So as not to take the thread further off topic, please hit me up with an IM. All good what ever you decide. Thanks
Someone can delete this post as I know it's annoyingly long and off topic. I'll leave this here for the time being, but I feel some need to defend myself and those who attempt to express nuanced positions on here.
I don't think it's productive to throw out terms like racist/classist because that inevitably ends a conversation. Look - I think most of us are on the same side here (liberal, progressive, looking to make our city and the world a better place for all, not just upper middle class white millennials) that's why I was volunteering there and Franklin Library teaching first generation immigrants to read, write, basic math skills and to help them study for their citizenship tests.
Do we want Nicollet to be the beating heart of downtown Minneapolis, and a shopping, dining, and retail destination? A destination that would ensure that a coffee shop would have no problem staying in business, or ground floor retail in new apartments would fill up immediately? I think most would say yes.
Do we want to help those who have been left behind by a society that views them as a burden and not people? Do we want to try and give these people opportunities to improve themselves who were unlucky enough to get pushed aside or forgotten about by a system designed to not give them a fighting chance? Most would say yes.
Are these two things mutually exclusive? In a perfect world, no and maybe not in this world either. All I know is my social network mostly avoids this part of the mall because of the feelings I stated in my previous post. Maybe their feelings are unjustified and simply a product of underlying biases that they themselves can't recognize. Maybe it's because of several experiences in which they were justifiably made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Just as the poor and left behind have a right to any public space, is it right for them to make it into an uncomfortable space for young women and the elderly to enjoy, so they just avoid it? I believe it's a discussion worth having without resorting to claims of racism. Maybe I'm wrong.