Graffiti vandal hits Spike Lee's old block

By Haimy Assefa, Ross Levitt and Ray Sanchez CNN | 3/1/2014, 9:31 a.m.
A graffiti vandal hit the home owned by Spike Lee's father and a neighboring home in Brooklyn Friday -- days ...
A graffiti vandal hit the home owned by Spike Lee's father and a neighboring home in Brooklyn Friday, February 28, 2014, -- days after the filmmaker's curse-filled rant against the gentrification enveloping his old neighborhood. Photo by Ross Levitt/CNN.

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.

CNN's Rande Iaboni contributed to this report.

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