Spike Lee Talks About Some Stuff

Education seems really important to you.
I feel like I should talk about public education all the time, but maybe you can’t do enough. I just think that it goes across the board—housing, education, health care. You got to have affordable housing. They got to make the public schools better. This goes across all races—this is not a black and white thing. New York City cannot just be rich. It will lose its entire flavor if it is.

Back in the day, if you were broke, you could still get by in New York. There are always going to be rich people, but you used to have more diversity. And this is something that is happening in this country: the haves and the have-nots. That is not a good situation, when the have-nots see what the haves have and the haves are not giving it up.

Wasn’t that divide always here?
It is more pronounced now than ever. Because people are making more now than they have before. You had a million ­dollars back in the day—that was some money. Not today, man. You got a million dollars, that’s just the down payment.

Spike Lee’s conversation with Will Leitch for New York Magazine is excellent. Discussed: The Knicks, including Lee’s season tickets (“I try not to remember the price, but it is a fortune”); Brooklyn then and now, including what it was like being the first black family to move to Cobble Hill; public education; how movies about black characters do and do not get made (“I made a vow to myself, I am going to stop answering on behalf of the studios. Because every time something happens to black people, the L.A. Times is calling me up”); and his new film, Red Hook Summer (“This is not Spike going back to his roots. Red Hook Summer is another chapter in my chronicles of Brooklyn”).



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