I first visited Minneapolis in 1976. I took a train trip from Chicago that was supposed to take three hours but ended up taking eight. Amtrak was the pits even back then.
I arrived in a winter wonderland. The city had just shrugged off a 14-inch blizzard with little effort and even less notice. A weather event that would have paralyzed almost any other city in America didn’t affect life in the slightest. Kids still went to school, everyone went to work, even traffic wasn’t that bad. Only the tourists who didn’t know how to drive in the snow slowed things down.
I was amazed at how clean everything was, how orderly. Minnesota had a reputation for being “clean.” Even the government was considered “clean,” at least by Chicago standards. Of course, Minneapolis is just as corrupt as any major U.S. city but less so than many.
And outside of Minneapolis? Visitors can be excused for thinking the state’s slogan, “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is a metaphor. It isn’t. There are actually more than 10,000 lakes in Minnesota and most of them are as picturesque as a postcard.
It was painful for me to read this piece from College Fix’s Grace Bureau of Gustavus Adolphus College who writes that she plans to leave the state after growing up there and spending much of her life in Minneapolis. She can’t stand what her beloved city has become.
The ACE Hardware down the street? The one that I used to bike to in the summer? Robbed twice in the past five days.
The Walgreens next to my elementary school? Molotov cocktail thrown into it.
The Lake Harriet Bandshell, where we spent countless Mother’s Days? Homeless encampment popped up next door.
These are the things you don’t read about in the news.
Ten minutes from my house, at 38th and Chicago, there is still an autonomous zone. Police are not allowed to enter. Residents have died because medical authorities couldn’t get through, and carjackers (of which there are MANY) will speed into the zone to escape officer pursuit.
My favorite dinner theater canceled its production of Cinderella because it was “too white.”
Minneapolis was synonymous with “paradise” when I was a young man. It was the place everyone wanted to move to in order to escape decadent cities like Chicago or Detroit. It was a place to raise a family and to embrace the important things in life. It spoke to a yearning in all people for simplicity and normalcy.
Who’d want to move there now?
I’ve spent the past year watching this city crumble. Burning it wasn’t enough, I guess. Every day, I watched another piece of sanity and stability fall to the hysterical, bloodthirsty, self-righteous mob.
You distinguish between rioters and protestors? Racist. You do not want Marxist-inspired racial justice theories to be promoted in schools? Racist. You thought that maybe “Justice for George Floyd” should be left to the courts, and not mob rule? Super, super racist.
What ails Minneapolis is not color, even though any criticism of the city will be seen in that context. And why not? When everything is racialized, there’s no escaping the wrath of the woke, racialist mob.
Minneapolis suffers from a lack of trust — trust in its institutions, its government, and its people.
Let me be clear: this city’s demise wasn’t just violent protests and burning buildings, or crime skyrocketing and businesses fleeing. It was also political indoctrination, hypocritical leadership, and the suppression of oppositional thought.
Any condemnation of the violence was denounced as “racist.” Billboards stating simply “Support MN Police” were brutally vandalized. Schools supported BLM walkouts for their students, then shut down in-person classes for fear of violent riots.
And all of this happened against the backdrop of our illogical, inconsistent, overly oppressive COVID-19 restrictions.
I would not like to see Minneapolis in 10 years.