Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir
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"Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir" was released on May 22, 2012 - The first anniversary of the
North Minneapolis tornado.

For The Trolls

Bottom line: If you're not willing to get out from behind your computer and roll up your sleeves, keep your negativity to yourself.

You know, when I wrote about the post-tornado vicious comments from internet trolls in "Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir", I had no idea they'd still be at it, one year later. Who knew that such negativity could be SO tenacious?

I don't know whether these trolls are suffering from a delusional condition, are bigots, or are simply misinformed. Because I try to think the best of people, let me assume "misinformed". Let me help you guys out with that.

Some areas may face worse devastation and be able to recover quickly, sure. There are also many places who face less devastation, and take even longer to recover. I'd like to say it's purely economics, but it really seems to be more "luck of the draw". I have friends in areas more well-off than North Minneapolis who were affected by various hurricanes over the past few years, and their areas still haven't recovered - and their houses were left in FAR better shape than most of the NoMi ones.

If you weren't aware, North Minneapolis is "still being mentioned" because the one year anniversary is coming up. It was a huge event, and people tend to mark the anniversaries of such events with news coverage, among other things.

I want to assure you that people are definitely "getting out and cleaning up their homes and neighborhoods". I'm not sure where you'd get information to the contrary, but you're obviously not in the area. Hell, people fron unaffected areas of north have even been extremely diligent and generous with their time, helping their affected neighbors clean up. That's just what kind of neighborhood this is. Thing is, there was such a huge mess after, it does challenge the abilities of human labor, and takes TIME.

I've never once seen someone with a gun hanging out, and I've never had anyone ask me for anything here. I have, however, had people walk by, see us cleaning up, and offer a hand. I've had people offer to join in and help us out when planting new bulbs. It's sad to see such comments made about such a great neighborhood, as if that view somehow applies to the whole area.

I think a big part of the reason that you trolls have such a skewed view of what's going on in north is because of the sensationalism displayed by the media. In the coverage that followed the tornado, you'd swear that every business in the area was constantly being looted - yet I'm only aware of one business that was looted. I'd like to point out that looting is FAR from unique to our disaster, and we actually got off pretty well, in that area.

In stark contrast to the coverage of that one incident, there were so many wonderful stories that never made it out of the area. That's the thing with sensationalism - the feel good stories don't *sell* as well. People would rather sit back and be judgmental voyeurs over someone else's tragedy, than be able to root for them. This fact is not lost on the media outlets, who added fuel to the fire of ignorance about the area. You didn't hear much about the DJ in NYC that spearheaded the most logistically amazing resource/assistance that I've ever seen. You didn't hear anything about the (unaffected) north resident who gathered his friends, boss, and donations to hold a neighborhood cookout a week later, feeding 500 tornado victims and volunteers.

You also didn't hear much about what we all had to go through, just in trying to obtain help. The media didn't cover things like how it was difficult to even get a contracting company out to *look* at the property and quote for the repairs. You didn't hear about how many roofing companies would come up with ridiculous excuses as to why they were suddenly "not available", as soon as they heard "North". Personally, we were contracted with one company, before they decided to up their charges, abuse me in the front lawn, and loudly declare - right then and there - that "everyone in north is a bunch of bums and welfare scammers".

Oh, and we're white, educated, have jobs, and had insurance money in hand, by the way. I can't even imagine the unbelievable bullshit that some others would have had to go through, by that same token. There was an insane amount of racism, classism, and dishonesty involved with a LOT of the contractors that descended upon the area. in NO way does that make the tornado victims somehow the bad guys.

Also, dishonest contractors, insurance taking their time, etc? Also issues not unique to our tornado, also no reflection on the people in the area. Not sure why you people think these issues speak anything at all of the people affected/delayed by them. Sad, though.

... all that said, it's pretty amazing that people who had their houses smashed by a disaster, were treated so poorly by the city, endured such ridiculous attacks online, and spent the last year dealing with destruction, insurance companies, and (sometimes crooked) contractors can have an attitude SO much more positive & well adjusted than people who weren't affected at all.

Perhaps it's time for all you "armchair disaster victims" to move on and find something meaningful in your lives? Such hatred is not healthy.