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Spike Lee: Why We Need All these Honkeys in Our Hoods?


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Spike Lee's gentrification rant – transcript: 'Fort Greene park is like the Westminster dog show'
Spike Lee's impassioned, off-the-cuff but persuasive speech against the transformation of Brooklyn by hipsters and wealthy arrivals raises key points about the tensions of gentrification – not least about respect. Here is the full transcript

From Ruth Glass to Spike Lee: 50 years of gentrification
The world's most expensive cities
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'We been here!' ... Spike Lee back in the day. Photograph: Moviestore Collection/Rex

More than perhaps any other film-maker, Spike Lee has made urban issues his bread and butter. So what to make of the director of Do the Right Thing and Clockers using an appearance at a black history month event at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn to rage against an audience member trying to argue for the benefits of gentrification?

Slamming the process as "Christopher Columbus syndrome" and accusing wealthier new arrivals of disrespecting the culture of the predominantly black areas that have been his stomping ground – such as changing neighbourhood names, cancelling a Michael Jackson tribute because of fears black people would make too much mess, or clamping down on the African drum sessions held in Mount Morris park for 40 years – Lee got a warm reception from the crowd. Some US news shows were less approving, accusing Lee – a native Brooklynite – of having "no right" to complain.

We're keen to hear your take on Lee's analysis. Have a listen for yourself or read the full transcript of the speech captured by New York Magazine and tell us what you think in the comments below.

Reading on mobile? Click to hear New York Magazine's recording of Spike Lee's rant about gentrification

Here's the complete transcript of Lee's speech:

[Audience member: You mentioned gentrification with some slightly negative connotations and I wondered if you'd ever looked at it from the other side? Which is that, if your family was still in that $40,000 home that's now worth $3.5m to $4m…]

Lee: Let me, let me, let me, let me just kill you right now.

[OK, go for it.]

There was a bullshit article in the
Times saying the good of gentrification. I don't believe that.

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? The garbage wasn't picked up every motherfuckin' 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.

[And I don't dispute that … ]

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. And even more. Let me kill you some more.

[Can I talk about something?]

Not yet.

Then comes the motherfuckin' Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can't discover this! We been here. You just can't come and bogart. There were brothers playing motherfuckin' 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-motherfuckin'-sixty-eight, and the motherfuckin' 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 motherfuckin' house in nineteen-sixty-motherfuckin'-eight and now you call the cops? In 2013? Get the fuck outta here!

Nah. You can't do that. You can't just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you're motherfuckin' Columbus and kill off the Native Americans. 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.

You can't just – here's another thing: When Michael Jackson died they wanted to have a party for him in motherfuckin' Fort Greene Park and all of a sudden the white people in Fort Greene said, "Wait a minute! We can't have black people having a party for Michael Jackson to celebrate his life. Who's coming to the neighborhood? They're gonna leave lots of garbage." Garbage? Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning? It's like the motherfuckin' Westminster Dog Show. There's 20,000 dogs running around. Whoa. So we had to move it to Prospect Park!

I mean, they just move in the neighborhood. You just can't come in the neighborhood. 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 and now shit gotta change because you're here? Get the fuck outta here. Can't do that!

And then! [to audience member] Whoa whoa whoa. And then! So you're talking about the people's property change? But what about the people who are renting? They can't afford it anymore! You can't afford it. 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 fuckin', motherfuckin' Williamsburg now because of motherfuckin' hipsters. What do they call Bushwick now? What's the word? [Audience: East Williamsburg]

That's another thing: Motherfuckin'… These real estate motherfuckers 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 fuck is that? How you changin' names?

And we had the crystal ball, motherfuckin' Do the Right Thing with John Savage's character, when he rolled his bike over Buggin' Out's sneaker. I wrote that script in 1988. He was the first one. How you walking around Brooklyn with a Larry Bird jersey on? You can't do that. Not in Bed Stuy.

So, look, you might say, "Well, there's more police protection. The public schools are better." Why are the public schools better? First of all, everybody can't afford — even if you have money it's still hard to get your kids into private school. Everybody wants to go to Saint Ann's — you can't get into Saint Ann's. You can't get into Friends. What's the other one? In Brooklyn Heights. Packer. If you can't get your child into there … It's crazy. There's a business now where people — you pay — people don't even have kids yet and they're taking this course about how to get your kid into private school. I'm not lying! So if you can't get your kid into private school and you're white here, and you can't afford it, what's the next best thing? All right, now we're gonna go to public schools.

So, why did it take this great influx of white people to get the schools better? Why's there more police protection in Bed Stuy and Harlem now? Why's the garbage getting picked up more regularly? We been here!

All right, go ahead. Let's see you come back to that.

[i agree with every single thing you said.]

Nah, nah, nah, nah.

[i let you talk, now let me talk. My one sole point though is wealth creation in the African-American community, something that we've traditionally been locked out – you bought a house in the ghetto and in three generations the house was worth nothing in the ghetto. So, for those homeowners that did stick in in Bed Stuy – my parents moved in it was an all Jewish neighbourhood there, so I've seen it through everything – so for those people that did stick in, now we have an opportunity for wealth creation that we've been locked out of. So now while it may not help the renters, and everything you said was absolutely true, what about that one aspect of wealth creation for people that have paid those taxes, that have fought to keep the crime down on their blocks, and all the other things they did to maintain… because the white folks are not moving back because it's the ghetto, they're moving back because they are beautiful blocks full of beautiful brownstones that have been well maintained by people of colour.]

 

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Hey, Spike, check out this CNN article, showing the Pigsty SLUM, where "your people" lived like PIGS, until those Nasty, Evil White Honkeys came in, and took your people out of the FILTH, GARBAGE AND FECES, THEY WERE WALLOWING IN!

LOOK AT THE BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTO, BELOW!

 

 

SIDE-BY-SIDE2_zpsa2cfbf06.jpg

 

 

 

The Greatest Real estate Turnaround Ever

 

Charlotte Street in New York City's South Bronx was once the epicenter of urban blight. No longer. Now single-family homes line the strip and boats sit in driveways.

EMAIL | PRINT | SHARE | RSS

By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer

Last Updated: November 25, 2009: 11:08 AM ET

 

Then and now: 'The worst slum in America'

 

launcher.jpg
Charlotte Street in New York City's South Bronx - Charlotte Street in New York City's South Bronx was once world famous for its blight. Now it's a slice of suburbia in the inner city - complete with Bimmers and boats.

HEY, SPIKE- LOOKEE HERE, THESE SIDE-BY-SIDE PHOTOS!---- ON THE LEFT, BLACK-OWNED SLUM...ON THE RIGHT, AFTER THOSE NASTY, EVIL WHITE HONKEYS CAME IN, FIXED UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD, AND WASHED Y'ALL OFF!

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Charlotte Street was an apocalyptic nightmare version of urban life.

Weed-choked, junk-filled lots flanked the three-block stretch. Burned out tenement buildings punctuated the sky, and abandoned cars littered the landscape.

The street, like much of the rest of New York City's South Bronx, had fallen to epic lows by the late 1970s. The area had disgorged nearly two-thirds of its population as living conditions declined and arson fires raged. Some landlords, unable to find tenants, torched their properties for insurance money. Other blazes were set by junkies, while still more were set by residents of public housing trying to get moved into nicer apartments.

See photos of the devastation

"Charlotte Street was burning," says Genevieve Brooks, a former resident. "Every day, I'd see the fires and smell the smoke. I slept with my shoes by my bed at night because you never knew if your building was next."

Just three miles away, at Yankee Stadium, is where Howard Cosell uttered his famous line: "There it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning."

No longer.

In the three decades since Cosell introduced the world to the plight of the Bronx during the 1977 World Series, Charlotte Street has morphed into a haven of single-family ranch houses accented by backyards flourishing with fruit trees and flowers. Boats sit in driveways and above-ground swimming pools are common. It's a slice of suburbia in one the country's most urban -- and poor -- counties.

What happened to the Charlotte Street that President Carter called "the worst slum in America?" Or the Charlotte Street that President Reagan visited during a 1980 campaign swing? The one he compared -- unfavorably -- with London after the Blitz.

One of the greatest real estate turnarounds ever.

"Charlotte Street is thought of as quite a success story, particularly considering its context: It rose, phoenix-like, out of the ashes," says Nicolas Retsinas, director of Harvard's Joint Center for Urban Studies.

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Spike lee looks like a punk, never heard of him before, and dont care too either

Spike Lee was also on the Zimmerman band wagon and posted an address online for the wrong Zimmerman family.

 

Their lives were threaten and Spike Lee had to pay them a settlement.

 

The libs today are like peasants of the dark ages who will believe anything, then chase their neighbors around with wooden pitchforks.

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Spike Lee is an excellent film maker and that's all that counts. He's entitled to his opinion like anyone else.

 

The libs today are like peasants of the dark ages who will believe anything, then chase their neighbors around with wooden pitchforks.

You stole my line, thief. Conservative policies are from the dark ages, when women and minorities knew their place.

Cons party like its 1956.

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Spike Lee is an excellent film maker and that's all that counts. He's entitled to his opinion like anyone else.

 

You stole my line, thief. Conservative policies are from the dark ages, when women and minorities knew their place.

Cons party like its 1956.

 

 

Isn't it AMAZING, that these scumm bag \Brainwashed morons are SO STUPID, they STILL THINK Americans are dumb enough to fall for "He's a racist, she's a racist, they're all racist- sexist-homophobes, EVERY TIME WE "OUT THEM", AS THE SCUMM BAG, HYPOCRITE, "DO AS i SAY-NOT-AS-I-DO" LIBERAL FASCISM-RACISM ACOLYTES?

Aint it funny to watch them try and EXCUSE the scumm bag racists in their camp, like Spike Lee, Ku-Klux-Klan Leader DEMOCRAP HERO OF THE PARTY ROBERT BYRD?

 

Hey, mr. electric skeptic-

he Congressional Quarterly of June 26, 1964 (p. 1323) recorded that, in the Senate, only 69% of Democrats (46 for, 21 against) voted for the Civil Rights Act as compared to 82% of Republicans (27 for, 6 against). All southern Democratic senators voted against the Act. This includes the current senator from West Virginia and former KKK member Robert C. Bryd and former Tennessee senator Al Gore, Sr. (the father of Bradley's Democratic opponent). Surely young Bradley must have flunked his internship because ostensibly he did not learn that the Act's primary opposition came from the southern Democrats' 74-day filibuster. In addition, he did not know that 21 is over three times as much as six, otherwise he would have become - according to the logic of his statement - a Republican.

 

In the House of Representatives, 61% of Democrats (152 for, 96 against) voted for the Civil Rights Act; 92 of the 103 southern Democrats voted against it. Among Republicans, 80% (138 for, 34 against) voted for it.

Since Bradley was interning in the Senate, why doesn't he remember the major role the Republicans played in fighting for civil rights? During the Eisenhower Administration, the Republican Party made more progress in civil rights than in the preceding 80 years. According to Congressional Quarterly, "Although the Democratic-controlled Congress watered them down, the Administration's recommendations resulted in significant and effective civil rights legislation in both 1957 and 1960 - the first civil rights statutes to be passed in more than 80 years" ("The Republican Party 1960 Civil Rights Platform," May 1964). It reported on April 5, 1963 that, " A group of eight Republican senators in March joined in introducing a series of 12 civil rights bills that would implement many of the recommendations made in the Civil Rights Commission report of 1961."

The principal measures introduced by these Republicans broadened the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making it "designed to pass unlike Democratic 'public relations' attempts" (CQ, February 15, 1963, p. 191). Republican senators overwhelmingly "chided" President John Kennedy about his "failure to act in this field (civil rights)." Republican senators criticized the Kennedy Administration's February 28, 1963 civil rights message as "falling far short" of the Civil Rights Commission's recommendations and both party platforms. "If the President will not assume the leadership in getting through Congress urgently needed civil rights measures," the Republican senators said, " then Congress must take the initiative" (CQ, April 5, 1963, p. 527).

At the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson praised the Republicans for their "overwhelming" support. Roy Wilkins, then-NAACP chairman, awarded Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois the Leadership Conference of Civil Rights Award for his "remarkable civil rights leadership." Moreover, civil rights activist Andrew Young wrote in his book An Easy Burden that "The southern segregationists were all Democrats, and it was black Republicans... who could effectively influence the appointment of federal judges in the South" (p. 96). Young added that the best civil rights judges were Republicans appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower and that "these judges are among the many unsung heroes of the civil rights movement."

The historical facts and numbers show the Republican Party was more for civil rights than the Democrats from "the party of justice," as Bill Bradley called it. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, in reality, could not have been passed without Republican votes. It is an "injustice" for contemporary Democratic politicians and the liberal news media to continue to not give the Republicans credit for their civil rights triumphs. Now is the time for Republicans to start informing black Americans of those historical triumphs to lead them back to their "home party."

Now they will PROBABLY try and say, Oh, all the Racist Democraps went to republicns- When only 3 Dems switched parties

And the so-called "Hero of the democrap party, for FORTY YEARS AFTER 1964, WAS THE BLACK-MAN-LYNCHING, NIG*ER-CALLING, KU-KLUX-KLAN DRAGON (NO JOKE)

DEMOCRAO SEN. ROBERT BYRD!

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Everywhere there are blacks or browns only, they live in pig pens

whether it is africa, the caribbean, or our cities.

 

They are like rednecks living in squalor and proud of their poverty

and stupidity and hatred of babies they all bring into their poverty.

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Brooklyn was a pig sty when the Italians and Jews moved in and formed the Mafia.

 

It was Jew and Mafia money that built New Yawk! Ditto Lost Vegas, Ellay, Phoenix, Shitcago.

 

Gentrification is wrong in the sense it displaces a lot of poor people, with nowhere else to go.

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Spike Lee is an excellent film maker and that's all that counts. He's entitled to his opinion like anyone else.

 

You stole my line, thief. Conservative policies are from the dark ages, when women and minorities knew their place.

Cons party like its 1956.

"Spike Lee is an excellent film maker and that's all that counts. He's entitled to his opinion like anyone else."

 

Spike Lee is a racist cnt! And he uses his color to make a living.

 

He gave the address to the wrong Zimmerman family and this family received threats on their lives!

 

This is who Spike Lee is!

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I'm sure he's so worried of your opinion of him.

This is the man septic adores...

 

"Although Lee believed the address was Zimmerman's, it in fact belonged to Elaine and David McClain, a couple of Florida residents with no connection to the man who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin the month before."

 

Spike Lee endangered an innocent family!

 

"The lawsuit, published online by The Smoking Gun, acknowledges that Lee soon realized his error and deleted the original tweet, but notes that tweets featuring the McClains' address still continue to appear on Twitter — the most recent was posted November 10th 2013, a full 18 months after Lee's mistake. Many of the tweets attempt to incite others to take the law into their own hands and head to the address to kill Zimmerman."

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Spike Lee is an excellent film maker and that's all that counts. He's entitled to his opinion like anyone else.

 

You stole my line, thief. Conservative policies are from the dark ages, when women and minorities knew their place.

Cons party like its 1956.

Or even party like it's 1965...the time of the Great Society...guaranteed to lift everyone out of the slums.................

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Brooklyn was a pig sty when the Italians and Jews moved in and formed the Mafia.

 

It was Jew and Mafia money that built New Yawk! Ditto Lost Vegas, Ellay, Phoenix, [excrement]cago.

 

Gentrification is wrong in the sense it displaces a lot of poor people, with nowhere else to go.

 

 

 

Uh, to use the words of the crooked, corrupt racist murdering lyncher of Black men, "Democrap Racist Hero of the Senate" Robert Byrd,

"lemme he'p yooooooo", there, nuckin'.......

 

WHEN ITALIANS CONTROLLED BROOKLYN, IT WAS NOT A PIGSTY, YOU F*CKING LIAR RACIST BRAIN-DEAD SHEEP..

 

Keep licking those Democrap balls....see how far it gets you.....Sure won't make you any SMARTER, or any more HONEST, THAT'S FOR SURE, Haaahaha....

Here's a photo of Italian Brooklyn, 1940s, 1950s, shit-for-brains....Does it look like those Bombed-Out, Garbage-filled, Disease-ridden, Shit-stained Projects and houses at top?

 

Brooklyngirls_zps4348ce82.jpg

 

Mulberry_zps23efcf0e.jpg

 

 

Lemme guess, nuckin - I;'m putting on my Great Karnak Swami Turban.....

You are either a.) Descended from the continent of Africa, where tribesman CAPTURED , ENSLAVED, AND SOLD their fellow Africans to Dutch and Englishmen who DIED 200 YEARS AGO,

 

OR

 

b.) You are a Hopeless, College-educated, Self-Hating, Brainwashed Liberal, Generously Indoctrinated by Socialist, America-Hating "Professors", who love teaching their own Made-Up , No-Factual-Basis theories....

 

 

The Great Karnak does it again!

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