Culture Wars/Current Controversies

As Mayor of Minneapolis, I Saw How White Liberals Block Change

During the 1990s and 2000s, I was involved in local activism at the municipal level around a range of issues, mostly pertaining to housing, zoning, business development and licensing, policing, etc. What I found is that bourgie, professional class, predominantly white liberals (plus some affluent minorities) essentially wanted to turn cities into totalitarian yuppievilles. “Yes, give us art galleries, pubs with high-priced imported beer, and ethnic restaurants, but keep those icky homeless people and low-income workers away.” In fact, I often found that “conservative Republican” types were less bad than these liberal-gentrifiers, because the former were at least interested in economic development, while the latter just wanted government protection for their lifestyle preferences.

By Betsy Hodges

New York Times

Democrats have largely led big and midsize cities for much of the past half-century. Yet the gaps in socioeconomic outcomes between white people and people of color are by several measures at their worst in the richest, bluest cities of the United States.

How could this be? Because high-profile cultural conservatives ask this question so disingenuously, white liberals have generally brushed aside this reality rather than grappled with its urgency. There’s now a danger that this sidestepping will continue, even after a national evaluation of racism since the brutal police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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