In 2011 a tornado struck my predominately black neighborhood in Minneapolis, destroying homes, uprooting trees, and causing billions in property damage. We lost 3 huge spruce trees on our property, some siding and roofing tiles, and counted ourselves lucky. Neighbors lost homes, cars, and possessions in addition to their landscaping, so we didn’t complain about much except the nearly 2 weeks without power.
Today, though, I learned that I should have been outraged instead of grateful. The tornado was racist.
At least that is implied by a ridiculous story in my local newspaper the Star-Tribune.
“Trees are not distributed evenly around the region. There are real inequities,” said Met Council data scientist Ellen Esch. “That has major consequences … not only on individuals, but on the livability, on the prosperity and on everything in our region” https://t.co/aGGUF1uPVT
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) September 17, 2022
Now I can attest to the fact that we still suffer from a lack of adequate tree coverage. We replaced our majestic 70+ year old spruce trees with fast growing Maples which are now closing in on 30′ tall, but they have none of the splendor nor shade coverage of the original trees. We are definitely shade deprived both at our house and in our neighborhood due to the tornado.
And as the story notes, having more tree cover is far superior to having less. And it is certainly true that other parts of the city have more trees than we. But it never occurred to me to blame our neighborhood’s lack of adequate shade–which had not been a problem until the tornado struck–to racial bias.
Now sure, I am white and my wife is Hispanic (FYI–her father is a Venezuelan immigrant from some years back, so he is safe from Ron DeSantis’ kidnapping raids). So maybe we are not properly attuned to the racial aspects of tree cover and tornado politics. But I am pretty sure that none of my black neighbors who comprise the majority of the population here have mused about the racial motives of a “mobile, destructive vortex of violently rotating winds having the appearance of a funnel-shaped cloud and advancing beneath a large storm system.” Tornados, from what I can tell from the definition, don’t have racial motives.
But maybe the Star Tribune has an insight into the motives of violent storms that escapes the rest of us.
The great irony is that the Star Tribune could have talked about less explicable differences between the wealthier and poorer neighborhoods in our city. Differences in shade coverage caused by acts of God are not the result of racism. But I could personally give a list of ways that the liberals in power in our city actually do treat the poorer and more melanin-enriched neighborhoods of our city much worse than the rich people with whom they choose to hobnob.
The richer areas of our city have rose gardens, nicer parks, better sports facilities, faster police response times, and aren’t used as a proving ground for every wacky idea that the city council decides to try out. A few years back they decided to pioneer a new type of naturally filtered swimming pool in our neighborhood. Rather than being kept clean chemically, they decided to use some sort of green tech to keep it safe.
Didn’t work. The pool is often closed due to water quality issues. Kids can’t swim there. So they never tried it on the rich folks, but we got to brag about having a useless “green” pool.
The truth is that living in a liberal city you realize that the Left doesn’t care a bit about helping out the poor or oppressed. They are, if anything, more obsessed with chasing money and power than the people they decry. When they spend money in our neck of the woods it is through “nonprofits” run by their buddies. They build things to funnel money to their favorite contractors.
They do almost nothing to improve the lives of me or my neighbors, be they black or white. It’s why the poor and black neighborhoods from 30 years ago are still poor and black. The activists get rich, the politicians get power and then money, and their developer buddies do great. The people themselves? We are pawns. People who can move elsewhere often do.
I chose to build my house and live here (we bought an empty lot from HUD and built here) because we thought the neighborhood was on the way back up. We believed the hype from the city about redevelopment, yada yada. It was a crock. Our neighbors are nice, but our neighborhood is a crime haven with a good concentration of sex offenders dumped here by the city.
We were fools, and I blame nobody but ourselves. We rolled the dice and they came up snake eyes. Our bad.
But when I read my local newspaper decrying the racism of tree cover differentials I have to roll my eyes. These are the people who cheered on the riots of 2020. Who gave aid and comfort and endorsements to the politicians who have been systematically destroying the city while making bank. They helped Ilhan Omar become a powerhouse in the state.
If the Star Tribune wanted to strike a blow for real change in Minneapolis they would demand every Leftist in power resign in shame. Our city is falling apart. Murders are becoming common. Carjackings–which were so rare the police didn’t track them before last year–are common. Catalytic converters disappear overnight. Drive by shootings have happened on my block twice in the past year, and are almost common the next block over. As I write this I just heard 5 gunshots from a block away (we have a nice shot spotter map run by the police department so we can keep score).
The city is going to hell, and they are decrying tree racism. That is the Left in a nutshell.