Spike Lee Is Not An Idealist, Just Desperate
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke responds to Spike Lee's rant against gentrification.
It took an incident close to home for Spike Lee, the Do the Right Thing director, to see the reality facing African-American neighborhoods across the country. During a Black History Month lecture recently, he grumbled about his dad being harassed by new white neighbors for playing music too loudly.
"He bought a house in nineteen-motherfuckin'-sixty-eight, and the motherfuckin' people moved in last year and called the cops on my father," Lee told a cheering audience at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute. "We bought the motherfuckin' house in nineteen-sixty-motherfuckin'-eight, and now you call the cops? In 2013? Get the fuck outta here!"
For a guy who loved to criticize me for using foul language in my lyrics, Spike sure has a potty mouth. But where was Spike before these "motherfucking people" moved in? He was going to froufrou parties on Madison Avenue, sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden, and playing the role of the big-time Hollywood director.
Now that his career is falling off, he wants to be outspoken about gentrification and how it erases historic black neighborhoods. Spike should have been fighting for Brooklyn when he was considered one of the top moviemakers in the game.
Sitting around complaining after the neighborhood is overrun with hipsters is not going to fix anything. That's why I write this column, to get involved in politics. I also volunteer as an inner-city high school coach. I'm not going to sit back and watch developers come into Overtown, West Coconut Grove, or Liberty City to create the next Brickell Avenue by forcing out families and mom-and-pop businesses that have been in the neighborhood for half a century.
I'm going help my people stay where they belong.
Maybe Lee should take the money he makes from his 9,000-square-foot Manhattan mansion (it's on the market for $32 million) and build some affordable housing for the families who were priced out of Brooklyn. Or at least he should buy out his dad's neighbors. Then he can say he did the right thing.
Tune into Luke on the Andy Slater Show every Tuesday, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., on Miami's Sports Animal, 940 AM.