Spike Lee's Former NYC Block Vandalized After Rant

Monday, Mar 3, 2014  |  Updated 5:56 AM PDT
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Spike Lee Takes on Gentrification

The stoop of the former Washington Park home of Spike Lee was vandalized three days after he delivered a rant against gentrification. The house next door was graffitied and had a window smashed.

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Spike Lee Takes on Gentrification

Native New Yorker and famous filmmaker Spike Lee went on a long, impassioned tirade against the gentrification of parts of New York City during a Black History Month event at Pratt Institute. Ida Siegal reports from Bedford-Stuyvesant.
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Three days after Spike Lee lashed out in a passionate rant against the gentrification of Brooklyn, someone vandalized the director's former childhood home and the house next door.

One or more vandals spray-painted the stoop of Lee's former childhood home on Washington Park in Fort Greene on Friday. The damage was worse at the home next door where a window was smashed and "Do the Right Thing" was written in spray paint on the first floor of the house.

"I was very angry about that," said Dianne Mackenzie, who lives in that home. "It's mindless and it's senseless, and it's pretty stupid."

Mackenzie wouldn't say whether she thought the crime, which police are investigating, was tied to Lee's remarks.

"They can speculate all you want, but I don't know why," Mackenzie said. "It's not something that happens in this neighborhood. It's not usual."

The tagger only managed to write "Do the Right" on Lee's former home, leaving out the rest of the title of the 1989 modern classic that solidified his reputation as a filmmaker.

Lee sparked controversy on Tuesday when he said that longtime residents of Fort Greene and other New York City neighborhoods were being pushed out by people with "Christopher Columbus Syndrome."

"You can't discover this! We been here. You just can't come and bogart," the director told an audience Tuesday at the Pratt Institute in Fort Greene.

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