Today I met with Tom Johnson—he runs the Council on Crime and Justice in Minneapolis.  We both have roots to Floodwood MN where my Finnish grandparents let me stay with them on the farm each summer when I was a boy (instead of getting in trouble with my pals in the inner city.)

One of the things Tom and I spoke of was the sense of warmth and community that existed growing up in a rural community.

Powerful feelings divide us within our communities today and impact the way we vote to treat our neighbors (education, race,  social safety nets.)

I find it painful that Councilman Don Samuels is kept busy holding vigils for murdered young men (almost every week) on the North side.

It hurts me that so few people care that Roosevelt high school graduated 28% of its students last year, or know that 44% of African American men living in Hennepin County were arrested in 2001.

How disconnected can we become?

What do you feel when a baby is found dead in a dumpster, a young person deliberately murders innocent people, or some other insane tragedy fills the headlines?

Do you feel a sense of loss and sadness for the suffering of the parties involved?

Or are you filled with judgment and a need to blame someone and a desire for punishment?


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