"I grew up here in New York. It's changed," Lee said at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, an art, design, and architecture school. "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.
Then comes the mother******' Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can't discover this! We been here," he said to applause from the audience.
He gave the examples of people playing drums in Mount Morris Park, a tradition he said lasted 40 years until the new residents complained.
And then there was the one that literally hit home. Lee said his father, "a great jazz musician," bought a brownstone 46 years ago.
"And the mother******' people moved in last year and called the cops on my father. 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?"