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The master filmmaker behind ‘Do the Right Thing’ bemoans the entitled, disrespectful white people who he says have tried to conquer Brooklyn

Spike Lee to rude gentrifiers: ‘Get the f--- out of here’

The Brooklyn Paper
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White newcomers to Brooklyn are doing the wrong things, according to the borough’s filmmaker laureate and prodigal son.

Spike Lee dropped by Pratt Institute for a Black History Month lecture on Feb. 25 and his talk extensively mined the hot-button issue gripping his beloved former neighborhood and borough — gentrification.

“There was some b------- article in the New York Times saying ‘the good of gentrifica­tion,’ ” he said, perhaps referring the Feb. 21 “Argument over a brownstone neighborhood” about the debate over creating a Bedford-Stuyvesant Historic District. “I don’t believe that.”

With gentrification comes unfair disruption, he said. For instance, the iconic black cineaste explained, it was pale-complexioned transplants who rang the alarm about his planned 2009 Michael Jackson tribute party in Fort Greene Park.

“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?’ ” Lee said, claiming that the Hadley-come-latelies maintain a double standard when it comes to sniffing at litter. “They didn’t want the garbage. The garbage. Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning? It looks like a m------------ Westminster Dog Show. There’s 3,000 dogs running around.”

The talk was personal and passionate, with Lee dressed in a trademark Knicks hat — despite the ascendancy of the Nets in his old stomping grounds, Lee has vowed to be buried in orange and blue — matching blue Nike sneakers, and a hooded sweatshirt with a “Defend Brooklyn” patch. He tried to stick to topics linked to his filmmaking and to issues of black culture at large. But as questions from the audience flew, the points hit closer to home.

“I’m all for democracy and letting everybody live, but you’ve got to have some respect,” said Lee in regards to the Jackson party incident. “You can’t just come in here, where people have a culture that has been laid down for generations, and you come and now s---- gotta change because you’re here? Get the f--- out of here. You can’t do that.”

He talked about the neighbors who moved in next door to his parents’ Washington Park home of 40 years in 2010 and now call the cops on his dad for allegedly playing jazz music too loudly.

“He doesn’t even play electric bass,” Lee said. “It’s acoustic.”

Nor was the discussion limited to Fort Greene.

“The people that used to live on the Lower East Side, they moved to Williamsbu­rg,” he said, explaining the tidal wave of gentrification that has swept the borough since he was a young lad growing up in Cobble Hill and Fort Greene. “And now they can’t afford m----------- Williamsburg because of the m----------- hipsters. And what are they calling Bushwick now?”

The luminary behind such Brooklyn classics as “Do the Right Thing” and “She’s Gotta Have It” said it took the arrival of white people in those and other poor Brooklyn neighborhoods for the city to improve services, and that is wrong.

“The garbage wasn’t picked up every m------------- day when I lived at 165 Washington Park,” he said. “PS 20 wasn’t good.”

Lee also talked about how he took up filmmaking after his friend, who lived in University Towers on Willoughby Street, gave him an old Super-8 camera she no longer wanted. He gave advice to aspiring movie directors, discussed the changing film industry, and emphasized his devotion to all forms of education.

But he inevitably came back to bemoaning the state of racial and economic affairs in his home borough. At one point, he likened gentrification to a form of imperialism, calling it “Christopher Columbus Syndrome.”

“You can’t discover this, We’ve been here,” he said. “There’s a culture. There’s a people. You can’t just move in stuff.”

When Lee left the stage, reviews from Pratt students were mixed.

“He’s an outspoken dude,” said Kamau Agyeman, who lives on the Clinton Hill campus. “Whether you agree with him or not, he’s always honest.”

A film major was also ambivalent.

“Some of what he had to say was a little much,” said Patrick DeVitta-Dillon. “But sometimes the truth is hard to hear.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at mperlman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Quotes added from Pratt students.
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Reasonable discourse

Michael from Bay Ridge says:
Wow, he's a raging racist. And this paper seems to think it's fine to make racial rules for who's allowed to live where? Great, celebrate his attempt at segregation.

There are just as many new black residents of places like fort greene and bed stuy, people who came from Africa or the caribbean. He has no issue with them. And sorry about your illegal party - I guess that's how the cookie crumbles.

Please edit racist filth like this, and don't pay it any mind.
Feb. 26, 2014, 6:50 am
diehipster from B R O O K L Y N says:
Hahahahaha I love it! Thanks Spike.

And there's racist Chooch with his panties in a bunch. Hey, I'll give you one thing Ethan: you are displaying the true feelings and nature of an out-of-place hipster/yupster. Thanks for verifying what us real Brooklynites already knew about "you's".

GOD BLESS ACTUAL BROOKLYN!!!
Feb. 26, 2014, 6:58 am
The Chooch from the Cheech of Chong says:
It's sad it's sad. It's sad to see Spike all old and grumpy. Like yo grandaddy with Tourette's syndrome. "Damn white m@):$&kuz!!! Crackers!"

Sad. And embarassing.
Feb. 26, 2014, 7:37 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
The first half was the best argument against gentrification I've heard. Complaining that people move to a neighborhood and get all mad about noise or how people use parks is valid in a way that complaining that people move to a neighborhood so it's more expensive is not. Unfortunately, Spike Lee doesn't distinguish between the two.

And complaining about neighborhood names... that's just whiny and ridiculous. That's a complaint worthy of the dimmer commenters of the Brooklyn Paper, not of an informed man.
Feb. 26, 2014, 7:55 am
The Chooch from the Bohemian Magic Show says:
Mike, I don't think Spike is an especially informed man on this matter. He's a celebrity, he bunjies into the neighborhood and blows his stack. Then he goes right for the race card. The Chooch thinks this is a guy with a kind of a scripted view of gentrification. He's not as connected as he thinks he is.
Feb. 26, 2014, 8:13 am
Michael from Bay Ridge says:
interesting to note that Spike Lee has begun " calling it “Christopher Columbus Syndrome.”

“You can’t discover this, We’ve been here,” he said. “There’s a culture. There’s a people. You can’t just move in stuff.”

Funny enough, i think after Christopher Columbus "discovered" the Americas, the people who were there before were puched out by others who were "just moving in stuff".

There was a culture in these places before black culture moved into them as well. I guess perhaps he's forgotten that, or simply doesn't care. Maybe it's getting a taste of their own medicine?
Feb. 26, 2014, 8:43 am
The Chooch from the Cheech of Chong says:
Spike Lee thinks in cliches, he always has. He has a very sophomoric take on the whole thing. You can tell he's been in movie land for a while.
Feb. 26, 2014, 8:48 am
bkmanhatman from nubrooklyn says:
He sounds crazy. He doesnt even live in Brooklyn anymore.
In old Brooklyn it seemed so segregated if not outright hostile to all this interracial mixing, which even Spike is not a fan of.
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:18 am
Joni from Fort Greene says:
I'll say this. The transplants who have moved into Fort Greene are extremely rude. They do everything in their power to make you feel as if you are the interloper. In my rent-stabilized building they've even created their own "Citizens Council" instead of becoming a part of the already long-established and very active association that existed. It is disgusting. They are constantly in management's ear about converting the building to co-op and tenants creating unsafe conditions in the building. Funny that all those tenants happen to be black. It is unreal.
I have never wish anything bad on anyone but I want these people to disappear. I don't care how it happens. I just want them gone.
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:35 am
Bob from Hibbing says:
Lee, William (Bill) E.

Musician who played bass on Bob Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home".
Father of filmmaker Spike Lee.
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:38 am
marcus hayes from Manhattan says:
Spike is only saying that the more affluent people get preferential treatment from city servicers. They change the culture of the neighborhood where those that have been there for the last 40 years have enjoyed. You are right in saying that there were people that lived there before most of the blacks. But those people moved out "WILLINGLY." The people that have been there in the last 40 years don't want to move. But gentrification is forcing people out. He's not old and grumpy. He's older and wiser and sees some things coming.
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:41 am
marcus hayes from Manhattan says:
And why is he a racist? i don't understand.
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:44 am
Miguel from Kensington says:
Did Spike talk about how he abandoned Brooklyn?
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:56 am
White Boy from Midwood says:
How much charity does that black racist give to black causes? I dare say that it is nil. He spends all his $$$ on Knicks games. Lee is nothing but a m________ hypocrite.
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:15 am
JAZ from Hunting Redbeards says:
I love the predictably angry responses from the hipsters and their apologists.

Anyone calling out the damage caused here by these interloping hipsters is either an 'ignorant mook in mommy's basement', a 'racist', 'out of touch', or 'old and grumpy'.

The simple fact is most people hate attention starved, useless adult infant parasites who price people out of the neighborhoods they grew up in.
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:25 am
SpikeLivesinNJ from Bklyn says:
He moved AWAY decades ago - although still trades on "being Brooklyn" because no one would hire, care nor listen to him at Pratt or anywhere if they realized he was just another hypocritical NJ suburbanite raising HIS KIDS in the apartheid economic circles on NJ real estate. No projects there, like here. No subways there, like here. He sold out and MOVED out. Tell your story walking Spoke -- some of us older native Brooklynites have stayed and deal.
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:35 am
BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
He's not racist. He's just an old New York coot. God bless him -- and all of is who complain about forces we can't control. Whether it's the NIMBY crowd or the "let's not build any more housing so no one else can move in and need restaurants and school" crowd, the impulse to turn NYC into a museum is strong. Fight it! The only constant in NYC life is CHANGE!
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:38 am
SpikeLivesinNJ from Bklyn says:
He was born in Atlanta. Spike moved his kids away, pretends he's still fr here? So when does the new bottle of AbsolutUpperSaddleRiver come out?
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:41 am
SpikeLivesinNJ from Bklyn says:
Ooooooooooooh snap!
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:42 am
Notorious N.E.D. from Greenpoint says:
So Spike is salty because people objected to him 'celebrating the life' of a serial child molester?

Probably a good sign for the real estate market.
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:42 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon my pointing this out, but this Spike Lee charactor hasn't made a decent film since "New Jack City". Oh, right-I'm sorry. Spike Lee has never made a decent film. Of course this is only one man's opinion.
Feb. 26, 2014, 11:16 am
marcus hayes from manhattan says:
I believe "Malcolm X" is recognized as one of the greatest American films of all time. Have you seen any of his films?
Feb. 26, 2014, 12:10 pm
wanta be black from Brooklyn says:
As for me, a white italian, I'm embarrased to be what I am, at least in Brooklyn where the new alian transplants yupsters are taking over.

I'd rather be an angry black man and have some pride, than these newbee's that walk on water.

Anyone got some coal?

No more accomodation for gentrification. Make use of what we've got and don't increase the bulk nor take the working zones for regular folks to earn a living.

More is less and less is more!
Feb. 26, 2014, 12:27 pm
The Chooch from the Bohemian Magic Show says:
The Chooch does not think Spike is a racist. He made some unfortunate remarks because he was caught off guard emotionally. He came back and found that life is happening in Brooklyn, abrasive and unsettling as ever it has been. It was an affront to his nostalgia, and so he lashed out, looking for someone to blame.
Feb. 26, 2014, 12:38 pm
judah-spechal from bedstuy says:
Sorry Spike don't hate the Gentrifiers,

Dislike that they are labelled Gentrifiers.
Dislike the need to differeniate oneself
from others- by accepting the term Gentrifiers.
Before it was "pioneers".
Funny Spike but many can say you help ushered Gentrification w/ your films.
You, Mr. Spike Lee was at the fore front of Gentrifying Fort Greene.

There is a bigger problem here, people weathered worst, not Homeowners because they can/are selling at profits.
But the tenants who weathered th worst are now being priced out.

The number reason is wage stagnation. To rile against people who are also stuck in the same whirlpool of higher prices on everything.

But Spike you brought Gentrication to Fort Greene.
I still love and respect you thou.
Feb. 26, 2014, 12:49 pm
Pat I. from 70's Brooklyn says:
OK hipster apologists - don't get your locally sourced long johns in a twist. Mr. Lee made some valid points. He's not against gentrification he's against rude gentrifiers. He's 100% correct. You can't have people move into the neighborhood and suddenly want things there way and complaining about traditions and a culture that's existed for far longer than you've walked this earth.

You don't walk into a vegan restaurant and demand baby back ribs. Doing so would be stupid as well as extremely insulting.

As far as Spike's domicile in Saddle River...so what? Take a lesson from it hipsters. Do you think he's got parties going on every night? Is he disrespectful to his neighbors because they're white?

Besides - I think Spike has lived in Brooklyn and put up with the sh*tty public schools and services long enough to have a valid point, don't you? Like he said, hipsters move in now the local government is falling over themselves to cater to them. - regular trash pick-ups..improved schools, bike lanes. Where were they 25 years ago?

If anyone here wants to there's an excellent documentary - from the POV (Point of View series) on the gentrification called "Flag Wars".
http://www.pbs.org/pov/flagwars/

It's about a black neighborhood in
St. Louis. Gays moved in and suddenly they want all the things that the long time residents depended on changed because it didn't agree with their world view or was offensive to their tastes. Now all of a sudden the guy who owned a house for 25 years has to repaint it because it's not in "historic colors? Gimme a break.
Feb. 26, 2014, 12:50 pm
The Chooch from the Bohemian Magic Show says:
Yes ... and what's your point. Hipsters and Yups move in and they want the neighborhood "their way" not "your way." For this you've got your panties in a bundle? That's what happens in Brooklyn, always has. New people move in and do things their way. Is there a mandate to preserve Brooklyn as it was in the age of urban blight? Shazzam baby. Abra-ka-zoom. You thought we couldn't transform Brooklyn, and we did, and we are. So kiss it baby, kiss it good.
Feb. 26, 2014, 1:22 pm
Lex from Bed-Stuy says:
Black and white unite and fight -- capitalism. The billionaires and the real estate market that caters to the super-rich and the upper middle class are the problem, not whites, Jamaicans, Africans, or Bangladeshis.
Feb. 26, 2014, 1:33 pm
The Chooch from the Bohemian Magic Show says:
Well that's a platitude if the Chooch ever heard one. No, Lex, artists and hipsters, white college kids, are very much part of "the problem" as you put it. And they're independent actors. Every time they open a gallery or a vegan hair salon, your landlord smiles.
Feb. 26, 2014, 1:40 pm
pat I from 70's Brooklyn says:
No chooch, neighborhoods evolve. What hipsters do is rape and pillage.
Feb. 26, 2014, 1:41 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
I am getting quite concerned that I may in fact be a hipster:
I am white and 43. I moved to Brooklyn after ten years in Manhattan and have lived in Williamsburg/Greenpoint for another 12 now. I moved to Brooklyn because a friend offered me their 600/mo. rent control studio on Havemeyer St. when I was in grad. school. I never had a trust-fund, only student loans for which I will forever be paying. I have been known to wear sun glasses, but I have no tattoos and wear very "normal" clothes. I don't go to shows or bars but I must admit I do enjoy a good brunch. I rent and may soon be priced out of Greenpoint as I was Williamsburg. (Which is too bad, because I very much enjoy the neighborhood, the old as well as the new.) I did use an electric cigarette for about 8 mo. but it was only to quit smoking and it did not even look like a real cigarette. I had a modest car but had to sell it. NO, I do not ride a bike (why on earth would anyone want to ride a bike in this environment?) I do not own property.
I never considered myself a hipster but Spike and others seem to keep expanding the definition to mean any white person living in Brooklyn but not born there.
What say ye professor Diehipster? Do I qualify? Is there a scale? What is a hipster exactly?
Feb. 26, 2014, 1:42 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
I thought that hipsters where the grungy kids that move into lesser developed or even "poor" neighborhoods to live in warehouses and other low rent situations exactly because sitting around shooting heroine and tattooing each other does not make much money. They may have some sort of trust-fund but they are not the ones paying $2000/mo for rent (unless they get like 10 in one studio). They are more like the front line soldiers, the fodder for the real estate developers. Gentrification eventually pushes them out right along with the "locals". Those true hipsters disappear and are replaced by "young professionals" who often OWN rather than RENT.
Feb. 26, 2014, 2:11 pm
brklynmind from Downtown says:
Hipster - is now the code word for cracker - akin to Thug
Feb. 26, 2014, 2:36 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
If you don't own it, it is not yours (i.e. "my" neighborhood). It does not matter how many generations grew up there... Sad but true nature of American capitalism.
The poor get screwed. Nothing new here Spike, why you got to go stirring up hate? Unless of course you want to put up some low rent housing.
More Americans rent now than ever. The housing market collapse was just another opportunity for the rich. Hate the game...
Seriously, I don't hear "locals" who actually own property complaining a bit about gentrification. They may not like the "style" of the new comers but they sure like the property value increase, and the stores that can make it like the increased foot traffic.
I feel for the people truly getting gentrified out, but the rest are just belly-aching.
Feb. 26, 2014, 2:56 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Trust-fund Roulette: That is what I call the never ending cycle of small boutiques, bars etc. that come and go on a monthly basis in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. I think only landlords and real estate investors make any real money.
Feb. 26, 2014, 3:16 pm
claire from cobble hill says:
You go Spike! Glad to find out he is voicing his rage. I agree with him completely.
Feb. 26, 2014, 3:29 pm
Charles from Park Slope says:
Talk of generations living somewhere, Spike Lee was born in Atlanta and lives in Manhattan/New Jersey. So his family has like 0.4 generations of history there?
He's a hipster and gentrifier himself, with a splash of racism to boot.
Feb. 26, 2014, 3:58 pm
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Like yah...
http://nypost.com/2014/02/25/hipster-wannabes-forking-over-thousands-for-facial-hair-transplants/
Feb. 26, 2014, 4:02 pm
Ethan Park from Crown Heights says:
I don't get it. Who's Spike Lee exactly? Never read anything of his, or at least that I recall.
Feb. 26, 2014, 4:21 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
"...now the local government is falling over themselves to cater to them. - regular trash pick-ups..improved schools, bike lanes..." Dang. I'd like to see some local government officials falling over tsome time. Regular trash pick up would be nice.
Feb. 26, 2014, 7:46 pm
Lex from Bed-Stuy says:
Chooch, I gotta say, anyone in the bottom 85 percent income of earners is a part of the solution and should unite in their own intersts. Race isn't the problem. A lot of the housing stock in Bedy-Stuy at any rate is being bought by rich investors. A hedgefund owns the empty house next to me. These are investments for the Wall Street parasites. Spike Lee is just diverting attention from the real issues.
Feb. 26, 2014, 7:56 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
Finally someone with some damn courage to.speak the hard truth. All of this gentrification is making me sick!! It has to stop one way or another.
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:06 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
And its not just in bk. Look at harlem, LIC, a couple spots in the bx. Even the italians would agree with spike because they are apart of of school bk also. More native ny'ers, famous or not, should speak out & echo his comments, whether they're black, white, hispanic, asian, etc.
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:30 pm
Dan from Boerum Hill says:
Comments have fallen into two categories: Spike Lee is an old crank vs. hipsters are ruining America. We are missing out on the far more relevant debate. NYC's population is continuing to climb and the most desirable neighborhoods are those in Manhattan and the most accessible sections of the outer boroughs. However, there simply isn't enough space in traditionally middle class white neighborhoods to absorb the newcomers. They often move into more affordable, ethnic neighborhoods. These neighborhoods often have a long standing culture and new residents have an impact on their surroundings. So, we can either lash out at them, creating the divisive tensions that Spike is tired of, or we can start the discussion of how people can live in a neighborhood, receive the services that are important to them, while being respectful of the preexisting culture surrounding and not force anyone out of their home. Nah, it's easier to call someone a racist or call someone a racist for calling people racist. Let's stick with that.
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:19 pm
Jezz from Little town called none of yo business says:
Pretty sad, he seems to go around just imagining everyone is being racist to him, yet he's the problem. He's more of a projectionist than a director.
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:47 pm
Joe Black from Brooklyn says:
gotta love liberal, tolerant, open-minded, progressive NYC. All are welcome, as long as you aren't a transplant with white skin, and as long as you have the same views and opinion of all the other 'real' NYers...
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:59 pm
Neha from Greenpoint says:
Gentrification brings life back into the city. Every generation goes through this and there is NOTHING that you can do to stop it. The more you throw insults, the more people like me will buy up properties just to push you out and rent to others at astronomical rates. This is the shining city on the hill you have always longed for, shame you can't afford to live there.
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:59 pm
Joe Black from Brooklyn says:
and can you blame residents for not wanting what can easily turn into a mass chimpout in Fort Greene Park?
Feb. 26, 2014, 11 pm
jmcg from wherever says:
Say what you want about him but he 1000% right. All of these "newbies" moving into brooklyn & other parts of NYC are destroying the cultural fabric that has been laid here for generationsY ou cant just move here & try to make people adapt to something that you think is better. NYC is losing its soul & it has to be saved ASAP, by any means neccesary.
Feb. 26, 2014, 11:59 pm
Barry from Bk says:
Black brooklyn is max one or two generations - and when they came, they had no problem wildly changing neighboorhoods. All of these former ghettos are filled with mansions from before black people moved in (50's to 70's) and turned them poor and dangerous. Now, those same people complain? Total nonsense.
Also, there's still plenty of affordable housing in brooklyn, you just will have a 15 min longer subway ride.
Feb. 27, 2014, 3:25 am
A Real Grown Up from Adulthood says:
He made some good flicks. Artful, even.

But really, who can take a grown man who has a child-like obsession with a sports team seriously?

How much has he spent over the years watching grown men play a little boy's game?
Feb. 27, 2014, 6:04 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
jmcg from wherever says:

"You cant just move here & try to make people adapt to something that you think is better."

Oh yes we can. That is exactly what we can do. If the Chooch moves to Brooklyn and wants to make the place over ... yes, he can very much "just do that."
Feb. 27, 2014, 7:32 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Now skiddy along now scoot, get off my stoop, I own this place now. Don't be up to no mischief around here.
Feb. 27, 2014, 7:34 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Right, the old rich guy with the $32Million Manhattan apartment is mad because Brooklyn is not the same as the mental picture he has in his head frozen in 1982. He's so mad about the neighborhoods he does not live in getting filled with transplants from flyover country, that he goes someplace that paid him more money for one speech than half of those transplants will make in a year, and spends the whole time complaining about his cognitive dissonance. Hipsters such and should go the hell home, but this very-rich, very gentrified ar-tard can shut the —— up about it.
Feb. 27, 2014, 8:14 am
Patty from Brooklyn says:
There are plenty of property owners that hate the gentrification of Williamsburg even though their property values have risen. You need to get out more and talk to people. The elderly couple in the beginning of that documentary Gut Renovation. They own an entire block of Grand street near the river. They are disgusted by what has happened here. They hate the cafés , clubs, and bougie new neighbors. Why? Because money doesn't make people nice. Fancy things do not bring better people in the wake. It brings entitled jerk offs. So they'll die multimillionaires. Big deal. You can't take it with you . Quality of life is more important. We did have a better quality of life before we were invaded with mostly white,more affluent people here. Ask around. You'll see.
Feb. 27, 2014, 8:16 am
resident from Cobble Hill says:
While I don't care for Spike Lee, all his points against gentrification are dead on.

We're overpopulated already and don't need any more bulk increases.

The focus now must shift to quality of life improvements, like maintaining the manufacturing zones for blue collar employment and infrasture, like adequate public schools within appropiate zoning, like lower speed limits on small neighborhood streets.

No more focus on the wanta be Brooklynites, focus instead on the here and now Brooklynites, especiall the long standing ones that were here through thick and thin.

No one should be priced out or squeezed out.

WARNING: Gentrification may be hazardous to your quality of life and may cause death in some instances.
Feb. 27, 2014, 9:53 am
Michael from Bay Ridge says:
Patty, when you ask why - maybe because they are bitter and grumpy old people. WHo knows. The fact that they don't like it means nothing at all. Some people like it, some don't. In reality it doesn't matter and you have no control over it.
I personally like new places to eat or have a coffee. And higher quality products all over brooklyn is just very nice.
Feb. 27, 2014, 9:53 am
Michael from Bay Ridge says:
Brooklyn is not over-populated, and there's plenty of space. Where did you get the idea that it's over populated from?
Feb. 27, 2014, 9:54 am
Tracey from Clinton Hill says:
Some of what he said makes sense, but he sure leaves a LOT out.

Like who built Bed-Stuy/Bushwick/Williamsburg/Greenpoint etc etc first? When exactly did they become black neighborhoods? Would that have happened without opportunities for buying? Isn't it a 2 way street?

Or maybe the view is different from Manhattan and New Jersey...does he even keep his film offices in Ft. Greene anymore? HUGE hypocrite!
Feb. 27, 2014, 10:40 am
diehipster from Eliminating Ethans says:
Patty

You are smart and accurate. It's simply amazing the fascination these out-of-town and out-of-place yupster and hipster pod people have with living upper-class lives in working-class neighborhoods.

When ya can't afford Manhattan - well, then move to Greenpoint and have your $15 kale n' egg brunch!

Sickening.
Feb. 27, 2014, 10:56 am
diehipster from Eliminating Ethans says:
Another thing:

To all the people saying Spike doesn't live here anymore and has no right to complain.

99% of you are not from here and are complaining about his complaint!

HA! There goes that hipster/yupster irony again.
Feb. 27, 2014, 10:58 am
Godfather05 from Los Angeles says:
This is happening all over America. Look at Detroit, downtown Los Angeles and many other places. They were neglected until whites started to move into these neighborhoods and now these neighborhoods that were ignored so long are now getting service since whites are moving in. I wonder why?
Feb. 27, 2014, 11:08 am
Barry from Flatbush says:
Indigenous peoples of Brooklyn, rise up!
Feb. 27, 2014, 11:12 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Anything else? ... Are we finished? Because the answer is the same as before. We're taking over, and there's not a thing anyone can do about it. And it is of no concern whatsoever to the Chooch where you live after you get priced out. Now scoot, skiddy along now, get off my stoop.
Feb. 27, 2014, 11:33 am
Kelly from Cobble Hill says:
Their stores only have white people in them. (See Miles End deli on Hoyt and Atlantic Ave.). They run you over with baby strollers, they are all having babies at the same time, they jog (!!) in their expensive sports outfits (which all look the same), they never use the words "Please" or "Thank you" or "Excuse Me", they cross a hair's breathe in front of you, they ride your butt as they walk behind you, they all buy the same stuff at the same time, their children are more precious than other peoples' children; their kids ride their bikes, scooters and skateboards the wrong way on sidewalks under their parents supervision, the kids don't say please, excuse me, or thank you. The only motivating force for them is money. Their only redeeming factor is that their dogs are cute.
Feb. 27, 2014, 12:59 pm
ken from brooklyn says:
Unacceptable comments from any race to and race should never be tolerated. If you live in the upper east side and talk about non-whites or if you live in the heart of Brooklyn and talk about non-blacks!

Boycott this jerk!
Feb. 27, 2014, 1:25 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Spike, P.S. 20 is nothing special now either. Those white folks you see entering the building are going to Arts & Letters.
Feb. 27, 2014, 1:33 pm
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
Clinton Hill took far longer to come back than Fort Greene. I know lots of homeowners in Clinton Hill that never want to leave because it has turned out to be such a beautiful neighborhood. They are part of it and they helped save it from the desolation it experienced in the 1980s. Lee has a point about gentrification but it's not at all about the racial issue, which he speaks mostly for himself. The issue is that extremely wealthy people are pushing into these neighborhoods, living alongside people of a much more modest socioeconomic background, whether they are white or black, Asian or Hispanic, Russian or Polish, and the wealthy could really care less about these people. I have many friends who have been pushed out of their homes by new owners with seemingly unlimited income, multi-millionaires who know nothing of the neighborhood and are only focused on their real estate value. Disgusting people. They don't come from Manhattan. They come neighboring Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights. They're pushing in, and reaping profits. Some of them may even be friends of Mr. Lee.
Feb. 27, 2014, 1:53 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
I don't find it surprising that city services are better for those who pay for them.
Crime follows these young white professionals because they are assumed (often rightly) to be easy targets (leaving computers in their cars etc.).
These categories, working-class, hipster, yupster etc. are BS. The only truly identifiable ones as far as I can see are the "hipsters" that act like they want to be working class, with their PBR, flannels, BBQs etc. (70s working class? LOL) and their counterpart, the tattoo black boot died hair crowd. Two sides of the same hipster coin.
For better or worse Chooch is right because money rules and I don't see property owners rejecting offers. If you don't OWN it, it is not yours no matter what ties you have to it (including entire neighborhoods). And the more the indigenous population complains the more the new comers will say "Get off my stoop".
By the way, my truly born and bred working class friends (of color as well) also tell people to stay the hell off their stoop.
When my Italian first generation BK born landlord told me that he had to raise the rent because he finally could (in Williamsburg) I did not hold it against him and we are still friends to this day.
The locals against gentrification are usually the ones getting screwed, naturally, but that is not the majority in my opinion.
Feb. 27, 2014, 1:54 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Not every neighborhood has the same gentrification repercussions. For instance, I suspect that more people of Polish descent actually own property in Greenpoint than say black people who own property in Fort Green (before gentrification). Young white professionals moving into N. BK does not have the same repercussions as it does in say Fort Green. Also, I lived in Fort Green around '99 and it was a dump. My roommate was mugged on three separate occasions and we did not live that far from Pratt. It was a dump for the locals too! The more I think about it, the more I say "Bring on Gentrification!"
I too hate the hipsters, but they are not the gentrifiers.
Feb. 27, 2014, 2:07 pm
for the people from Brooklyn says:
Like Spike or not isn't the issue but rather the truth is.

Michael from Bay Ridge; you don't think Bklyn's over populated, is it normal to stack people one on top of the other, to jam them into buses and subways because there's not enough room in the street to move - and when was the last time you could move on the Bay Ridge/Belt Pkwy, the Parks are full, city services have snake lines to get in, Mike must be the man from Mars to miss the overpopulation here. Even Stevie Wonder has a better view than Bay Ridge Mike.

When you go to a car garage, the attendent has enough sence to say "sorry we're full". Too bad our local goverment doesn't.

Developers are not to blame, our local goverment is as they are the one approving the permits, stuffing us in, collecting the taxes from both the developers and us. It's all about maximum dollar for uncle sam, to feed their fat and fat friends/co-workers.

We're suppose to have a goverment for the people, by the people. Instead we have a goverment by the goverment, for the goverment.

Enough already! We need balance, infrastructure, quality of life, and space to breathe.
Feb. 27, 2014, 2:27 pm
angry black man from Brooklyn says:
Just because there's less crime doesn't make it better as white people bring the while collar crime we don't see.

Mostly all the mass killings are from imbalanced white people.

More disrespect from white people.

I know because I'm white and embassessed to say so.

I like everyday people, hey hay!
Feb. 27, 2014, 2:34 pm
brklynmind from Downtown says:
Anytime you universally attribute personality characteristics to a particular race (especially negative ones)- you are a racist & Spike Lee is a racist pure and simple.
As for the wider issue of gentrification in general - I am not (nor are most Americans) comfortable with Government intervention restricting where people can live based upon their race, class or "culture", therefore people will live where they want and can afford and virtually everything said by Lee (and many others) is therefore wholly irrelevant.
Feb. 27, 2014, 2:57 pm
Notorious N.E.D. from Greenpoint says:
"I am not (nor are most Americans) comfortable with Government intervention restricting where people can live based upon their race, class or "culture", therefore people will live where they want and can afford and virtually everything said by Lee (and many others) is therefore wholly irrelevant."

Exactly. Now if work, vision, or enterprise came as easy to some of these people as emotionally based finger pointing, or manipulative rhetoric, maybe they would find themselves in more favorable circumstances.
Feb. 27, 2014, 3:07 pm
jjm from c.hill says:
You have to give Spike some credit because he makes an extremely valid point. Who the f**k do these people think they are moving in & trying to take over? These f**kers werent trying to move to ft greene, boreum hill, gowanus, etc. 20 years ago. So now all of a sudden they wanna come in because some blacks & hispanics got priced out & ugly condos got built? Truly sickening.
Feb. 27, 2014, 3:41 pm
Chuck says:
What about the civil rlight act. Blacks moving into white neighborhoods & running them down and the whites molvling out. What is the difference? For one todays gentrificatrion bulilds up the neghiborjppds/ Yes there is better servi ce because there is money to perforom the services. Well in my opinion Spike Lee is living proof that you cannot make a race horse out of a jackass.
Feb. 27, 2014, 4:26 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Hmm, I don't care about Spike Lee one way or another. People who have lived in a place for a long time are likely to resist change, but neither can they expect to be able to stop it. When you live in a dynamic, exciting city like Brooklyn constant change is part of what you sign on for. It is hard, though, to understand why anyone, whether old-timer or new-comer, would complain about better services. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Feb. 27, 2014, 5:24 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Spike Lee does have a point about gentrification. Many of those being priced out are those that were living there for at least a decade. Also, many of them were living there when the neighborhoods weren't even that known or when others didn't want to live there. It's not that they resist change, it's more that they don't want to be priced out. Many of them don't even know where they can move to when priced out as well, which is why they are fighting to stay where they are. In reality, it's the quality that defines the neighborhood, not the quantity.
Feb. 27, 2014, 6:16 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
The city does not owe to existing populations any guarantee that the local population will remain as it is. There is no entitlement, no mandate, no special handout that says no more than 35,000 African Americans will ever live in friggin' Fort Green unto perpetuity.

So when you have finished gassing this one off and airing it out, come back to the Chooch and he will explain to you just how dense and expensive Brooklyn is going to be. In the meantime, you might take a holiday in London or Tokyo to get a sense of things to come.
Feb. 28, 2014, 1:23 pm
Sasha from Ft Greene says:
I bought in Ft Greene in the early eighties. The guy I bought my house from had no problem selling to me and retiring to his home state. He was African American, and I'm white, and we were both middle income. I immediately joined my block association, and worked with my neighbors to get better public services. Now I'm harassed by developers who want to buy my house for half its value, and surrounded by more affluent homeowners, many of them African American, who call me a "gentrifier." What is a gentrifier? According to them, and probably to Spike, anyone whose skin color is different from theirs. And that's racist.
Feb. 28, 2014, 1:28 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
The Chooch does not think Spike Lee is a racist. He is not. But circumstances have him looking like one, and that's unfortunate. And it's because the terms of this debate were set before Spike bungied into Pratt. Spike fell into the trap.

He asks why Fort Greene has the services now that it didn't have 30 years ago. It must be racism. Sure. And it might also have something to do with shifty-azzed muhfukkahs on crack shooting guns at each other.

Spike's historical dissonance shines through, and we can call it big-picture myopia. Gentrification improves services across the whole of Brooklyn, in Chinese as well as Polish neighborhoods. And gentrification is caused by people of every race, nationality, and social background, including Chinese, Polish, Hindu, Iranian, Sephardic, and Afro-Caribbean.

It's too bad Spike fell into the race trap, but not surprising. After all, the gentrification debate has been framed — by its opponents! — in reactionary terms. It is a classically Jew-baiting, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-intellectual, mookishly redneck kind of movement. And this is why the anti-gentrification cause will fail politically and morally in New York City.

And it's not just the looney fringe that's shooting itself in the foot here. The unctuous liberals are weirdly self-deprecating. Or take Diana Reyna's strange obsession with the Loft Law, a perfectly good program of 30 years standing that addresses a housing shortage and supports a viable economy. Why would Diana want to dismantle such a thing. She wants to evict people from lofts? To solve a housing problem? It must be resentment, because it sure isn't rational.

It's a losers game, inside and out, from looney to liberal, and the Chooch is relieved to be on the pro-gentrification side of this one.

Meanwhile !!! ... The agents of gentrification, the hipsters, the artists, the yuppies, the landlords, the entrepreneurs, and the developers of the New Brooklyn, are all speaking in a chorus of socially correct language — progress, economic stimulus, opportunity, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, and so on.

And sure, the Chooch does not say we on the gentrification side have all the answers and no fluff of our own. But let's face it, we definitely have all be best songs.

In this debate, it is hard to be anti-gentrification and not be tainted by parochialism. Unfortunately, Spike found that out the hard way.
Feb. 28, 2014, 4 pm
Stan Lee from M-har-va-lus says:
Chooch, thanks for the dissertation.
Feb. 28, 2014, 5:57 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
Its time that we, the people of ny, stop gentrification right in its tracks. The message that Spike gave is starting to spread like wildfire & not only in nyc but other big cities as well. People are finally starting to wake up to whats going on.
Feb. 28, 2014, 10:41 pm
Maria from Brookleen says:
Was born here when it wasn't cool, raised here when it was lean times. Loved, lived, laughed. Left. Miss it, but know my childhood can never be replicated by anyone: hipster, gentrifier, old or new, nor Spike. Love your rants, makes me smile, because those of us who were born here and grew up here remember how much we wanted to get the f out. Carry on, and listen to the old ghosts play stickball and Skellies. Listen to the winds of change.
March 1, 2014, 2:34 am
wanta be black from Brooklyn says:
It's not a white, black, latino, asian, etc thing, it's a fat local goverment getting fatter.

They're squeezing more people in to collect more taxes from both the delelopers and the increased taxpayer base.

We don't all fit here, and attempting to squeeze us in only makes for civil unrest as you can see city wide from the remarkable responce of Spike's comment.

Stop increasing the bulk, down zone, maintain the working zones for regular folks to earn a living, maintain diversity.

Let's not destroy Brooklyn like they did Manhattan-a ball of confusion.

I don't care who it is that wants to like here, as long as it's liviable for them. We're over full, over populated, and need to know that enough is enough.

More is less and less is more! Quality, not quantity.
March 1, 2014, 7:10 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Yo black and white. Can't do it. Low density = rich folks only. Law of nature.
March 1, 2014, 8:55 am
jjm from c. hill says:
More people are defending spike's comments. I just saw rosie perez on cnn supporting what he said & hopefully more native ny celebrities will come out to do the same thing because this sh*t is really getting out of control & it needs to be stopped.
March 1, 2014, 12:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Opposing gentrification doesn't mean opposing progress. The problem with this form of gentrification is that it's occurring too fast compared to such movements of the past. At one point, these neighborhoods had their own distinction, but the mass gentrification made them into Anywheretown, USA. This has already happened to parts of Manhattan and even some of Queens, and now it's coming to Brooklyn. Before anyone starts making personal attacks at those who are against gentrification, keep in mind that those where the people that were living there when nobody else wanted to and even helped fix it up.
March 1, 2014, 3:52 pm
wanta be black from Brooklyn says:
Chooch, it's not the law of nature as there's nothing natural about the environment or destruction thereof that mankind is doing in city's like Brooklyn.

The problem is that we have a government that only serves to passify, who's primary function is to collect.

Proper planning is the solution, using educated/schooled individules rather than politicians who need nothing more that a big mouth to get into power or developers that use lawyers to exploit the zoning laws.

Ball of confusion, that what the world is today, over population, gentrification...

Development from a planning perspective is the answer. We all deserve quality of life and uncle sam's not delivering.
March 1, 2014, 3:53 pm
Real New Yorker from Queens says:
What would Archie Bunker say about all this?
March 1, 2014, 5:24 pm
wanta be black from Brooklyn says:
Noun 1.gentrification - the restoration of run-down urban areas by the middle class resulting in the displacement of low-income residents.

What's wrong with the definition is; it's the "sterilization" of "underserved" urban areas by the middle-class resulting in the "loss of diversity with the" displacement of lower-income residents.

What's missing from the definition is; it's caused by government upzoning of residential areas and rezoning of industrial work areas creating inconsistent development and the loss of blue collar job opportunities.

What the seconday effects are; it reduces/eliminates infrastructure/sustainability, overpopulation, increases traffic & the pollution it causes, while creating social unrest and reducing the quality of life.

There you have it!
March 1, 2014, 7:11 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
wants be black says:

"Chooch, it's not the law of nature as there's nothing natural about the environment or destruction thereof that mankind is doing in city's like Brooklyn."

The data is overwhelmingly against you. Two superfund cleanup projects underway, thousands of new trees planted, nearly the whole of the waterfront recovered for human recreational use, hundreds of toxic industries eliminated, hundreds of miles of new bike lanes, dozens of yoga studios, and scores of new restaurants and green markets with food you can actually eat.

There is nothing about gentrification that does not improve on the environment and quality of life of old mook Brooklyn.

The only drawback of gentrification is rising prices and rising density. And for that you can blame the Bohemian Magic Show. We make the place hip. Wherever we bring show, condominium towers rise into the sky. Shazoom baby. Abrakazaam.
March 2, 2014, 10:11 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
jjm from c. hill says:

"I just saw rosie perez on cnn supporting what he said & hopefully more native ny celebrities will come out to do the same thing ... "

Rosie Perez left Beooklyn and went to Hollywood. The Chooch moved to Brooklyn and turned it into Hollywood. Rosie and the Chooch are each within their rights to do what they have done.
March 2, 2014, 11:28 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I know to some of those who do support gentrification, it's all fun and games until it comes to where you live, which explains why some are so apathetic to others on this issue.
March 2, 2014, 3:06 pm
wanta be black from Brooklyn says:
Sorry Chooch,

But gentrifiers get no credit for toxic removal and/or superfunding the creek and canal, but rather the old die hards that were around fighting for it probably before you were conceived and certainly before you were transplanted, them and Nydia Velázquez & Elizabeth Yeampierre who care nada about yupsters, but are rather all about the natives being affected by the lack of local government control/action.

As for transplants like yourself, you should know that the trees, as well as the process of transplanting them, well out age you and your kind (just count the rings).

In South Brooklyn, the entire waterfront has been restored for industrial maritime use, which in the past laid dormant due to residential speculation of which folks like myself defeated.

And bike lanes?, why would anyone want to take credit for that blunder.

Lastly, Yoga and Green Markets?, well if you believe in that marketing ploy, your more naive than you sound (ohmmm)

Your just falsely taking credit for others hard and tireless work; you call it a magic show which is exactly what your doing, using tricks to pretend your doing something your not, fake, fake, fake. Moving into a condo is probably the only thing you actually ever accomplished, but that served no one other than yourself, and has made you a contributor to the gentrifying pollution now filling many of our lost/productive industrial waterfronts. Now you can choke on result thereof with all the added the truck traffic needed to bring in all your Green Fruits (emphases added).

Go back to your condo you got with the help of mom & dad, have another toke, and think of the next magic trick you want to play on the public. As for the less fortunate than yourself, they deserve an opportunity to do something more productive with their lives than magic shows.
March 2, 2014, 5:21 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Well, the Chooch was in Brooklyn about 8 years before Nydia Velasquez got into office. I know that because we endorsed her in Williamsburg in 1992. We the boho-hipster constituency I mean.

Second, the Chooch defies anyone to find a single native Brooklynite in Gowanus who's behind any environmental initiative down there. It's all bohemians behind the cleanup down there.

In North Brooklyn there were natives in the environmental movement. But it was only because of the influx of hipsters and then yuppies that the city saw the magic, and dropped its plan for incinerators and transfer stations along the North Brooklyn waterfront.

Third, the Chooch never lived in or owned a condo, and I don't know anyone who did, or does. The Bohemian diaspora long predates the condo craze. We all bought houses and lofts when it was cheap, more than 20 years ago.

Sorry black. The gentrification of Brooklyn starts in the 80s, and anyone who was here in the 80s knows there were no trees and place was a sewer and a warzone.

By the mid-90s you'd be hard put to find a native Brooklynite doing anything on a community board except voting for rezoning to residential because they owned property and had an acute interest in the conversion. All the environmental activism had gone over to the bohos, where it's been ever since.
March 2, 2014, 6:36 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
As for the fumes from green market traffic. Are you retarded? Who do you think delivers your twinkies and hormone-laden weiners to Key Food, a bicycle messenger?

You have to look a paint factories, dry cleaners, body shops that for decades were fumigating residential neighborhoods with benzine and other toxic chemicals. These are being pushed out with gentrification, and good riddance.
March 2, 2014, 6:51 pm
wanta be black from Brooklyn says:
Let's all give "The Chooch" a round of applause for another fabulous preformance of the Magic Show. Smoke-n-Mirriors is all he's got; that and the pride he takes in displacing thousands of people. Bravo!
March 2, 2014, 9:11 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
What displaces people are sky-high property taxes and hand-outs on the public dime of welfare housing on prime waterfront property where welfare housing has no place. Lower taxes and gut the entitlements, and rents in the city will come down. Allow more development, and they'll come down even more.
March 2, 2014, 10:56 pm
wanta be Black from Brooklyn says:
Let's all give "The Chooch" another round of applause for a repeat of his fabulous Magic Show.

We all know that taxes haven't skyrocketed while rents certainly have. And it's all because of OVER development for the wealthy with the increase of Chooch's willing to pay the price of enriching the pockets of developers. Imagine his logics, to exacerbate the problem as a means of fixing it - like throwing gas on a fire, that somehow further over populating the place with Chooch's will make things better. Bravo!!

The Chooch hasn't learned that what of recently was considered prime waterfront property, isn't actually so prime anymore since Sandy, we now call it underwaterfront property. But folks of yesterday knew this all along as they had experienced the flooding over and over and thus retained this space for industry rather than for human inhabitants. Perhaps it's the inhuman qualities of Chooch's that makes their lack of understanding understandable.

Maintain the industrial zones, give businesses an incentive to grow, and the jobs they create will give folks an opportunity to get off of public assistance. Then both will create tax income for the city while maintaining the diversity that made Brooklyn desirable, increase sustainability, prevent overpopulation, prevent increased traffic and pollution, and improve the quality of life for everyone.
March 3, 2014, 10:23 am
The Chooch from the Cheech of Chong says:
Does the Chooch have to do all the educamatin' around heah?

"Underwaterfront" property is a result of global warming. Global warming is a result of too much CO2 in the atmosphere. And that comes from too many cars and too much suburban sprawl. The answer to global warming is MORE DENSITY in the cities. More people living near cities and using public transportation. And, "smart cities" that use computing to use energy more efficiently. This is the trend of the future, and this is the trend that gentrification supports and compels.

"Increase sustainability" and "prevent overpopulation" are at counter purposes. Sustainability is a function of a larger population. "Maintaining the diversity that made Brooklyn desirable" is nonsensical. How do you maintain that which makes Brooklyn desirable, and also keep the population down, if Brooklyn's desirability is maintained?

"Maintain industrial zones and give businesses an incentive to grow." Absolutely. That's what the Brooklyn Navy Yard and MetroTech are doing. The Watchtower complex will soon be added to that equation. And there are more commercial and high-tech industrial schemes in the works in Dumbo.

The biggest job-generator in New York today is construction and maintenance. That's where the working class jobs are, and those are good jobs. You want to assemble widgets in a 20th century factory in Bushwick, or do you want to fix elevators and air conditioners and maybe USE your brain!
March 3, 2014, 1:04 pm
fortgreenfornow from fort green says:
CANT WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?

Reading these comments, it seems pretty obvious that each commentators race/ethnicity has influenced their perspective in regards to Spike's comments. It seems Spike Lee is also mearly human and strongly biased himself.

Everyone freaks out about the word "racist" when really, everyone I have ever met has been racist strictly speaking. Atleast we can all use the label of "hipster" as a scapegoat when we don't want to talk about race anymore.

As a Irish and Russian Jewish(i.e. "white") female visiting family in friends in this neighborhood- I have felt an incredible racial tension in the air here... it is really palpable, and it's sad.

I would hope people would stop trying to find scapegoats for their deep rooted even generational issues and trauma and just realize people are people. I haven't succeeded at this, nor am I remotely above being very upset over what I consider "racial tension" here.. but I still think people need to stop being so biased based on their skin color! This includes Spike in my own white/jewish female opinion...

Be the change you wish to see, I guess. I aspire to do that one day.
June 5, 2014, 1:08 am
Jrnynyc from Bay ridge says:
Not saying you have to act white, but do the right thing! Pick up garbage off the street not drop it, and give the cellphone a rest. This makes a neighborhood better, trust me!
Sept. 24, 2015, 11:54 pm

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