Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Geographer Puts It in Context

Bill Lindeke, urban geographer and biking promoter, inspires me most days through Twitter and MinnPost, but today it's this longer post from his Twin City Sidewalks blog. He synthesizes the current outrage and protest at the 4th Precinct in Minneapolis with our community's history of segregation: everything from where our highways are to the privatization of public space in the Mall of America.

But in another sense, these [highway-closing] demonstrations were the only way to connect the geographic dots between the problems facing Minneapolis’ segregated communities and the Twin Cities’ suburban infrastructure, a landscape that makes it effortlessly easy to ignore racial inequality. When #blacklivesmatter shuts down the freeway to Maple Grove, not only do they perform a tragically ironic bit of political ju-jitsu by occupying the very freeway that helped isolate the neighborhood in the first place, they make a particular statement about urban segregation:

“Black lives matter, even to everyone driving past on their way to the white suburbs.”
Geography, man. Why didn't I understand what it meant as an academic discipline back when I was in college? Yet another major I never explored.

1 comment:

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

When I started working at Macalester I discovered how much the study of geography involves and contributes to the social sciences. Who knew?