Racism and Southwest light rail in Hopkins

A Hopkins mayoral candidate says his opposition to the Southwest Corridor light rail project is because people from “Welfareapolis” will end up with the sons and daughters of Hopkins.

City Pages reports Bob Ivers made his comments at a League of Women Voters candidate forum on Monday.

“All the Chicago and Detroit riff-raff that’s moved into ‘Welfare-apolis,’ they’re going to get on that train. And you know where they’re going to end up? They’re going to end up down at the depot,” Ivers said. “And they’re going to end up with yours, and yours, and yours granddaughters, and daughters, and grandsons. And I predict within two months of that coming through here, there’s going to be a shooting down at that kid’s depot.”

If they build the “little yellow train that you’re all bravo about, you’re going to have all the ethnics you want,” he said.

  • jon

    Sigh… I wish I could say that my suburb was substantially different, but I suspect that with trumpism run amok the mayoral and city council debates next week will probably also descend into similar talk…

    Two years ago it descended into “no you wouldn’t”‘ and “yes I would” back and forth between mayoral candidates (one of which won)
    and the climate in politics in general has only gone downhill since then…

    • BJ

      Incumbent Mayor Molly Cummings filed for reelection. Robert Ivers, who previously ran for the position in 2015, also filed.

      2015 results:
      Molly Cummings got 832 votes, Ivers 71, a third person got 55 and write in was 76.

      If you can’t beat write in count that’s a tough hill to overcome.

      • asiljoy

        Is Hopkins that small that only a thousand-ish people voted or is that some just horrendous turnout for an election that really will impact your day to day?

        • Lindsey

          I checked the population and it is about 17000. So, you would expect about half of that to be adults. So, even a really bad turnout should still have about 2000 votes. Maybe they were all bad candidates? Or maybe, everyone knew Molly would win…

          • QuietBlue

            Odd-year elections usually get low turnouts.

          • jon

            figure eligible voters make up 2/3rds of the population (ballpark), so 17,000 becomes ~12,000 and then midterm elections in the US average ~30-50% and off year municipal elections are even lower, so ~10% turnout rate doesn’t sound really to far off base…

  • chlost

    It is my understanding that this was a big issue which came up regarding the Northstar Commuter trains as well. It is perhaps part of the reason that the funding to expand the train to run to St. Cloud is still not there. Racism is prevalent in Minnesota. It’s just not often as blatant as this.

  • Well, isn’t THAT guy a little ray of hope?

  • Dan

    Terrible, but I chuckled when the moderator started to move on, and he stops her and says something to the effect of, “oh no, wait, wait, wait… I’ve got more racist stuff to add”.

    Edited: didn’t actually happen that way, it was edited 🙁

    Full video is here (only works in IE for me). I have to say, in my opinion, his racist comments are at odds with his stated goal of making Hopkins, as he puts it, a “city of pizzazz and sizzle”.


    • X.A. Smith

      Pizzazz . . . AND sizzle? Really.

      • X.A. Smith

        This is Hopkins we’re talking about?

  • MrE85
    • Bridget L.

      Yeah, I want to know if anyone called him out or not. Probably not.

      • Jerry

        I’m pretty sure Bob Collins just called him out.

      • crystals

        The general format the League of Women Voters uses for candidate forums isn’t really set up for debate or follow up. Someone might have chosen to – and I sure hope they did – but it would have been entirely of their own initiative and taking time out of whatever question they were asked.

        I’d like to think if I were on the dais I would have said something whenever my turn was up next, regardless of what the question was – and if I lived in Hopkins I would definitely want to know who did and who didn’t.

    • RBHolb

      I suspect the reactions, if any, were confined to throats being cleared and feet being shuffled.

  • Matt K

    Sadly, he’s only saying out loud what many in the suburbs already believe.

    • Jerry

      Remember when people actually had to use coded language to express their racist thoughts?

    • Kassie

      Except Hopkins isn’t an exurb and in 2010 census shows they were at 30% people of color, so this is pretty shocking.

      • Jerry

        And there are at least 2 subsidised housing projects in downtown Hopkins?

        • Kassie

          Hopkins has a lot of subsidized housing for its size. My feeling has always been that Hopkins is the kind of place that welcomes everyone and thrives because of it. And then there is this dipshit.

          • Jerry

            Who doesn’t think poor people of color ride the bus?

        • Judy Hedman

          We shouldn’t equate “subsidized housing” with non-white populations. It perpetuates the idea that there are no lower-income white people or that subsidized housing is only for non-white populations.

          • Jerry

            That was more in response to his “welfare-apolis” statement and apparent belief that people of any race aren’t getting help in Hopkins. He’s not only racist, he has no idea what his own city looks like.

      • Matt K

        Right. Exurb is the wrong word. In my brain I had placed Hopkins out on the further side of Edina. My geography of the west metro is not good.

      • Matt K

        And you’re also right that I should say, “many white suburban people believe.” The suburbs have been rapidly becoming ethnically diverse while my own urban neighborhood has slowly started to become more white.

  • RBHolb

    These sentiments are seldom far below the surface, even for the nice people out there. One of the first articles I saw about David Duke showed how easy it was for him to get a total stranger–a woman who taught disadvantaged children, as I recall–to start a minor racist tirade.

  • Jerry

    Does he think all those players who helped Hopkins become a basketball powerhouse actually came from Hopkins?

  • AL287

    He would fit in quite well in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

    Anybody want to guess the odds he’ll get elected this year?

    When the election is over, we’ll see just how color neutral Hopkins is.

    • Sike Chick

      He fits in right here in good ole Minnesota too. He has said out loud what many people think when it comes to transit here in Minnesota. Read almost any post about Metro Transit and it’s all about people “riding for free” and the “scary bus stops” and “loud people”. I’m not saying that it is perfect and that there aren’t people who steal rides or act like idiots, but a lot of people don’t want “certain elements” to have access to the little enclaves they have fled to.

      • I say again to anyone who doesn’t want their transit…. GIVE YOUR MONEY BACK SO IT CAN BE USED FOR A FREAKING BUS AFTER 750am IN WOODBURY.

        • Jeff

          Sorry, but the legislature wants to put any give-back money into building more roads.

      • AL287

        I grew up in Baton Rouge in the1960’s and 70’s.

        I could never understand the white flight phenomenon where whites move away from an affluent neighborhood because a few people of color moved in.

        If a person of color can afford a modest home in an affluent suburb don’t the short-sighted whites realize that if a person of color can afford a residence there that they might be good neighbor, even a great neighbor?

        Mr. Ivers is a bigot as well as being racist. He doesn’t want anything interfering with his comfortable life and his world view. He would have to change his world view if people of color, whether they are from Minneapolis, St. Paul or Timbuktu got access to Hopkins.

        Haven’t people of color been kept downtrodden and disenfranchised long enough?

        Mr. Ivers clearly believes they haven’t.

  • Jerry

    Boy, I hate to tell him that Hopkins already has a 100% ethnic population.

    • Every time I see White listed as a race I see the legacy of the sickening idea that “white” people are pure and without the taint of ethnicity. Not that Caucasian is much better, but at least it is nonsensical as opposed to implicitly racist.

      • Jerry

        I wonder how many people who really care about being Caucasian would really consider someone who is actually from the Caucasus white?

        • Not very many, I’m afraid. There’s a joke to be made about how many “Caucasian” people realize the Caucasus is even a place, but this whole topic is too depressing for me to come up with that joke.

          • Jerry

            We laugh to keep from crying

        • “I wonder how many people who really care about being Caucasian would really consider someone who is actually from the Caucasus white?”

          The same can be said for “Aryan”. LOL


          • TheEvilBlight

            Or the Tolcharians of the Tarim Basin

    • TheEvilBlight

      Only the microbes lack an ethnic identity.

  • The only surprise is that he said it outloud and where he could be recorded.

    Also is he not aware that Metro Transit runs in Hopkins? It’s not like people have no way to get in/out of Hopkins. A train is suddenly going to make everyone want to go to Hopkins? I think not.

    • Cliff

      With the new president, politicians and city officials can come out and say anything without any consequences. Just look at the guy they voted for down south recently. Opening saying being gay should be illegal and they should be thrown in prison.

      • TheEvilBlight

        There is no consequence when you get re-elected with no objections, and perhaps from constituents who may also secretly agree with you. And in that case, the officials we get are merely a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.

    • TheEvilBlight

      “Ride the bus out of our town!”

  • Jim in RF

    I remember reading a very similar LTE in the Hastings paper when there was discussion about the Red Rock line.

  • disqus_45rp1qSR5H

    Says an old white guy…the profile of a killer today.

  • Karl Crabkiller

    With a little more media exposure Mr. Ivers may have a future in big time politics.

    • Bob Sinclair

      Oh correct, like the judge from LA (Lower Alabama)?

  • MrE85

    My guess is that this guy’s election slogan is “Yes We Klan”

  • Arrows Minnesota

    Yikes, run that racist out of Hopkins, he isn’t welcome here!!! We welcome all people except racists like Ivers. He is an embarressment to white people!

    • >>He is an embarrassment to white people!<<

      He is an embarrassment to ALL people.

  • MarkUp

    “…hide your kids and lock your doors ’cause here it comes…”

    Swear I’ve heard this somewhere before…

  • Paul

    HA – this guy is a candidate? Good effing luck.

    • Laurie K.

      I would agree with you only we said the same thing about a year ago when some wacko suggested building a wall….

  • Linda Spyhalski

    I am not from Hopkins but am disgusted by what this man said! Please vote but not for him! We can do better!

  • Bois123

    My friend, Corry, is from South Africa. He is White, and when he became an American citizen, he had to select a race on the form. He chose “African-American”. 😉

    • TheEvilBlight

      Brave guy, though he might have opened a can of worms for himself in the future.

  • Yuri Nator

    Biggest welfare recipients are suburbs themselves. They want to tap into the industrial capital of their core cities without having to pay for the infrastructure to support them.

    Before you call people “welfare recipients”, just remember, if it wasn’t for Minneapolis, your little town would be just another meth riddled nowhereville in the middle of the Midwest, much like any other nowherevilles in the Midwest.

  • 212944

    People like him have always walked among us.

    I grew up hearing it as a kid (openly and with the common slurs invoked) and heard the coded language of it as I grew older because they were openly challenged on their ignorance and hate.

    Now, they are just back out it the open with it because they feel either empowered to be so or they are just scared, old, angry men whose life did not work out the way they thought it should and blame others for that.

    Just another sad, angry guy looking to be the victim.

    • Ben

      More like the angry white old dude who recently shot 59 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas last weekend.

  • Bill Heminhok

    Not afraid to say what everyone is thinking )besides the NPR [offensive term removed] who are probably stroking out as they read this) ^_^

    • crystals

      Doesn’t your statement basically acknowledge that no, not everyone is thinking this? Or do you just mean people like you?

  • KIMD65

    OMG.. these backward politicians always use this weak and shoot-starting fires. This is a worn out excuse. NOT BEING TRUE doesn’t stop these hateful people. Oh and he is a racist… because we all know what he means. He should yanked… so disrespectful…

  • Mark Baron

    Bob, I live in Hopkins. I never heard of you so I’m not really sure if you do. If you do, please move far, far away. Moscow would be good. Nothing against Moscow. It is just far away. And don’t come back. Ever….ever…really…don’t ever come back.

    • theoacme

      Moscow, Russia, or Moscow, Idaho? (Hopefully Idaho, so he can come to MSP with Larry Craig for some toilet toe stall sexing trap-tapping nattering nabobbity of negativity?)

  • Avril77

    Today in America, we are living in an open season for blatant racist expressions and actions. This is our reality. Therefore, we just have to keep on fighting against the cancer of racial hatred that is evident in hardcore racists like Bob Ivers. People like him comprise a segment of American society that is consumed with expressing their racist beliefs regardless of how irrational, illogical or evil it sounds!.

  • peacekimi

    Grammar is not his friend.

  • Ben

    Does this loudmouth even uses light rail? A lot of college kids used it at the UofMN campus. So do a lot of professional people who work in downtown Minneapolis. Heck, even the Twins, Vikings, Gophers, and Saints fans use light rail to get to weekend games. Thanks Ivers for insulting the residents of Hopkins and Minneapolis that middle class whites who use mass transit daily are nothing but welfare pimps in society.

    • Deep Thinker

      Your response is remarkably tone deaf

  • indocon


  • prgrsiv-ll

    ….IVERS you are disgusting…………..period….

  • abs

    Let’s get his DNA tested to see how PURE he actually is, then rub his retched face in it!

  • AmiSchwab

    welcome to trump’s great america.

  • Kyle MacDonald Samejima

    Here is a story about the “trash” on public transit – it’s about a guy giving away his food shelf food to a mom on the bus with three kids. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1291219427656616&id=100669296711641

  • John Edward Xavier

    Wonder if he includes, from the Great (Republican) Recession of 2008 mutual funds, big banks and nearly the entire US auto industry in the “welfare bad” category into which he wants to place so many. And Hopkins is no longer such a self-supporting town. It has long-since status as part of the metro area, where we are interdependent. We could just cut off the bus lines and the highways, paid fort by non-Hopkins money. Then he would be in his own kind of paradise, but everyone in Hopkins would be so broke that they’s all need welfare. Then, what would he say?

    In brief, “Come on, get a brain cell or two.”

  • Cathy Avery

    My God. I hope there is an organized effort to make certain that he is never elected. Count me in.

  • gus

    I just read the story and had another jaw-drop-moment. That seems to be happening a lot. I guess being politically correct nowadays is being like this guy and his mentor, no doubt, Trump.