Spike Lee gentrification rant goes viral

Director Spike Lee attends the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night during the NBA All-Star Weekend 2014 at The Smoothie King Center on February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Director Spike Lee attends the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night during the NBA All-Star Weekend 2014 at The Smoothie King Center on February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Filmmaker Spike Lee is infamous for speaking his mind, but some recent remarks he’s made on gentrification in his hometown of New York City are getting more attention than usual.

During a Q&A at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Lee complained that NYC area residents are being pushed out of their neighborhoods due to “Christopher Columbus Syndrome.”

“You can’t discover this! We been here. You just can’t come and bogart,” the director said in an expletive-filled rant.

He went out to point out that rents are being driven up so high that long-term residents have no chance of being able to afford to stay.

“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!” Lee said.

“I don’t see a lot of good coming from gentrification for the people living in those neighborhoods,” he added.

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