What do people have against north Minneapolis?

One of these days I’ll learn to avoid the Facebook comments on posted news stories. Today, however, is not that day.

This week is the one-year anniversary of the devastating tornado in north Minneapolis and it’s pretty clear there remains — in some quarters — a “serves ’em right” mentality that we likely wouldn’t see if the tornado had hit, say, south Minneapolis.

Take the Facebook comments on KSTP’s story last night, for example.

A commenter writes:

I live in N. Mpls. It has not come back and it will never come back. Things are worse here than ever. That’s why I’m getting out at the end of this month. People walk around with guns sticking out of their waistbands. Random guys walk up to women asking for money and refusing to leave. People try to just walk in your door. I have lived here for over 7 years. We have had our ups and downs. This is by far the worse. I don’t even let my kids outside anymore bc you cannot trust anyone. North is a lost cause. The few good people remaining need to run away and let the bangers kill each other instead of our kids.

Another writes…

So many areas face worse devastation and get through it and move on. Why is it that N.Mpls is still being mentioned and grumbling about the tornado? Everyone in the area needs to get out and start cleaning up their homes and neighborhoods and stop sitting around for freebies.

That’s quite enough for Brigette Mengerson, a north Minneapolis resident who knows better:

I am disgusted by some of these comments. North Mpls lost a lot of businesses that people depended on for wages. Many people lost their place to live because of landlords who weren’t properly insured and/or let the homes go. Many homeowners are still stuck waiting for repairs due to greedy battles with insurance companies and the city. This isn’t about looking for freebies- its about trying to recover with the little means you had to begin with.

In the last year residents have supported each other through community dinners, fundraisers, multi-media art receptions, support groups and on going donations of food, clothing and furniture. We even have a local resident who has a book signing party later this week.

Yesterday we broke ground on a new youth garden at 21st & Dupont. Over 30 people came out to dig trenches, build raised beds, shovel and haul dirt, etc. People got out of their cars and walked in from off the streets to lend a hand in the development of this garden which will provide healthy food and income for the youth who will be working the garden and selling at our local farmers market.

North Mpls is not a lost cause- the residents past, present and future deserve better than that sentiment. What may be a lost cause is trying to change your perception of what all of North Mpls really is.

I challenge you to come out today, grab a shovel and meet those who still have plenty of hope and determination for the successful growth and rebuilding of North Mpls.