiting on line at the post office have seen a person of European extraction sweep in, sigh that they have to wait, then disregard everyone and go to the window to plead their case to be taken care of because they can't wait! Never mind that someone is already at the window or that there are several people who have been waiting patiently.

    So yes there is some resentment, anger and stress when people who have stayed and tried to maintain a neighborhood are ignored until a more affluent group decides they want in but aren't necessarily going to be respectful of the previous inhabitants. Or people who are trying to raise their neighborhood from decay are told "No" but let someone from "outside" ask for the same thing and then they are granted, with almost ease, the ability to receive those same opportunities! Shameful!

  89. Lee is also right to ask why services only improved after gentrification. Why not before? Lee's comments are eminently reasonable. He clearly stated that he's not against new people moving into a neighborhood. Just respect what has gone before! That said, I'm irreverent and honest and curious enough to point out that blacks displaced someone when they moved in. Who was that?

  90. Jean-Pierre Wiggins I like your idea of action. After all, that's the fastest way to get something done, but the folks in that neighborhood deserve the same treatment as others and have every right to complain. They shouldn't even have to complain.

  91. Gee, you really feel that way? Ouch.

  92. "Their species"? Sorry, but we're not different species, we're all human. And as far as "dying out" goes, I believe it's more about intermixing and blending. Which I welcome. I'm really tired of all this "us vs. them" crap, whether it's racial, religious, or political. We will ALL die out an a very unpleasant way if we can't learn to get along and work together.

  93. Roger Kohn The article implied that the 2001 recovery brought better services which then attracted gentrification. Chicken and the egg situation.

  94. You have to understand how people look at culture. The only people that respect black culture are those who understand black life through art. Or culture is art and when you let other people dictate to you how to create your art lesson its value. Once they lesson the value of your art (inner cities) they began to come in with their own art and start changing the look of the artist from a darker picture to a lighter picture. Now these dark face artists have to change how they create, express and share. People have to understand gentrification and really look at how it shapes communities and lives. If people have nowhere to go listen because this is part of gentrification they will be moved to isolated areas, areas where those who are much more fortunate can watch regulate and change their outlook on how black culture is pictured. The art changes because the attitude changes. When other people can put a value on something you own you never really owned it.

  95. The purge creeping slowly upon us

  96. Oddword Wallfungus easy come easy go.

  97. Roger Kohn Well since you claim that "blacks" displaced someone when they moved in, who was it that they displaced? I know you're trying to be politically correct, so who was it that they displaced?

  98. Did you read the article? His Family did buy property back in the late 60's.

  99. Definitely has happened in the Bay Area, from San Francisco on through Oakland and on spreading like a disease that can't be contained. You walk the streets of San Francisco, and it looks like my people are extinct. All you see is white people and they are all from someplace else. They're working in the technology boom. All this is done by DESIGN..

  100. Roger Kohn Its was called white flight you people ran.

  101. Ada L Lee No she didn't read it she just wants to run her mouth.

  102. When black people become seriously become interested in doing honest business among themselves, then we might see some type of change. Ownership of property.

  103. Spike move back to Brooklyn, bring Michael Jordan, Jay Z and Carmelo to the investment table and get in sir.

  104. This is a self inflicted injury. You don't see well off brothers ( Or sisters ) redeveloping the old hood. We have the wealth to do it. We are too busy running away from our past..

  105. Candice White I was just going to reiterate to Roger the term is " White Flight = run but you are never going to be able to hide someone is evidently going to figure out the formula.

  106. THOSE WHITE PEOPLE WHO MOVED THERE DOn't SAY A MOTHER FUCKING THING TOO YOU! THEY JUST IGNORE U!

  107. Candice White YOU ARE RIGHT. THEY LEFT ON THEIR OWN VOLITION.THEY WERE NOT "FORCED" OUT OR DISPLACED!

  108. I do not believe any form of displacement occured… as with many inner city neighbourhoods occupied by minorities, they were founded out of neccesity – as an area for workers servicing the caucasian elite on the one hand and as the only other area they could afford or are allowed to live on the other…. Once they stared moving in, the earlier occupants would move out to more affluent areas simply because they didn't want to be around these minorities… in this case negroes.. so in most cases, attitudes, economics would dictate the pattern of ghettolisation of new settlers… however, there always come a sort of beauty borne out of pain and suffering in these neighbourhoods — the diversity and a new culture alien to the ruling elite… (food, dress, style music etc) which is invariably attractive to their young…. an exciting alternative to their scripted boring neighbourhoods..

  109. Start bringing money back to the neighborhood. If we don't care to rebuild our neighborhoods they should be up for sale to the highest bidder. That's the way business goes today. It's learning to work and live together.

  110. Candice White… "You people"?

    And btw, they didn't run. It's called "white flight" because they could afford a plane ticket.

  111. Ada L Lee It was an honest question, not a statement. I don't know who was there before, I'm not from New York and I am not familiar with the specific neighborhood being discussed. I simply expect that there was a "before that". White flight may be half an answer, but "white" covers a lot of ground — Polish, Italian, Irish, Puerto Rican,…. I was just curious, but, judging from some of the responses, I clearly needed the irreverence to ask.

  112. Go Spike!

  113. I agree wholeheartedly. This has been my argument all along. We even here and they come in and have no respect for our culture. Then the ppl that are displeased because all of a sudden the neighborhood so so attractive, what happens to the displaced ppl. Smh…

  114. Roger Kohn Blacks didn't displace anyone. The whites got irrationally fearful and moved to the suburbs. That's not displacement. Call it something else.

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