Wednesday, October 26, 2022

What does it mean to be "anti-city" or "pro-city"? and where does being "scared of cities" fit in?

I asked that first question today at my Westminster Town Hall Forum talk in Minneapolis in relation to a 2019 Tweet by Jackson Kernion, then a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, who wrote, 

I unironically embrace the bashing of rural Americans. They, as a group, are bad people who have made bad life decisions ... and we should shame people who are not pro-city.

This made me wonder, what does it mean to be "pro-city" or "anti-city"?   

In any event, Kernion subsequently took down the tweet and offered this pseudo-apology: 

Pretty sure I did a bad Tweet here.  Gonna delete it. I'll want to reflect on it more later but my tone is way more crasser and meaner than I like to think I am.

Meanwhile, I also thought of this Kernion tweet today when I saw this Tweet (above) from Tyler Littwin.  It's a meme about Halloween costumes, this one called "Conservative Guy Scared of Cities".  

Is being afraid of cities the same as being "anti-city"?  Have to say, just never occurred to me that there were/are people who were legit afraid of cities.  

After this initial Tweet with meme, Litwin adds
Wrote this with VT in mind but could be pretty much anywhere in the US. Heck, I remember neighbors in in 90s being scared of going into Northampton MA.
New Englander | Graphic Designer | Illustrator | 2nd division co-ed footballer (false 9 or 6) | Red #LFC #YNWA | Green #VGFC

Post script from Dec. 3, 2022:  

"Why are suburbanites so obsessed with city crime?  Employee in store in Ruxton greeted me with 'how's the crime in Baltimore?'  Almost gleefully.  Is this all they think about?  This is the same community that blocked a light rail stop.  Which I noted before leaving."  MacGillis replies, 'To try to justify their own prior desertion." 

1 comment:

Dane Smith said...

Loved your presentation here in Minnesota, Lisa. You made great points warning us city mice to turn the other cheek and resist the temptation to ridicule or bash our country cousins. I also like how you advised against pushing too hard on the fact that rural areas are relatively more dependent on government and taxes. It's fair to bring that up when red state conservative politicians heap scorn on taxes and government, but we have to make it clear that it's OK to be relatively dependent on public services, and we certainly make that case when defending Social Security and Medicare and other economic security programs for kids, the elderly and people of color.

Here's an essay I wrote on this theme back in 2010.