I am pretty salty about Minneapolis on social media lately, and by lately I mean the last five or so years. I realized some of this might be taken the wrong way, and I also saw some of the errors in my previous line of thinking. I grew up in this city, grew up with this city, and have completely fallen out of love with this city for the second time. I honestly feel like I live “among” Minneapolis but I no longer live in Minneapolis, technically speaking.
I realize some folks might takes this to mean I have a certain animosity toward the changes in the city’s population, and this couldn’t be farthest from the truth. I am disgusted by the wrong turn our city’s “leaders” have taken in charting the course of Minneapolis’ growth. Minneapolis was given the opportunity to uphold the human values that we, as a community, were paying lip service to for a solid two decades. We were given the opporunity to show the world how it was done.
What we have instead is wealthy power brokers doing everything they can to keep Minneapolis looking like the progressive city it once aspired to be, all the while keeping the regressives and dinos happy in the rooms far from the spotlight. These are the people that may talk about the thousands of documented problems with the Minneapolis Police Department, but who also are thankful they have such a force to keep things just the way they are. A nice blue line keeps all the things they don’t really want to think about far from sight.
Now, it would be easy to label to the uprising around the murder of George Floyd as the pyre of Minneapolis. A dramatic moment for sure, and a moment that brought an end to some of the myths of our great city. I don’t think that is accurate, at all, and my current feeling is that as clumsy as our city is with dealing with racial and economic equity, what is happening now is much better than what used to be.
Before we got to pretend that we did everything was great because no one could say otherwise. Now, suppressed voices are having their say and conversations, debate, arguments and fights are happening around topics that were unheard of in the golden ages of memory.
So, in a sense, I am more proud than ever of our city even as I cannot claim any pride in the current state of things. To claim this pride would sound too much like the vacuous social media musings of the Freydom Party. The city they see from thier condos and lakefront homes is no more real than the “Minneapolis” local media creates on a daily basis. That is the Minneapolis I live among but not in.
I am from Minneapolis. A Minneapolis that maybe never was, and maybe never be.