It is a summer day in the United States, so naturally Minneapolis is on the brink of boiling over.
The latest ugly mess is the death of Andrew Tekle Sundberg. To summarize it quickly: Sundberg began shooting into the apartment of his neighbor, then when she called 911 fired on police as well. This led to a six-hour standoff which ended when a police sniper shot Sundberg dead.
That’s too bad, but as they say, play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Shoot at your neighbors and shoot at cops and nobody should shed a tear when you get shot yourself.
At least, that’s how it is in any sane land. But Minneapolis, Minnesota is not a sane land. So instead of lauding the snipers who removed a deadly danger from the community, it was time for another round of protests. And the chief target, of course, was the woman Sundberg attempted to kill.
Things boiled over during Saturday’s rally and march for Tekle Sundberg, when the 24 year old woman who says he was shooting into her apt. showed up voicing her frustration with those gathering in front of her building on Sundberg’s behalf. @kare11 * video contains profanity * pic.twitter.com/qdi1vbgO7k
— Deevon Rahming (@DeevonRahming) July 16, 2022
This clip may have gone viral, but disturbing scenes like this are now routine in the City of Lakes. Something is fundamentally broken in Minneapolis. The Twin Cities are only the 16th-largest metro area in the United States, yet in the past few years they have established themselves as the nation’s most consistent producer of suicidal lunacy and mayhem.
Obviously, the key moment was George Floyd’s death and the eruption of America’s national “racial reckoning”. Revolver won’t rehash that saga. But it’s crucial to understand that the George Floyd riots were not a one-off. Minneapolis has been slowly disintegrating ever since. Yet no matter how disastrous the city becomes, it proudly drives itself deeper into the abyss.
The aftermath of George Floyd has left Minneapolis a mentally shattered city. Sure, Minneapolis understandably had the first and most intense riots during the Summer of Floyd. But it’s crucial to realize that the riots haven’t stopped. There were more in August 2020, when a homicide victim pursued by police shot himself, and false rumors labeled it another police slaying. Seventy-seven properties were damaged and police made more than 130 arrests.
In April 2021 there were more riots after wanted criminal Daunte Wright resisted arrest during a traffic stop in the suburb of Brooklyn Center, and officer Kimberly Potter accidentally shot him dead. There were days of looting and mayhem in Minneapolis; at its peak looters were plundering 24 stores in Minneapolis at the same time. Many of the stores looters sacked were being trashed for the second time after already suffering during the Floyd riots, like medieval monasteries getting targeted by Viking raiders over and over. For good measure, there was even more looting in December 2021, after Officer Potter’s trial received “only” two years in prison for her act of accidental community service.
In between those two riots, there was another riot in June 2021 on behalf of another piece of socioeconomic detritus. Winston Boogie Smith Jr., a wanted fugitive, decided to shoot it out with police and died in the process. The response: More looting and blockaded streets. The unrest was so bad that a whole two months after Smith’s death, a local Greek Orthodox church canceled its annual Greek cultural festival because of the risk that the event or its attendees would be attacked and robbed with total impunity.
Remember that Fourth of July clip of city streets looking like “Black Hawk Down”? Yep, that was Minneapolis.
For hours overnight on Monday, groups of Somalian youths in Minneapolis used fireworks as weapons to attack people, drivers & buildings. More than 1,300 calls were made to police. Amid the fireworks, there were shootings as well. pic.twitter.com/liJOlMqRBJ
— Andy Ngô ?️? (@MrAndyNgo) July 6, 2022
Before 2019, Minneapolis didn’t even bother tracking the number of carjackings in the city because they were so rare. In 2019, they had to start counting, because there were 101 of them. In 2020, there were 388. In 2021, at least 640. And so far in 2022, the pace of carjackings is slightly ahead of last year. And since ninety percent of carjackings go unsolved, they will probably keep happening. Denizens of the city swap stories online about the freakish indignities and hazards they experience in what was once a livable city.
Minnesota’s decision to abandon all law, all order, and all hope hasn’t just led to hundreds of murders and gutted storefronts. It’s had secondary effects like an explosion of traffic accidents. Across America the post-Covid era has been distinguished by a dramatic surge in traffic deaths, and Minnesota is leading the way. From 2019 through 2021 Minnesota’s traffic fatalities surged by 37 percent, the third-highest of any state and the highest of any state with more than a million people.
Everywhere, Minneapolis reeks of decay. Even the city’s most iconic corporation, Target, now closes its flagship store at 6 p.m. (the liquor store inside is gone entirely, too), because otherwise it’s too tempting a target for local thieves.
It wasn’t like this before. Almost every other major Midwest metro — Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and others — either shrank or stagnated at some point from World War II to the present. Not the Twin Cities. They grew and grew and grew, nearly tripling in size from 1940 to 2020. But now, suddenly, that historic streak of success is over:
Minnesota’s two largest urban counties saw striking population declines in 2021 after a decade of growth, according to new U.S. census data, likely due to COVID-19 pandemic disruptions which upended college plans and accelerated retirements.
Hennepin County’s population, which includes Minneapolis, dropped by nearly 13,900 last year and Ramsey County, which includes St. Paul, declined by 8,200 people, according to new census estimates released Thursday. In contrast, five suburban counties — Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Washington and Scott — experienced modest population growth ranging from 1,300 in Carver County to 4,100 in Washington County.
State demographer Susan Brower said it’s still too early to say if this is a one-year blip or the leading edge of a trend. Brower said it’s also too soon to say if other factors, including more flexible work-from-home arrangements and concerns about social unrest and crime in the Twin Cities contributed to the decline.
“This is the first time in recent years we’ve ever seen Hennepin County decline in these estimates,” Brower said. “Not only did it decline, but it declined by nearly 14,000 people. That is considerable.”
So, has Minneapolis learned anything from this? That’s the most disturbing part: It hasn’t. Just look at the article quoted above. It is blindingly obvious that crime and chaos are driving people out of the Twin Cities in terror, but “experts” instead scratch their heads and wonder if work-from home, “Covid-19 pandemic disruptions,” and early retirements are to blame.
With the sole exception of the city rejecting (after much waffling) the push to defund the entire police department, Minneapolis and its remaining residents have only become more fanatically devoted to the politics of urban suicide. Has Minneapolis at least learned its lesson about police funding? Of course not. Various articles will note that Minneapolis police now have a budget of $196 million, a smidgen above the $193 million budget they had at the start of 2020. One problem: We’re in Joe Biden’s America. Prices have inflated fifteen percent since then! Minneapolis would need a police budget of $221 million just to match its police outlay from two years ago. So no, Minneapolis has emphatically not learned its lesson. It is defunding police, one way or another, and reaping the predictable consequences.
And whatever it’s spending, Minneapolis is getting far less in terms of public safety. In 2021, arrests for robbery fell by nearly two-thirds even as robberies themselves surged. Arrests for shootings and assault fell 20%, and arrests for raped dropped 70%. Better than almost any city, Minneapolis confirms the maxim that “equity” in policing means returning everyone equally to the state of nature.
Many of the cities hit hardest by 2020 riots lurched toward Donald Trump in that year’s election: Kenosha County, Philadelphia, Cook County, and New York City all voted more Republican than they did in 2016. No so in Minneapolis! Even after “mostly peaceful protests” turned several blocks of their city into burned-out wasteland, Hennepin County residents voted 8.2 points more Democratic than they did in 2016 (that is, if you believe the vote wasn’t fraudulent, which is an entirely different matter. Yes, Minnesota had drop boxes). In St. Paul, it was 6.3 points.
In 2005, shortly after Democrats’ demoralizing loss in the 2004 election, left-wing writer Thomas Frank published “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” The book tried to answer the baffling question of why Kansas, and other heartland states, had become so Republican despite being hotbeds of progressive politics a century before. Seventeen years later, Frank’s book feels comically unnecessary. The answer to why almost all of rural America votes Republican is blindingly obvious: America’s elite establishment hates heartland Americans, blames them for everything, and wants them and their entire way of life obliterated.
No, in 2022, a very different question needs to be asked: What’s the matter with Minneapolis? What made Minneapolis this way? Answering this question is important for those who live in functional parts of America and want to avoid the same fate. Many culprits have been fingered. A common just-so story is that Minnesota meekly submits to riots because of its substantial Scandinavian heritage. About a third of Minnesotans claim Scandinavian descent; perhaps Minneapolis is determined to destroy itself for the same reason Sweden is?
It’s a tempting explanation, but an incomplete one. North Dakota is even more Scandinavian than Minnesota, and that state hasn’t lost its mind nearly as badly.
Others want to blame refugee resettlement. In 1990, Minnesota had essentially zero Somalis; today it has nearly a hundred thousand. Minnesota has the country’s largest Somali population, and sure enough, it is one of the only places in America with large Somali criminal gangs.
But while Minnesota certainly loves its refugees, Somalis are barely one percent of the city’s population. Overall, the city is far whiter than Chicago or New York or Washington D.C. In fact, that may be the simplest reason for why Minneapolis has fallen so hard. Cities like Atlanta and Detroit have no illusions about what de-policing and letting crime run amok means. But Minneapolis largely evaded the worst traumas of the 1960s and 70s. Before the 2010s its only riot of note was one during the “long hot summer” of 1967. As recently as 1980 Minneapolis proper was still 90% white and the metro area even more so. Instead of feeling fortunate to avoid disaster, Minneapolis felt arrogant. Now, it can only learn its lesson by being profoundly humiliated.
Whatever the reason for Minneapolis’s fall, it is important to understand what it shows: The suicide of America’s cities is not a rational process. The “racial reckoning” demanded by the Minneapolis activist class immediately devastated the city and sent it into a tailspin. This was not slowly cooking the frog; the frog was dumped right into a boiling cauldron. There is no saving and no salvaging the most committed believers of the modern liberal cult. They will not reform, they will not learn, they will not change course. They can only be beaten into submission.