Letter to the editor: Come on down to the Nicollet Mall to watch your children strut


— An open letter to the parents of Minneapolis


Come! Come one and all and witness the spectacle that is your children, your sons and your daughters! Come and see how they clown on Nicollet Mall, strutting about in sheer leggings straining not to “spill” their contents.

The females of Nicollet Mall are seemingly in a contest to see who can reveal the most of their bodies without getting arrested. I won’t even mention the “sagging & bagging”! There they are, carousing about, dragging children, smoking, cussing — using language not fit for the gutter.

Come and see them — not on their way to school, or a job, or anywhere! They have arrived. They are at their destination: Nicollet Mall, transacting drug deals, exchanging digits, checking out the females or “the bi***es.”

There’s a White girl pushing a baby stroller back and forth around the City Center near Marshall’s, all day it seems. I see her as I am on my way to work and she is there when I return to catch the bus home.

But it’s when they board the buses, the #5, 14, 22 and 19; that’s when the fun really begins. They are yelling at the top of their voices in the guttersnipe that passes for conversation. Everybody is on their cell phones talking loud.

A bus driver asked a couple of young men to lower their voices and chill on the profanity, especially since they were sitting next to each other. One remarked, “My own daddy don’t tell me no s**t like that!” I told the driver as I was getting off, “That is the problem. His daddy didn’t tell him anything.”

We had an incident on the #16 last week near the university: A group of girls were taunting a mentally challenged man and he tasered them. They began screaming and pacing back and forth on the bus. One woman screamed, “I am pregnant and that ****** tasered me!”

The driver told them not to go to the back of the bus where the man was, but to stay up front while she called the police The young women ignored her and returned to the back of the bus where the pregnant one maced the man who had tasered them!

I’ve had a woman call me an old b***h, threaten to knock me down and take my bags. This woman was at least 26, a mother and person of color. The bus driver (a White female) heard her threats and cautioned me to stay on her bus, #14, while she called the transit police. I was moved to tears and for the first time in my 65 years was ashamed to be an African American.

Now, if this sounds exciting and you are saying, “Oh boy, I wish that I had been there to see that,” don’t worry. They — your sons and daughters — are there each and every day. They have taken over the mall for now, but the powers that be are fighting back.

They have called out every policeman available to keep a close eye, to push them further and further eastward. I think their ultimate goal is to drive them into the river!

Come on down to Nicollet Mall, but hurry, because I sense that change is in the air. The stores are closing as early as they can and still do business, and the cops are in ever-increasing numbers. I have even heard that they are planning to change the stops for some of those buses that I mentioned earlier, as when Saks Fifth Avenue drove them from in front of their store and had the bus stop moved.

But for now, come on — it’s on!




Jeanne Harris

North Minneapolis