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Not everyone is anti-gentrification when it comes to Spike Lee’s beloved Brooklyn. Spike Lee made headlines in February when he compared the gentrification in Brooklyn to Christopher Columbus.  But not everyone sees it that way.

The first Brooklyn resident to speak out against Lee’s rant, was actor Anthony Mackie.  “I live in Brooklyn. My address is in Brooklyn. I have two restaurants in Brooklyn. I don’t have a problem with gentrification. The people [who] want to live in Brooklyn, move to Brooklyn.”  Mackie added: “Some people might say when Spike moved to Manhattan, that was a type of reverse gentrification. As your tax brackets changes, I guess your zip code changes.”

Now another actor is speaking out against Lee.

Michael Rapaport, who starred in Lee’s “Bamboozled”, thinks Brooklyn got better after gentrification.

In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Rapaport had this to say:

“I mean, Spike lives on the Upper East Side. If the people that donated money to Spike Lee’s last film saw the apartment that he lives in, they’d bug out. So I don’t know what he’s talking about,” the actor said.

“Brooklyn got better. And he’s making money off the fact that it got better,” he added.

It’s interesting that people want to bring up the fact that Lee lives in a Manhattan apartment, but forget the fact that he still has a home in Brooklyn and was raised there.

I’m going to need Remy from “Higher Learning”, to learn a little bit more about gentrification before trying to criticism where someone currently lives.

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  • Rastaman

    I think what folks like Rappaport and Mackie missed in Spike Lee’s criticism of gentrification was the fact that he expressed no antipathy to white people or wealthier people moving into neighborhoods primarily inhabited by people of color. What he expressed opposition to was how they moved into the neighborhoods, behaving as if the people already there are of little consequence and they have discovered some hidden gem. The black and brown inhabitants desired clean streets, less crime and more amenities but their request for services was often overlooked
    What as happened in Brooklyn and DC is not a traditional neighborhood evolving, its been “hyper gentrification”. Where government in an alliance with wealthy developers have collaborated to disenfranchise poorer residents for the benefit of wealthier newcomers.
    No one is saying neighborhoods should not evolve but it should not happen in such a way that people are being forced to re-locate en masse as their housing options are eliminated seemingly overnight. Plus the local governments cannot then decide to provide improve service to a neighborhood just because the new residents are whiter and richer as if the old residents were not also taxpayers.
    And piled on top of all that institutional disrespect are the newcomers, who view themselves as saviors and the previous inhabitants and there process as inconsequential. So the park your kids played basketball or baseball or where you BBQed in the summer is altered to become a dog run seemingly without any consultation or community input. The Annual street fair is now a noise and traffic nuisance or the block parties are offensive. It is not when in Rome do as the Romans do, it is I am here now let change things for the “better”.
    Many of those newcomers enter these neighborhoods with an interlopers perspective, they are not there to join a community they are there to push people out. It is their attitude that stinks and they are aided and abetted by city and state governments in bed with developers who only motivation is $$$.