Spike Lee’s latest race rant fits neatly into his near-pathological, “black-white” worldview. Lee’s explicative-fill sermon was started when audience member TK Smith asked Lee his thoughts on the positive aspects of gentrification.
Lee’s F-bomb-filled response was, “Let me just kill you right now . . . I grew up here in New York. It’s changed. 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? . . . You can’t just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you’re mother-effing Columbus and kill off the Native Americans.”
Indeed, New York’s social-economic landscape has changed as a flush of affluent whites have moved into predominantly black neighborhoods–thanks, in-part, to well-heeled blacks like Lee.
Spike Lee’s lamentations about New York’s social shifts are those of a hollow hypocrite.
The famous filmmaker has made millions buying property cheap, flipping, and selling it at a higher cost for decades–contributing immensely to the very same gentrified phenomenon he now feigns frustration with. Spike Lee lives a lavish lifestyle not in Fort Greene, the Brooklyn Borough where he grew up and based many of his films in, but in the Upper East Side.
Spike Lee debased the dialogue on an important issue to a vitriolic race rant. But he should, instead, focus on making a decent movie. It’s been a while.
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