Spike Lee went on a long-winded rant against gentrification in New York City on Tuesday night when he was asked to argue against the development of poorer neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Harlem.
The director, who has focused on racial issues and gentrification in his films, blasted an audience member at the Pratt Institute who started defending the changes in the neighborhoods.
‘Let me just kill you right now,’ Lee said to the unidentified questioner.
‘Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning? It’s like the mother*****’ Westminster Dog Show,’ he said drawing a comparison to the high-brow competition that would seem out of place in the harder-edged streets of Brooklyn where he grew up.
Lee pointed the finger at white New Yorkers who have moved into historically black neighborhoods and changed the environment, arguing that those changes have caused the areas to evolve into something completely different.
‘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 s*** gotta change because you’re here? Get the f*** outta here. Can’t do that!’