How Cities Die

Minneapolis’s Uptown district is two miles or so south of downtown; its center is the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street. Until recently, it was one of the city’s principal entertainment and dining centers. No longer. The George Floyd riots, followed by Winston Boogie Smith riots and a persistent spike in both violent crime and property crime, have devastated the area. I don’t know who goes near Uptown now; I once lived nearby but wouldn’t dream of going there now.

Rebecca Brannon is a Twin Cities journalist whose videos you almost certainly have seen, as she and colleague Kyle Hooten were the only ones with enough courage to venture onto Lake Street during the George Floyd riots. She demonstrated her bravery once again by venturing into Uptown–specifically, the parking lot of a McDonalds restaurant on Hennepin Avenue where, years ago, my wife and I took our young children a number of times. She no sooner had arrived than she witnessed dual car thefts and pointless gunfire:


When criminals rule the streets, normal people stay away. That is the situation today in Minneapolis. The city’s depleted police force, under attack by anti-law enforcement Black Lives Matter ideology and thus ravaged by retirements, disability claims and difficulty in recruiting, can’t begin to cope with unprecedented levels of crime and disorder.

Is there hope for the future? Boy Mayor Jacob Frey was recently re-elected as the most conservative candidate in the field–an appalling reality–and the City Council, which wields most power, remains hard-left despite a bit of turnover. It seems that it will take a lot more violence, a lot more disorder, and a substantial decline in property values to dislodge the city’s left-wing majority from its smug complacency.

Sadly, continuing violence, ever-escalating crime, a loss of basic norms of civilization, and stagnant or falling home values are pretty much inevitable in Minneapolis, as in Portland, Seattle, Chicago and other cities misruled by leftists. So change is likely to come, but at a heavy price.

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