Spike Lee's Former Brooklyn Block Vandalized Following Gentrification Rant
A home on Washington Park in Fort Greene, Spike Lee's former childhood home, and the house next door have been vandalized. The incident took place only three days after Lee ranted against gentrification in Brooklyn during an African-American History Month lecture at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute.
Vandals left a message at the 165 Washington Park home, which he mentioned in his rant, on Friday, March 28. They spray-painted the wall with "Do the Right Thing", a reference to his movie. The vandals, however, only managed to write half of the title. "I think that Spike needs to stop mentioning the house in his comments. He can say whatever he wants, but don't mention that," said Arnold, Lee's half-brother who lives in the house, as quoted by New York Daily News.
The house next door, meanwhile, suffered worse damage. In addition to the message written on the brownstone, the owner found her front window broken. "I was very angry about that," Dianne Mackenzie said of the damage, as quoted by NBC New York. "It's mindless and it's senseless and it's pretty stupid."
Mackenzie did not say whether the vandalism was related to Lee's remarks. "They can speculate all you want, but I don't know why. It's not something that happens in this neighborhood. It's not usual," she said. Police are currently investigating the incident.
Lee said that some people had "Christopher Columbus Syndrome" during his 7-minute rant on Tuesday. "You can't just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you're mother******g Columbus and kill off the Native Americans," the director told the audience.
On Wednesday, Lee explained his rant during an appearance on "Anderson Cooper 360". "My problem is that when you move into a neighborhood, have some respect for the history, for the culture," he shared.
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