Graffiti vandal hits Spike Lee's old block

New York (CNN) -- A graffiti vandal hit the home owned by Spike Lee's father and a neighboring home in Brooklyn Friday -- days after the filmmaker's curse-filled rant against the gentrification enveloping his old neighborhood.

The glass was shattered on the front door of the neighbor's home on Washington Park in the Fort Greene section, and "Do the Right Thing," the title of Lee's controversial 1989 film about racial tension in Brooklyn, was spray-painted on the wall along with the Circle-A, the symbol for anarchy.

Three words -- "Do the Right" -- were scrawled on stairs leading to jazz artist Bill Lee's brownstone next door. A police spokesman said the home was spray-painted early Friday. The act of vandalism is being investigated.

Dianne Mackenzie, who has lived in the neighborhood for 17 years, said she discovered the vandalism on her Washington Park home Friday morning. She believes the damage is connected to Spike Lee's now-infamous anti-gentrification rant during an African-American History Month lecture on Tuesday.

"All I know is that he made a lot of comments that went viral, the next day my house is vandalized," Mackenzie told CNN. "There is probably some kind of connection in the mind of whoever did this ... There is no reasonable reason for it. If this person has got something to say, fine say it. Don't damage my property."

Arnold Lee, who lives with his father, defended his half-brother's right to rant about gentrification but took issue with Spike Lee's reference to the family's Fort Greene home.

"Say what you want but leave the personal stuff out of it," he told CNN Friday. "The moment you start going, 'Well, I live here,' and he doesn't live here. You know he lives in Manhattan so ... this is my dad's house, and it's kind of personal."

He added, "Leave us out of it. Because I feel bad ... my neighbor, she is a good friend.

In his rant, in which Lee mentioned that he once lived at 165 Washington Park, Lee also said his father, "a great jazz musician," bought the brownstone 46 years ago.

"And the mother******' people moved in last year and called the cops on my father," Lee said. He's not — he doesn't even play electric bass. It's acoustic. We bought the mother******' house in 1968, and now you call the cops? In 2013?"

According to a New York Times article, police have received 17 noise complaints. The Times said a woman who lived next door had called most.

Arnold Lee doesn't believe the vandalism was connected to the noise complaints.

"If it came from what he said, then it came from that," he said "But there hasn't been a noise complaint in months."

Mackenzie, a retired computer programmer, said she was not behind the noise complaints.

"They are professional musicians next door," she said. "They practice. They jam and their music is very good. I never had problems with the noise at all. And I was quoted in the paper saying that, and I never brought complaints. Maybe this has something to do with that. If it does, they got the wrong house."

Mackenzie, a retired computer programmer, said she is not concerned for her safety.

"We don't have this kind of thing happening in this neighborhood," she said. "And that is upsetting in a way ... I don't think it's necessarily going to happen again."

Mackenzie said Fort Greene has always been vibrant and diverse, with many longtime home owners.

"It's always been a very mixed neighborhood, racially, culturally, socially," she said. "It's retained that identity. It's also been a neighborhood that attracts a lot of people from the arts. And it still does. I don't think that the flavor of the neighborhood has changed. The people in it have changed, and where they come from maybe. A lot of people from Europe, people from Africa, we have people from all over in Fort Greene."

In his speech Tuesday at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, Lee vented his feelings about newcomers now inhabiting once-blighted parts of America's most populous city.

"And 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? The garbage wasn't picked up every mother******* 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."

On Wednesday, Lee told "Anderson Cooper 360" that he's not against new people moving into areas that were once predominantly poor and predominantly African-American.

"My problem is that when you move into a neighborhood, have some respect for the history, for the culture," Lee said.

Original article with video can be found here:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/28/us/spike-lee-block-vandalism/index.html?hp...

Category: 

Comments

The circle A graffiti was perhaps a little untimely after Lee made anti-gentrification comments, If they intended to characterize
anarchist as gentrification supporters they'll have a dificult time. Graffiti can be a tool, and has been for groups actively fighting gentrification,but I dont think any anarchists would have reacted to anti-gentrification rants as such. Probably fascists.....

On the other hand anarchists usually are gentrifiers in the neighborhoods they claim to be defending from gentrification so maybe his "rant" hit a little close to home for some "anti-gentrification" anarchists.

This is a simplistic and pat description of what happens. It's not just anarchists gentrifying neighborhoods, first off, it's a whole lot of people, some of whom aspire to resist the economic system that produces gentrification and forces people to play a role in it, others of whom do not. Give me the first crowd over the second any day.

No, your post is the simplistic one. First of all, I did not say, "anarchists are the only gentrifiers," I said that anarchists "are gentrifiers in the neighborhoods they claim to be defending from gentrification." Respond to the arguments people have actually made. Secondly, that anarchists "aspire to resist the economic system that produces gentrification and forces people to play a role in it" is true, key words: "aspire to." Anarchists are aware that gentrification is bad, they feel bad about having done it, they would like to abolish that situation but actually have no idea how to. More importantly, it helps them feel better about themselves to imagine that 1) they were forced to gentrify the neighborhood and 2) standing in front of a bus momentarily, doing graffiti, or breaking some windows a few times a year and making the news amounts to "resistance" to gentrification.

well if you don't like it how about you propose some ideas! i hate techies, sob cry fart

fuck your liberal guilt-mongering. anarchists are not responsible for gentrification. capitalism is responsible for gentrification.
its economics not a consumer choice

lol, anarchists love guilt-mongering over gentrification like it's an individual choice--fuck the yuppies, fuck the techies!--until they're the ones correctly called gentrifiers. Then it's economics and we shouldnt blame anyone.

The richer you are, the more choices you have. So it actually does make sense. Stupid fuck.

Like the choice to move to a cool hip urban place and live it up among other hip cool young people with interesting haircuts. So who does that--anarchists or yuppies? Funny how many anarchists I've met have upper middle class parents.

LOL, you literally just said "it's not consumer choice!" and now you are arguing that rich people should...take advantage of the consumer choices they can afford or otherwise be blamed for not choosing the right consumer choices!

Let me say this slower: the poor have LESS consumer choice: we take what we can get. Conversely, the richer you are, the more choices/options open up to you. This applies to everything, not just housing. Therefore, the richer you are, the more agency you have in an economic process such as gentrification. Which is just another example of how money = power.

Ok, now let me say THIS again slower:

L O L, y o u l i t e r a l l y j u s t s a i d " i t ' s n o t c o n s u m e r c h o i c e ! " a n d n o w y o u a r e a r g u i n g t h a t r i c h p e o p l e s h o u l d ... t a k e a d v a n t a g e o f t h e c o n s u m e r c h o i c e s t h e y c a n a f f o r d o r o t h e r w i s e b e b l a m e d f o r n o t c h o o s i n g t h e r i g h t c o n s u m e r c h o i c e s !

But in case slower doesn't work for you, you said, in response to anarchists being called gentrifiers, that it's not about them because it's about capitalism and economics, not consumer choice. Then I said that it IS about making individuals feel guilty about where they choose to live until that lens is turned against anarchists, then suddenly it's just about big bad impersonal systems. Then you said that really it's about consumer choice: poor people don't have much of it, rich people have lots of it, so therefore rich people deserve to be blamed and poor people, not so much.

Okay, fine. It's about consumer choice when it's not about you, and it's not about consumer choice when it is about you.

You obviously just cannot accept that rich people have a different level of power/agency/choice in society than poor people, even though this is the most obvious fact of everyday life in capitalist societies. Why the blindspot/willful ignorance?

BTW I am not the same person who said its about capitalism and economics (though I do agree with that--which is in no way contradictory with saying money=power=culpability).

You are being dense on purpose because you do not want to admit to yourself certain truths about the nature of power in our classist society. And it's pathetic.

yr jumping to some conclusions so to clarify here is what I believe

rich people have the power
it is not about consumer choice, it is about capitalism
anarchists are oftentimes gentrifiers with guilt complexes and an impulse to pay lip service to the issue to avoid seeing theselves as very similar to the yuppies and hipsters they whine about
anarchists generally have no idea what to actually do about gentrification or capitalism

Let me guess - we should become disciples of our lord and savior, Kevin Keating? There's a latent hostility towards anarchists which gives you away. Why someone who has such antipathy towards anarchists spends so much time on this site is beyond me.

actually I think kevin keating is a pathetic douchebag

Similar to the yuppies and hipsters except not at all.
More similar to the other poor people (the poorest of whom granted do get pushed out by anarchists moving in) who get pushed out of the neighborhood BY hipsters and yuppies.
You have no grey area in your ubderstanding. The person who steals a banana is not the same as the one who steals millions of dollars. Do you get that at all???? I think you do but you're just trolling.
So troll on, troll, troll on.

what? the person who steals a million dollars is a better thief, obviously. and if anarchists, by your own admission,are pushing poorer people out of the neighborhood, guess what...they are GENTRIFIERS! Talk about no greynarea, when othermpeople do it it is gentrification, when your friends do it it is not? and anarchists have nothing tomdomwith hipsters? UH have you seen the way anarchists dress? they move from all over the country to places like oakland and south seattle so they can clique up with other white kids with interesting haicuts and obscure cultural consumption practices.

sorry for the typing errors

i think your typing is the least of your problems here...

attempting to portray anti-capitalists, with access to very little economic power (despite your anti-anarchist cliques about how were all middle-class)as somehow having any real agency in the process of gentrification, is a pathetic attempt to obscure who is really to blame: the rich, the developers, investors and speculators. You know- those who actually directly reap huge profits of off gentrification.

if your goal is not just an attempt to discredit anarchists, then your analysis fucking sucks

My typing is the least of YOUR problems.

So, now you're saying that it's not the people moving into the neighborhoods that are bad gentrifiers--it's the developers, speculators, etc who profit?

an anarchist renting a home is clearly different that a tech-yuppie buying and remodeling a home. gentrification happens in stages and if you break it down into the reactionary formula of white = bad, then you miss the reality of why this is happening in every city, which is of course because people don't have control over their own lives and communities.

So when white anarchists move across the country to be in Oakland because it's hip and to be close to other white anarchists and rent a home together, that's nothing like what hipsters are doing in Oakland or Brooklyn, because anarchists and hipsters have nothing in common?

troll gets a 2/10 for lack of originality.

Anarchists and Hipsters DO have something in common:

They are the cultural expression of a precarious economic subject who's aesthetic presentation reflects the fact that they must constant mobilize themselves for low-paying jobs which require one to produce libidinal value at least as much as one labors in a traditional sense.

Anti-hipsterism is right wing trash and comes from a reactionary, ahistorical, analysis.

Yeah but nascar, shitty piss water bud light, and murikkka is a funnest!

Hipsters = Carpetbaggers
Right-wing trailertrash = Know-nothings

Who wins? The same old banksters.

I moved to Seattle and lived in Capitol Hill and hated all the rich stupid fucks around me chasing "careers" and chasing "coolness" and I relished stealing everything I could from their stupid fucking yuppie materialist consumer utopia. Anarchists are everywhere, fucker.

missing the point
and
capitol hill is also gentrifying
you hipster

Trill Troll is trill

Relished. Like sweet fucking pickles on a footlong fucking hotdog. Eat it.

I really don't see how, I mean they'd have to be pretty douchey to get all butthurt about it, but maybe I'm just over confidant bout anoks...

I doubt this is pro-gentryfication shit, it may however be anti-spike shit.

It would have been better if this action was given some context because the message is kind of hard to discern, but it was probably something along the lines of fuck millionaire film makers complaining about gentrification.

You're right, maybe they think black people should leave making movies and money to white people.

Right, cause rich black folk aren't the class enemy, their status as marginalized minorities make them immune from criticism. Obama '16!

Well, I don't see anyone spray painting Tarantino's house.

Well he probably deserves to have his house spray painted, although he also hasn't tried to insert himself into political discourse as a man of the people. But all of this is besides the point because without some kind of further communique, we're probably just trying to superimpose our own politics over something that really doesn't subscribe to any kind of rational political debate. Welcome to revolt in the 21st century.

How about when he said that because of his film (Django Unchained), people were talking about race like never before in America?

Well he probably deserves to have his house spray painted, although he also hasn't tried to insert himself into political discourse as a man of the people. But all of this is besides the point because without some kind of further communique, we're probably just trying to superimpose our own politics over something that really doesn't subscribe to any kind of rational political debate. Welcome to revolt in the 21st century.

I'd spit on a black person for their wealth just as quick as I'd do it to a white person.

That's just me though. I don't give people a free pass to appease some liberal white guilt.

you don't actually spit on people in real life

thats just you though. you like to talk tough on the internet but not do things that would get you beat up.

Me personally, I'd never spit on anyone. That's just rude.

And their dads.

given one, i'll take a celebrity ranting against gentrification to a celebrity not ranting against gentrification.
how about seasol for meaningful action?
http://seasol.net/index.php?limitstart=5

You mean using collective direct action to attain tangible gains and build working class self organization? Nah fuck that leftist shit! Real anarchists block Google buses and commit acts of petty vandalism then post sensationalized communiques about said actions on a-news. Duh!

I generally like seasol and do what I can to support them but the claim that they are building working class self organization is pretty doubtful.

I like how yall think you've actually accomplished something...
It's hilarious that yall think it puts you in the position to dismiss other anarchists too.

Also... I like how yall like to pretend as though the minimal and virtually unnoticed success of the solidarity network model is to the credit of a few lefty ideologs weighing down anarchism in the 21st century and can't possibly be in part due to the efforts of the very same people who might think blocking a google bus is a cool tactic.

Seasol is an organization of volunteers that you can call on to help you for free. They use bad publicity to pressure your boss or landlord into giving you what you are legally entitled to in the first place. They do this work for free because they understand it as building working class autonomous power and as reddish anarchish types they are into that. If you are an actual working class person, they are more affordable than hiring a lawyer.

I don't know, seems to easy for crazy people to turn into a 4-change style "personal army"
know what I'm saying?

post your adress so I cnamseasol youmcomerade

"Also... I like how yall like to pretend as though the minimal and virtually unnoticed success of the solidarity network model is to the credit of a few lefty ideologs weighing down anarchism in the 21st century and can't possibly be in part due to the efforts of the very same people who might think blocking a google bus is a cool tactic."

Yeah cause the only thing holding back the anarchist revolution is a few old timey anarcho-syndicalist dudes in seasol. Bitch please!

It bothers me on no end to see this kind of stuff getting the most talking points on anews. Anarchists are still the bomb throwing resentful materialist dogs the Nietzsche talked about made worse by post-WW2 structuring of this silly surrogate activity. Why do you care about people in big houses? Mansions Cars Hollywood and Hamptons in all their gated glory are manifestations of a belief. Go after the belief that creates these houses and not the symptomatic houses themselves you resentment fueled idiots.

When you resentful materialist retards figure this out maybe you will be ready to change things by changing yourself first and foremost. For goodness sake figure out where ideas and beliefs are actually generated and undermine them, stop reacting to the symptoms which gentrification is.

Bwahaha - this is some straight up 70's new age bullshit. Like totally man, give up on those negative vibes and focus on self improvement.

Actually has some basic truth to it, the problem is the xian derivative anarchist is the extreme end of those who take the Napoleon Hill 'new age' approach. The fact is you CAN trick your sub conscious into putting you into certain positions that are advantageous, that does not have to mean some half baked wealth creation philosophy, but these are techniques that anarchists would be the better for looking into.

When you lash out at the rich man and his house you are just as responsible for keeping that reality going as any lottery ticket buyer or those who are on the north side of a rigged game.

Yeah Einzige, I've been successfully ignoring your shitty analysis for awhile now but that was even worse than usual. You should go back to waving george carlin's corpse around to defend rape jokes. Are you even trying? Drunk-posting? What?

Quotes Nietzsche

Uses "materialist" as an insult

err...namedrops Nietzsche

I KNOW RIGHT

celebrity is identity gentrification.

yeah dude... pass the jay maaaaan...

Lets not attack real material targets and real people who's daily activity reproduces class society. Instead... lets just focus on abstraction like... "beliefs" maaaan...

See that's what's wrong with you anarchists....

cough cough...

A prevailing belief structure is not defined by material figures and where they live. Belief itself is what reproduces class society not the material figures that are the signified symptoms.

cept like no, the spectacle is perpetuate by physical systems

Language for instance is a physical set of relations and the spectacle is essentially among other things a linguistic memetic virus. The situationists were actually at their best on the side of intellectual undermining even though they still had materialist baggage. If you want to take their approach to the next level you have to abandon any ideas of rational strategies or the assumption of materialist bases of operations when it comes to spectacular generation.

Who gives a shit what gets the most `talking points' on @news?

This sounds like the target was spike lee, and not some anti-gentryfication shit... There's rather few people who believe in capitalism, isn't it...

I'm tired of this kind of talk of materialism, and of `materials' and `beliefs'.

Consider this dreadful phrase, ``Don't let material concerns get in the way of living a happy life.'' Someone who unironically said that, is a materialist.

Well, materialism is not implying in a counter-current in ontological field of the Cheech-Chong paradigm. Taken that the Being as materialist topology of the Evident-Self and the Perceived is in itself a false dichotomy of the real disorder of the unreal-real-reality of the senses. I don't know If I'm Zizek or Emile, now... Enough cartoon-talk.

I guess being up for an award gives you your imposters

yeah no shit huh?

Guess again, Einzige-chan.

Reactionary white yuppie scum of the gentrifier crowd did this, I'm pretty sure. Some people got their racial sensitivity butt-hurt by Spike Lee's comments, and also by anarchists anti-gentrification actions, so here you got the result.

what if it's not tho
like i could see some folks being like, "fuck you you rich asshole complaining about gentrification yet being all gentry"

It'll probably make the property values go up $10k for having "authenticity" lol

it's shitty cause we'll probably never know who did this and there'll probably never be a communique...i mean if the point is to spread a message through propadeed idk if they did it that well...but maybe they's just about opening vague cracks in social ordr...me not know...maybe pissed off apoc being mad at black gentry, maybe angry white kids being mad for being called out...maybe neither...that interview funny tho...it all like :never okay to damage property: and I lol'd...maybepeople wanna burn shit like at the end of invisible man novel...oh well never know...

Best comment ever!

if i had sprayed that, unaware of the confusion it would raise, maybe embarrassed that what i thought brilliant in the moment is so obscure as it weathers, how would i explain my meaning?
i'd probably say that i meant to get the entitled to think deeper on their milquetoast progressivism and actually DO the right thing...
then, a few hours later think, "fuck, that was weak!"

The poetry of angels! Lo, say it with a brick!

there are so many targets, why this one?
maybe it was to be like LISTEN SPIKE!!!
but mayhaps not

This is a weird target for something like this. But yeah...gentrification either doesn't exist at all or it is the way that capitalists restructure areas to make them more suitable for the production of value and the stabilization of control. White people can signal to investors that the area may be ripe for restructuring, but blaming young white people for the way capitalists aim to exploit them better is fucking insane.

Spike's film directing has deteriorated over the last decade and most likely a disgruntled leftist film-buff yuppie did this! Note the double exclamation marks and correct spelling and capitalization of words. Someone familiar with his film titles and with a premeditated plan, indicates an intelligent and well read discerning critic.

Sherlock Holmes

Spike probably did it himself to dis-inter his own celebrity corpse. Be alive in the land of the dead, Spike!!! Leave that shit behind!

What ever happened to good old fashioned paranoia instead of just assuming anarchists are dumb as a bag of rocks generally.

This seems like some straight up cointellpro counter-insurgency type shit to me.

What happened to being able to laugh at some good ole fashin trollin??????

I'll have to scope out Spike Lee's anti-gentrification comments. But, really, the guy is a shitty filmmaker, with the exception of about the last 25 minutes of 'Malcolm X' and 'The 25th Hour.' He just can't make a good film.

I thought Summer of Sam was one of his best works, it really summarized the urban youth of the late 70s when the only cause worth fighting was against the establishment, from their drug taking punk rebelliousness to denying the guilt of being Catholic and having anal sex, and the lurking serial killer tearing the whole smug social capitalist fabric into shreds all around them. It had everything! Spike as far as I am concerned spiralled downwards after this movie! He became a NICE man!

Spike Lee is crass and makes mediocre movies! Woody Allen has more wit and panache, I don't care if he fucked his stepdaughter a third his age, that's artistic license he fully deserves! He'll never get graffitied cos he lives on the 10th floor!

This is serious, even if it looks small. This is spoiling the whole anarchist milieu and making the @ sign into a new swastika.

If there's still some people here who aren't just noodle-heads you should realize that this is used to divide "POC" and anarchists while indirectly defending racist gentrification.

And I don't care how rich Spike Lee got or how his movies weren't very good for a while. His father had the cops called on him by white racist condo slime, who probably were the same dickheads who did this.

Wake the fuck up and do something! At least send a letter to Spike Lee...

No!

"This is spoiling the whole anarchist milieu and making the @ sign into a new swastika."

Seriously. I don't even care for ritualistic vandalism, but this is beyond the pale retarded.

My theory: Spike Lee said his dad had the cops called on him by the next door neighbor. The next door neighbor had their window busted out with the name of a Spike Lee movie about vandalism, gentrification and racism spray painted next to it. Somebody saw the article and was mad at the gentrifucks and snitches so they threw a rock through the snitches window, then thought they'd add a little shout out to the filmmaker. Millionaire filmmaker doesn't get the joke, media either.

And in that context, I kind of like the action, instead of either being done by asshole yuppies or self righteous anarchos who'd rather target the dad of a famous person than the thousands of targets that are way guiltier

Does anyone know if the neighbors still live there and if Spike's dad still lives there? or if it's just yupyups living there cause like that'd make a difference

Intriguing.

Someone who calls the cops is not a snitch unless they call the cops on a comrade, a co-conspirator, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM3HJbMREEQ

Sometimes they are just an asshole.

By that logic I'm both a snitch and an asshole. . . . No fair!

-- Bob Black (pig ffffucker and toy piano tuner)

The reporter on CNN US who is interviewing DK revealed something possibly more important about this subject: Spike Lee's production company logo is the circle A. As so cleverly deducted "Clearly this is targeted at Spike" and clearly Spike is a disappointing anarchist, just as gentrification is clearly a disappointing conversation to be having among anarchists. People are dumb.

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