Director Spike Lee attends the ESPN The Party at Basketball City - Pier 36 - South Street on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images For ESPN)
(USA TODAY) Film director Spike Lee railed against gentrification in New York City in an expletive-filled speech this week.
Lee grew up in the Ft. Greene neighborhood in Brooklyn. His parents still live there.
"Why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the South Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Brown Heights, for the facilities to get better?" he said in response to a question at an African American History Month lecture Tuesday at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
Explaining his response, Lee told CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, "My problem is, when you move into a neighborhood, have some respect for the history, for the culture."
To stay a great city, Lee said New York City needs more affordable housing. Lee currently lives in Manhattan's Upper East Side and listed his town house for $32 million.
Some quotes from Lee:
- "The garbage wasn't picked up every (expletive) day when I was living in 165 Washington Park."
- "Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning? It's like the (expletive) Westminster Dog Show."
- "Then comes the (expletive) Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can't discover this. We been here. You just can't come and bogart.
- (Renters) can't even afford (expletive) (expletive) Williamsburg now because of (expletive) hipsters.
By Jolie Lee, USA TODAY Network; Contributing: Associated Press
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