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Old 08-29-2011, 06:59 PM
 
114 posts, read 182,166 times
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Minneapolis/St Paul has two sides. So much depends on where you end up spending time and making connections. I heartily recommend avoiding the suburbs if possible. The problem is that, while housing and jobs are in reasonable supply within the city; the suburbs host a great deal of cheaper housing and a great many jobs. It sounds like you have defined a rather specific career path so it's entirely possible you could end at least working in the suburbs.

When you visit or if you move be prepared to carefully observe peoples behavior and attitudes and prepared to reject any situation where you will live or work in places you where sense any form of racism. It might get better, but often it doesn't and it can get worse. Over the past ten to fifteen years the suburbs and exurbs have become increasingly conservative and in Minnesota conservative generally means socially conservative, not just economically conservative.

Despite Lorielicious experiences racism often isn't explicitly stated but it is very much a factor. In fact many people in the greater twin cities (e.g. the suburbs and exurbs, and sadly, some in the cities proper) come from small mid-western towns where racism is more or less a fact of life. People with such a background can be wonderfully open and trusting, but many are not; and the path from narrow to open is not easy for many. Many of these folks are just beginning to understand that not everyone will be just like them in looks, beliefs, or culture; though there is often a shallow acceptance of others.

The twin cities have some sure advantages but, particularly if you are considering the "greater twin cities", a liberal culture isn't necessarily one of them. You have to find your crowd here and be prepared to avoid those who "just don't get it".
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
928 posts, read 1,635,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
Lorielicious -- are you sure you lived in Minneapolis? Because really, I don't think we've lived in the same place. And for what it's worth, I found Minneapolis to be far more liberal than LA, and not all that different than San Francisco in terms of "liberalness". (that probably says more about the realities of SF than it does about Minneapolis, though) And no, I am not from the suburbs, and yes, I know what liberal and progressive means. Because in my various neighborhoods in Minneapolis, MANY people came from other places, both states and countries. It's really not all that exotic (heck, there are Californians all over the place here. That's DEFINITELY not unusual). And I see more interracial couples here than in LA, although it's certainly common enough in LA, too. Not to knock your experience, but I think your experience isn't necessarily so representative. I suppose mine might not be, either, but as someone who grew up here I'll say that many of my childhood friends had parents of different races, and many have married people of other races. And in the city people are very open to GLBT-families, which I also happen to think is a nice barometer of openness and inclusiveness.
We lived in a very different town, indeed. The Mpls I lived in was very small towny, all but three of the people I knew were born and bred in Minnesota (not really the kind of place people move TO), and is handily the most conservative place I've lived in. This is not to say it's conservative --because it isn't-- it's just all the other places I've lived are pretty dang liberal. I exaggerate somewhat when I say people from out-of-state are as foreign as space aliens, but it's not like a large, urban city where meeting people who aren't natives is as common as seeing dirt on the ground. Also, I'm sorry, but I'm not giving Mpls any Liberal Brownie Points because it's open to LGBT families. So? What place isn't, besides Backwater, Alabama?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkmb View Post
Despite Lorielicious experiences racism often isn't explicitly stated but it is very much a factor. In fact many people in the greater twin cities (e.g. the suburbs and exurbs, and sadly, some in the cities proper) come from small mid-western towns where racism is more or less a fact of life. People with such a background can be wonderfully open and trusting, but many are not; and the path from narrow to open is not easy for many. Many of these folks are just beginning to understand that not everyone will be just like them in looks, beliefs, or culture; though there is often a shallow acceptance of others.
I don't mean to give the appearance that Mpls is a racist hellhole, because it really isn't, but it does strike you when you've gone nearly three decades of your life having NEVER encountered that kind of overt racism, then experiencing it more than once in 3.5 years. I think you nailed it when you say MN is very slowly, and as far as I know only fairly recently, becoming racially and culturally integrated, so some of the people who were used to their state being lily white recall fondly the Good Old Days, and are a bit averse to the people they see as bringing change.

I really don't have as much distaste for Mpls as my posts earlier would lead one to believe. It's an okay place, really, but I really felt compelled to dismantle this Mpls = Midwestern version of Berkeley myth. This is typical City Data puff-your-city-up-to-the-point-of-absurdity nonsense.

Last edited by Lorielicious; 08-29-2011 at 08:20 PM..
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:27 PM
 
Location: MN
223 posts, read 503,591 times
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It's quite comical to me how the people who spew forth stereotypes about different areas of the country are often people who have never lived in the areas in which they judge.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:38 PM
 
10,629 posts, read 25,689,640 times
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Having lived in other cities, I would definitely say that not every city is as welcoming to LGBT families. That's one of the big barometers for me, personally. Perhaps it's not an issue for you, but I generally feel that being welcoming and open to families who don't fit a "traditional" mold (in this case LGBT) are more welcome to people and families of ALL varieties. I want my son growing up somewhere where he realizes that families come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and I've found Minneapolis to be very good on that front, even better than our former neighborhood in San Francisco. And in any case, given that LGBT issues are a key issue on the social front these days in the liberal/conservative divide, I think it's relevant to the discussion.

Personally, I think Minneapolis is more liberal than most of the other places I've lived. That includes Washington DC and Los Angeles, and I don't think it's very far behind San Francisco (haven't lived in Berkeley). I think it's rather unusual that you lived and worked in the city of Minneapolis itself and had such limited interaction with people who were born and raised here -- sounds like that may have dramatically skewed your perspective. Given that about half of Minneapolis residents were born outside the state, I think odds are that the OP won't have your experience. (and, for what it's worth, I'm slightly older than the OP, and I grew up in an integrated Minneapolis -- lots of friends from interracial families, schools were fairly diverse, and certainly we had friends and neighbors of different races. The city has certainly become more diverse in recent years, but it's not as though people hadn't seen a black person until five years ago!) (and also for what it's worth: I don't buy the argument that people who live in mostly white communities are necessarily racist; haven't there been studies that show that some of the most racism occurs in some of the more diverse areas? Could be wrong about that. Also, although not necessarily what's being debated, I don't think it's fair to suggest that conservatives are racist, or that liberals can't be racist)

Then again, I really do think it all comes down to who you spend your time with. Obviously there are some people (even within city limits) who hold culturally conservative (and/or fiscally conservative) views, but by almost all barometers I think it is fair to say that the city of Minneapolis easily qualifies as "pretty dang liberal." It's not Berkeley-liberal, but it's definitely up there for a city of its size.

I would also quibble with the idea that Minneapolis is only "recently" becoming integrated. That's perhaps true in some senses -- at least as far as numbers of non-white residents go. But for what it's worth, as far as interracial relationships go, (which the OP was interested in), this city has a VERY established history of being a mecca for interracial couples who were not welcomed (and in some cases, whose very relationship was illegal) in other cities and states. I'm in my 30s, and a lot of my classmates growing up had parents who were black/white couples. These days many of my friends (of various races) are in relationships with Hispanic men or women, which reflects the rising local Latino population. Interracial relationships are fairly common and have been since I was a kid in the 70s and 80s, and presumably are getting even more common as the area grows more diverse.

It's not Berkeley, but yes, I do think it's fair to say that someone who is liberal and progressive will be in good (and plentiful) company if he moves to the city of Minneapolis. The state as a whole is getting decidedly "purple," (with some ultra-conservative portions, including rising stars like Michele Bachmann) but the city itself is still full of wide range of liberals representing the whole range of the liberal spectrum.

Last edited by uptown_urbanist; 08-29-2011 at 09:01 PM..
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
928 posts, read 1,635,335 times
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I think my definition of "integrated" and "diverse" will be inherently different from a Minnesotan's. I remember experiencing this same dynamic of wildly different perceptions of diversity in college. There was no shortage of kids from Westport, Connecticut remarking on the amazing diversity of having met a Jew and a Latino in the same room! All the while, I'm like, are you people for real? Sadly, they are.

Now while Mpls is a far cry from Westport, I couldn't help but be reminded of my fellow classmates' ideas of diversity when living in Minn when the locals would give the kind of spiel you're giving. I'm thinking, I'm from LA and am now living in a city that's over 70% white, where the typical person you meet is from in state, goes to church, has some kind of Scandinavian background, and thinks black pepper is spicy. Yet they're marveling at the diversity because they have a Somali neighbor and that one guy in accounting is Hispanic (or possibly just very tan).

Sorry, Charlie, I'm just not seeing it. A guy from Atlanta probably won't see it either.

Good place to eat for carnivores, though. Seriously, in the land of "I don't eat anything that has parents," seeing bison as a typical menu item was good times.

Last edited by Lorielicious; 08-29-2011 at 09:15 PM.. Reason: run-on sentences, spelling
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:26 PM
 
114 posts, read 182,166 times
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I think it's a bit telling that the twin cities doesn't really have anything approaching a significant black middle class and the gap between blacks and whites is huge. Many long timers basically think that all blacks are from the ghetto and simply don't know how to digest the fact that educated, middle-class blacks exist. It also makes it harder for educated, middle-class blacks to succeed here.

This is a huge departure from other cities, such as Chicago, where the black middle-class represents significant economic, political, and cultural power. Not so in the twin cities.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:53 PM
 
687 posts, read 1,195,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkmb View Post
I think it's a bit telling that the twin cities doesn't really have anything approaching a significant black middle class and the gap between blacks and whites is huge. Many long timers basically think that all blacks are from the ghetto and simply don't know how to digest the fact that educated, middle-class blacks exist. It also makes it harder for educated, middle-class blacks to succeed here.

This is a huge departure from other cities, such as Chicago, where the black middle-class represents significant economic, political, and cultural power. Not so in the twin cities.
You really should try and spend some time in the growing suburbs. You will find a black middle-class in many of them. In my neck of the woods the nicer, new developments have a far higher percentage of minorities in general (including blacks).
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:23 PM
 
114 posts, read 182,166 times
Reputation: 195
Just where would I find this mythical black middle class? I think the difference is that I am wondering where in Minnesota a significant black middle class exists not where there are a few more blacks households indicated in the census results.

BTW some of the so-called growing suburbs display some of the deepest and most blatant racism. Burnsville is deeply divided between the old white guard and the influx of new blacks and Hispanics.

This is true of other "fast growing" SOTR suburbs. People move there because there is more space and generally cheaper housing, but like almost every other group that has ever escaped to suburbia they feel lost in the vacuum of nothingness that defines suburbia. There is no black middle class there. There is nothing there. But indeed people, of various ethnicities, do live there.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:05 PM
 
400 posts, read 955,657 times
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Those places that have a large black middle class, like say Atlanta, also have huge swaths of soul-crushing black poverty. It's about sheer numbers. Sure Chicago has a black middle class. I would hope so. There are 1.7 million black people in Chicago. I would hope that there is a black middle class among a population that large. There are only 200,000 black people in the state of Minnesota. Smaller total black population, smaller black middle class.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:05 AM
 
988 posts, read 1,738,261 times
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Golly-gee, Lorielicious, what's it like ta live in them big, big cities? Us cowpokes in Minneapolis are so busy watchin' the corn grow on Nicollet Mall all us small town folk can do is wonder if someone 'portant as yourself would do us the honor of telling how to be just like YOU?!

Seriously...get over yourself, Lorielicious...I realize you're from Chicago and you must have a skewed vision of the world no doubt brought on by "living in the fast lane". I take this attitude is from living in a city with 7,000,000 pigeons s****ng on the streets, people constantly begging for change out of desperation and/or trained dependency, a completely corrupt political system (need we talk about Blagojevich? Perhaps the rumor I hear of Daley annexing land to the City of Chicago and O'Hare so he can sell political favors?), never-ending traffic to the point there's traffic jams at 2AM on a Sunday (as I personally experienced last time I was there) or perhaps wondering how oh-so-sophisticated folk in Chicago are leaving the city (according to the U.S. Census), while Minneapolis proper is gaining population? Yeah, sure sounds like Chicago is the Shangri-la you accuse Minneapolis of not being...

Future82 - there's a reason people are moving to Minneapolis in spite of brutal cold in the winter...it's overall a good place. No, not perfect, but a lot better than a lot of cities that like to pretend how oh-so-enlightened they are...and I say this as an almost complete political libertarian conservative. Take a look at how people are voting in elections in Minneapolis - it's public information pretty easily found on the internet and in Minneapolis it's overwhelmingly Democratic...you'll find your liberalism here.

Frankly, I hate the taxes here and disdainful of the liberal attitude displayed but I can tell you in spite of it there are a great many good things going on here. Job-wise note Minneapolis enjoys an unemployment rate at around 6.9% as opposed to the country at 9-10% (look to Minneapolis tops list of best cities to find a job - Business - Forbes.com - msnbc.com for more info, and compare to Chicago getting excited at "only" 9.4% - Chicago unemployment rate at 9.4% - Chicago Sun-Times). As far as diversity, it is known that Minneapolis-St. Paul has the highest Somali and Hmong neighborhoods in the country (not that necessarily that will translate to your situation but speaks to a sufficient diversity in the city). Minneapolis enjoys the highest live theater per capita next to NYC. The list goes on...

My guess is Lorielicious had one person in Minneapolis p**s in her pot and decided to go to extremes and bitterly find everything wrong (if only in her own mind) so she could to assuage her insecurity about her level of sophistication. That apparently met some mythical threshold to get her into the "we're so cool" club...

Should you choose to move to Minneapolis, I expect you will find a welcoming city if you make a minimal effort to look for it. Indeed, Uptown Urbanist - another common poster on this forum and one I've taken to be an avowed liberal, would back this libertarian-minded conservative up (and I didn't even have to get on my horse and take a ride to the fancy public library with their new-fangled machines called computers and with this even fancier thing called the INTERNETS!)
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