They know who they are. The elite gentry who claim to be on a mission to rid north Minneapolis of all of its imagined ills. I find most of these blogs to be entertaining in a Jerry Springer sort of way. First, an inflammatory post appears. Then, the mud-slinging begins and what appears to be racism, even disguised in some cases, rears its ugly head as some folks tout Marshall Law and comment on grammar, while others retort in ways that assume that all European-Americans are as ignorant as many of the hawks appear to be on blogs like The Adventures of Johnny Northside.
First of all, let’s set the record straight about north Minneapolis. This area has some problems with poverty and violence. That is true and I am not in denial. That being stated, many of these problems are a result of institutional racism and other systemic issues. Let’s put things in scope and be honest about one thing: Minnesota does not have a real ghetto. The way I hear some of the newer residents complain about how this area is “ghettofied” and about how there are so many criminals hanging about can be equated to racist fear-mongering. Chicago has a real ghetto and I have been there. It is nothing like north Minneapolis. L.A. and New York have ghettos. Milwaukee even has more of a ghetto than Minneapolis or Minnesota ever will. That is reality.
Some European-Americans will not be happy until they do not have to see any people who are different than them as they drive through the area to get to their garages. Not every group of youths hanging out on a street is a gang. They are not all drug dealers. Any kids claiming to be in a gang are probably not in a real gang since I doubt any real gangs would waste their time creating a set in the Siberia of the United States. Sure, there are small groups of wannabes who claim sets, but they are nothing more than kids who watch too much MTV. As someone who actually takes the bus, bikes, and interacts with people all over north Minneapolis, I have learned that my initial assumptions about the everyday people in this notorious Minneapolis neighborhood were flawed.
To summarize and reiterate, I acknowledge that we have crime in north Minneapolis. In fact, crime exists in all sectors of Minneapolis. North Minneapolis can solve its problems through creating opportunity for all of its people, creating healthy dialogue, and ending stereotyping on all sides. I will continue to give other bloggers hits and visits for their analytics. They are entertaining in a Jerry Springer/trashy tabloid sort of way. The combination tabloid journalism and people loving a good argument have undoubtedly accounted for the success of such blogs.