Spike Lee, Gentrification, Harlem, Brooklyn: White People "Discovered" Black Neighborhoods - Christopher Columbus All over Again?

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    Feb 27, 2014 3:54 AM GMT

    "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? Why did it take this great influx of white people to get the schools better? The garbage wasn’t picked up every motherfuckin’ day when I was living in 165 Washington Park... The police weren’t around... When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers, three o’clock in the morning on 125th Street, that must tell you something."
    "Then comes the motherfuckin’ Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can’t discover this! We been here. You just can’t come and bogart. You can’t just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you’re motherfuckin’ Columbus and kill off the Native Americans. Or what they do in Brazil, what they did to the indigenous people. You have to come with respect. There’s a code. There’s people. 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 shit gotta change because you’re here?"
    "When Michael Jackson died they wanted to have a party for him in motherfuckin’ Fort Greene Park and 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? They’re gonna leave lots of garbage.' Garbage? Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning? It’s like the motherfuckin’ Westminster Dog Show. There’s 20,000 dogs running around."
    [After discussing people not being able to afford Williamsburg anymore...] "These real estate motherfuckers are changing names! Stuyvestant Heights? [SpaHa] What the fuck is that? What do they call Bushwick now? How you changin’ names?"

    Well, as Native New Yorker Jake Dobkin once penned, "If it's any consolation, like Autumn following Summer, degentrification ('urban decay') is the inevitable second stroke of the urban cycle. Some neighborhoods, like Fort Greene, have been gentrified, degentrified, and regentrified, and will be again at some point in the future. It may take 25 or 50 years, but wait long enough and you too may get to experience falling rents and street crime!"

    Oh, that's why we don't have money going into our savings accounts: they myth that if you keep raising rent, you won't have street crime.
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    Feb 27, 2014 4:08 AM GMT
    umm this has been going on for about 30 years now
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    Feb 27, 2014 4:15 AM GMT
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    Feb 27, 2014 3:17 PM GMT
    This was Joe Biden's explanation for some of the problems in urban centers:


    Explaining why schools in Iowa are performing better than those in Washington, D.C., Biden told the Post, "There's less than one percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than four of five percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with."
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    Feb 27, 2014 7:38 PM GMT
    Other coverage on his rant:

    Here's the passage that's worth highlighting -
    "Lee lives on Manhattan's Upper East Side and recently listed his town house for $32 million."
  • rnch

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    Feb 27, 2014 10:44 PM GMT
    Weren't these "white" neighborhoods before they became "black" neighborhoods?
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    Feb 27, 2014 10:47 PM GMT
    rnch saidWeren't these "white" neighborhoods before they became "black" neighborhoods?

    yeah but they all moved to NJ, CT and Long Island