Thursday, April 1, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Urban Exposure Exposed!

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, photo by John Hoff

Thank goodness for the active residents on the WHOmail listserv. The message below (after the jump) came my way a few moments ago. After a concerned citizen reached out to a business with facade improvement info and found illegal gambling instead, follow-up work was done by the MPD.

The comments on the previous blog post ranged from calls to shut down the business entirely, to saying we should mind our own business, to looking for ways to reach out to the offenders and work together. Based on what was just revealed today, it looks like the business ought to be shut down.

The email from the MPD that was posted on the WHOmail listerv said...

...In response to your complaint regarding the incident at 2421 W. Broadway we conducted an investigation of the activity there. Below are the results of the investigation and follow-up.

* You notified us of the incident last Wednesday, March 24th at Urban Exposure.
* On March 25th I drove by the business and obtained the address of 2421 W. Broadway. I also asked you and everyone else who was e-mailed to not take any action and let us look into it. That would keep us from tipping our hat and allow us to see if they were conducting illegal business out of there.
* That same day, March 25th, our Community Response Team sent an informant into the business and made a controlled buy of marijuana from one of the employees.
* Officers from the Community Response Team drafted a search warrant and presented it to a judge and continued to conduct surveillance and investigate.
* You then went to the business and met with the property owner and the downstairs folks. This alerted the upstairs folks that they were being watched and delayed our investigation slightly.
* The Community Response Team continued surveillance until the drug dealing resumed.
* Yesterday – one week after the initial complaint the Community Response Team executed a search warrant.
o They recovered marijuana that was being sold by the employees.
o They recovered 2 replica firearms.
o The business appears to be a money-laundering front for the narcotics sales.
o The merchandise the are selling is counterfeit (knock-off) clothing and pirated DVD’s and CD’s. There does not appear to be any legitimate business taking place.

Thanks. I hope this helps solve this problem.


Ranty said...


Patrick said...

I'm glad this place and that disgusting used bed store are being shut down. NoMi is never going to shake its horrible ghetto image as long there are used bed stores and marijuana dealing dirty thugs running the place.

Great work John!!!

Kevin said...

So I guess I have to find another store to shop for my Easter outfit??


Anonymous said...

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck.

Geektopia said...


Thanks a lot, you bunch of nosy, pushy, pro-city dill-holes!

Now where am I going to be able to buy bootleg merchandise?

Where am I going to get my weed?

And where am I ever going to find an outlet to feed my gambling addiction?

Sure, I can go to St. Paul, some random street corner or Mystic Lake, but where could I get all of that in ONE PLACE?

I had it ALL, right here in Nomi, a one-stop thug heaven! All it needed was a gun shop in the basement, a dirty mattress out back and a walk in liquor cabinet!

Oh, and a supply of white t-shirts and stop snitching signs. Can;t forget those.

Oh, well, there's always their Crystal location.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Shock shock, horror horror. Is anyone really surprised? This kind of crap happens a lot and not just here.

Shamika said...

This is the best you have? A marijuana violation? How do you know they weren't medical users? This doesn't sound like enough proof to convict, as far as I am concerned.

And even if they were selling pot, at least they were doing it indoors and not out on the street.

Anonymous said...

I don't even understand how used beds are legal to sell. Personally I would rather sleep on a carpet remnant than some scuzzy mattress that God know's what has been done to. Even a 'clean' used mattress is filthy by my standards and especially when it comes from one of the ugliest businesses in NoMi. Down with the used mattress store and their crappy front for drug sales!

Anonymous said...

The Shamika Northside Blog.

this is getting boring.

Anonymous said...

I told you all they were selling boot leg knock offs. Get that shiznit out of here! Who wants fakes? And they broke cardinal street rules 1 and 2. 1 Dont get high on your own supply. 2 Dont sell to someone you dont know. And Im pretty sure there is one about fake gear makes a fake gangster but that one is lower on the list.

Erik said...


I agree that at least they weren't selling out on the street making our corners feel sketchy... and sure it's "just pot" but that doesn't mean this behavior is good for our community... and so what if they were "medical" users?

Minnesota doesn't have a medical marijuana law and Urban Exposure is certainly not a legal dispensary. Besides, anybody that has a legitimate claim to be medically using pot in MN can probably find a much better source for drugs than a storefront in NoMi.

Your argument doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Were they medically gambling the week before? Are my neighbors visiting prostitutes for medical reasons? Do we turn a blind eye everytime there *might* be a legitimate reason for illegal behavior?

Even in states that have medical marijuana laws most of the people are just recreational users who figured out how to get a legal script. Take your BS arguments somewhere else.

The cops bought drugs. That sounds like enough proof to convict... and it's in their hands now

MeganG. said...

Hip Hip Hooray for Snitches!!!

And the 4th Precinct! Really - Inspector Martin and Lt. Lindback and all your cops - thank you for what you guys do!

Shaniqua said...

I hope that whatever business takes over this building, (perhaps a nice Chai shop or a place that sells carbon credits), that one will still be able to purchase marijuana there.

Tre Tre said...

Damn Dog! You do gooders are ruining my hood. This was a great place to get cool gear at low prices. I don't care if it was real or not, us folk can't afford your gucci.

M. Clinton said...

I actually agree that I don't care if anyone is buying pot as long as it is in privacy and not open air dealing on the street. Our marijuana laws are ineffective, racist, and based upon bad data.

That said however, I don't believe legitimate businesses should be fronts for marijuana sales and it sounds like there was more than one negative activity going on here - also the illegal gambling, bootlegged merchandise, and most disturbing, the assault and attempt to prevent a citizen from making a 911 call.

I agree. Shut it down.

Anonymous said...

I hope whatever snitch took money from the cops to buy weed from one of their friends feels good about putting another black man in jail.

Anonymous said...

Shamika said...
This is the best you have? A marijuana violation? How do you know they weren't medical users? This doesn't sound like enough proof to convict, as far as I am concerned.

And even if they were selling pot, at least they were doing it indoors and not out on the street.

Dennis Says:
"Shamika", your first sentence pretty-much sums-up what expectations you have for the community you profess to care about. Would you rather they had uncovered a dozen partially decomposed corpses in the basement? Would that have been better for you? "Is that the best you have". Nuff said....

la_vie_en_rose said...

If they were doing illegal stuff, then they deserve to get taken down.

However, I still love all of the "DOWN WITH USED BEDS" comments. There's nothing wrong with the damn things as long as you know what not to get and trust your instincts.

Emily said...

There are times when comments are made by clearly DUMB people. My feelings are not hurt, nor do i care if you cant get your fake gear anymore. MAYBE if you didn't put so much importance on how you look maybe you would a better person. clearly not...

Anonymous said...

So if I'm reading this correctly. The police said thanks for making us aware of the problem. LET US HANDLE IT, and don't interfere with the investigation. And someone went and talked to the people anyway and delayed the execution of the search warrant. I'd really like to know who it was that interfered with the investigation. Fortunately the police were able to take action. Next time - LET THE POLICE DO THEIR JOB!

James Nelson said...

I think the problem is much larger than this one issue. How do we reach these kids (I say kids as the brain matures until about age 25). There are always more kids to take the place of ones arrested (not Urban Exposure but anywhere). My son was drug dealin', gun carryin' thug until his mom threw him out at age 12. He's now married, works 40+/hrs/wk, has his own place and is the best dad I know. My mission was to save just one of these throw away kids that nobody wants (every school he ever went to kicked him out too). I often ask him why these kids sell drugs. he says that is their only vision and hope. That's tragic for them and our community. There are other reformed thugs I know as well. I always tell my son he needs to help me & the community reach these kids with hope. Hope other than what the streets offer. As my son, these kids all have a story. I read this story and think about ALL the kids in NoMi that follow the same pattern of poor life choices. How do we reach them before the streets do? At age 5, 10, 15, 18? When is the tipping point for them? Maybe I can get some of these reformed thugs like my son and some NoMi concerned folks to talk about this. How do we create hope for these kids & at what point in life do we need to reach them. There must be some studies out there we can look at. Anyway, enough said here. If you are interested in forming a very open minded discussion group about hoplessness becoming hope for our youth, contact me at Maybe a team of us can reach out to these kids on the corner with the team work of those that have been there. Just thinkin' really out loud on a much larger sad social NoMi issue that needs addressing. John, thanks for spending your energy on having a blog spot where dialogue like this can happen. we need to talk about it. So, please, keep talkin'.
God bless,
James Nelson

MeganG. said...

James - first let me say that you are doing the right thing by pushing some of these social ills to the front burner - thank you.

As far as the drug dealing and gang banging being "their only hope" - I get that, and that is ALL the more reason why decent people like yourself MUST, MUST draw the line between drug dealing & gang-banging to DEATH and DEATH BY PRISON.

We have an obligation to make a very clear distinction to let our youth know that Doing A equals B.

Don't want B? Don't do A?

Do A, and it will surely lead to B.

And not just that, but take it even farther... you hang out with gangbangers, bad things will happen. You dress like a drug dealer, you will be labeled a drug dealer. You won't get a job, you will get stereotyped by others including the police, etc etc.

We can not "accept" culture and behavior that borders on the fringes of gangbangers just to be "culturally" accepting.

Such as the gambling at Urban Exposure - commenters here said it was like a recreational past time. No, it was criminal behavior by thugs involved in other crimes as well.

Let's stop being so "Minnesota Nice" {fake} and let's call a spade a spade.

Antoine said...


Call a spade a spade? I can't believe you said that. That is a vicious racist term.

It is quite obvious that you want to "whiten" the northside. Why are you offended by black culture? Not everyone who dresses in black styles is a thug, gangbanger, or drug dealer.

You are appalling. I can't believe that JNS would tolerate the use of an obviously racist term like "spade".

Anonymous said...

It is not my job to "reach these kids." That responsibility falls primarily with their parents and secondarily with their families.

It is my job to secure and safeguard an environment for my own children, and my family. That is what I plan to do.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

@ Anon 10:20,

I approved the comment, and here's why.

The origin of this phrase happened eons before "spade" was considered an ethnic slur against African-Americans. Personally, I tend to avoid using this phrase because of that very confusion. But I approved the comment because "call a spade a spade" is NOT a racist phrase in this context.

James Nelson said...

Thanks Megan & Antoine. This IS the dialogue we need to bring out. To educate as you all are doing. To make us analyze which you all are doing. This is what we need. To dialogue. So, how do we educate the parents, then. One comment leads to another which leads to another whick leads to attempts at solutions. But, we need to carry this dialogue beyond this blog. We need Megan, Antoine and JNS. I also agree, all actions have consequences and they need to be implemented whether it is jail or anger management or whatever. I want to find a way to stop the FUTURE kids from starting these criminal activities. Like I said, there will always be kids to replace the ones that go to jail. There will always be a new location to move the activity to. We don't want it to move, but to stop. If you talk to anybody that knows me well, the last thing I am is "Minnesota Nice". I say what I think and call it as I see it. I make my bounderies very clear. some don't like it but you know where I stand and I WILL still work with you but now you'll know where I am coming from. So, with that said, who wants to continue this dialogue after folks forget about this particular post and move on. I don't want to forget, I want to work through dialogue and action. Actions speak way louder than word. No offense intended in any way here but just letting folks know my boundaries, where I am coming from and looking where to go to. Thank you from the heart, Megan and Antoine and JNS. It's just what I'm lookin' for. God bless, James

MeganG. said...

I'm not clear on why you are saying my spade a spade comment is outright vicious racism. Is there some historical use of the word spade that I'm not familiar with?

I just mean when we are dealing with thugs, let's call them thugs. Isn't the cliche calling a spade a spade a common one.

Please fill me in, I'm clueless here.

MeganG. said...

OK - I read Jeff's hyperlink to Wikipedia - and got filled in. The first part of the Wiki entry is EXACTLY how I was using the phrase - to speak bluntly with no beating around the bush.

Then I read the bottom part where it referred to the use of "spade" as an ethnic slur. So... mea culpa! Mea culpa indeed! I had never heard of this being a racial slur.

Therefore, I retract my original use of that phrase, and I propose we adopt a new JNS phrase...

"Call a thug a thug". No beating around the bush!

Geektopia said...

Nice try, Hawkman!

But you know damn well that Plutarch was a vile, racist, pro-city, (city-state?), revitilizer, determined to ruin his neighborhood in North Delphi, (or NoDe as he called it), by actually holding it to the same community standards as the rest of his city!

Thanks to him, there was nowhere to buy bootleg sandals, you had to go all the way to the Oracle to inhale hallucinagenic fumes and the nearest place to shoot Draughts way out in Ithaca!

"Subsiste Sermonem!" the pro-community (community state?) people cried!

Shamika said...


You must have zero interaction with people of color if you had no idea that the term "spade" is hugely offensive to us. How can you live on the northside and not know this about people of color? But you were also amazed that we can have good grammar skills, so I shouldn't be too surprised.

Thanks Hawkman for not using the term. I'm glad at least some people realize how hurtful racial slurs like this are.

Pond-dragon said...


You can buy blue jeans for $12 on sale at target.

James Nelson said...

Good for you Megan!! This is how you acknowledge the teacher's (whomever it is) and grow. That is true wisdom. We should have more Megan's ready/willing to dialogue and grow. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!! And thank's Antoine for bein' willin' to teach!

I'm still waitin' to hear from folks that want to continue this dialogue after this post is old in about a week or less.

M. Clinton said...

@ Shamika - I don't see Megan as someone who is not willing to bridge the racial divides. She admitted she learned something new and retracted. Instead of showing any appreciation, you took another swipe at her. I'd like for you to reconsider doing that.

While a white person may or may not know everything about black culture, the same is true that black people cannot make assumptions about what white people do and do not know. I myself am in an interracial relationship with a black man and for a period raised his biological nephew from Okalahoma City. You wouldn't believe the dialogues we had about what we did and didn't know.

I'll never forget when I first asked Raymel's nephew if he wanted a bratwurst. He looked at me and said "What's a bratwurst?" I was floored. I couldn't believe he didn't know what a bratwurst was. Then I described it to him. He said "Oh, sorta like a hotlink?" And I said "What's a hotlink?" He couldn't believe I didn't know what a hotlink was. I called every white person I knew and no one had heard of a hotlink. Then I called all of my black friends and they all knew what a hotlink was.

I think this phrase is kinda like the same thing. I don't think that just because Megan lives in a community with a large population of black people that she should be expected to know there are racial connotations to "spade." I sleep with a black man every night and raised a black child. And I have never heard of this either until just now.

Crossing racial divides is not about being sensitive about what word is used or not used or what is known or not known. It is about truly having an appreciation for and willingness to understand the other side. Sometimes what is said or not known can lead to interesting and productive discussions that help bridge those divides.

From the perspective of being in an interracial relationship, I can tell you that communication is not always easy and can be a lot more work. It is much easier to stand on your own side and judge or point fingers at the other. But where real progress is made is where these discussions come out and both sides actively engage in a productive way.

In my view "Political Correctness" creates so much sensitivity around racial topics that it just shuts the conversation down altogether because everybody is afraid to touch it. Which in turn sends everyone back to their own bases and only creates further racial divide. I would rather see someone make a faux pas, become educated regarding the offense, and see that person acknowledge and retract. That is exactly what Megan just did. I think we need to give her some props, not cut her down.

Anonymous said...

Antione, I absolutely agree with you man. The term "calling a spade a spade" is just as offensive as the expression "being caught red handed". Both expressions are derogatory toward minority groups. Many people have said it, but it is always denied, that this JNS blog is racist. Just read the intro to this blog. He wants to turn NoMi into an "Urban Utopia", which I guess would make it like Edina or Golden Valley, or Maple Grove. How many minorities live in those "Utopias" compared to NoMi?
His biggest supporters on this blog are in realty or property management. All you have to do is read between the lines and it looks a lot clearer. You have a hand full of Caucasians running a blog to make North Minneapolis an Urban Utopia. Think you'll be invited to join the team Antoine?

Tre Tre said...

Thanks for the suggestion but I ain't getting my gear at Target. I'll find another store to find the cook kicks at.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Oh, Geektopia, you nailed it! I admit, my placement of my Homer's Odyssey action figure at the apex of my geek wall is in commemoration of this very phenomenon! Only you could be so insightful!
"Subsiste Sermonem" indeed.

I am glad this discussion is taking place, but I'm equally thankful for some levity.

Ranty said...

What does real estate have to do with anything? Black people buy houses too, you know.

I have several neighbors who are black, and guess what? They don't like litter in the streets or kids getting killed either.

Black and thug are not synonymous, and I find it interesting that the folks who argue against revitalization seem to be inferring otherwise.

Also, when I think of a utopia, I do not think of the suburbs. I think of neighborhoods which are clean and safe and beautiful.

But, I guess some believe that NoMi residents do not deserve such an environment.

James Nelson said...

Anonymous: I'm a NoMi causcasion that appreciates JNS blog (he provides a place for NoMi to have M. Clinton, Shamika and lots of anonymouses to dialogue) and I invite Antoine to join.

M. Clinton said...

Some Education for Antoine and Shamika

From Wordmall - A Blog about the English Language:

Q. A friend of mine became upset when I used the phrase “to call a spade a spade.” She says that it’s a vicious racist term. Is she right?

Your friend is dead wrong, and it’s a sign of our hypersensitive times that innocent words are often branded as offensive. Quite bluntly, such a reaction is the product of ignorance.

If you go back to the earliest written version of the saying, you bump up against a Greek satirist named Lucian. To express the idea of speaking bluntly, of calling things what they are, he used the phrase (in his language), “to call a fig a fig and a boat a boat.”

It’s based on a mistranslation by the Dutch Renaissance scholar Desiderius Erasmus [ca. 1466 - 1536]. In Greek, skaphis is a shovel or spade, and skaphos is a boat, a skiff. He chose the wrong word, and “to call a spade a spade” came into being. In 1539, John Tavener brought Erasmus’ Latin version into English in his Garden of Wysdome: “Whiche call . . . a mattok nothing els but a mattok, and a spade a spade.” A mattock, by the way, is a digging tool with a flat blade set at right angles to the handle. So Tavener was advancing the meaning of the proverb to show that even allied objects should be carefully distinguished. After that, the saying was off and running, and it was used by dozens of writers, eventually dooming it to cliché status.

M. Clinton said...

Well, as long as we are into education tonight:

Somebody taken redhand was either in the act of committing a crime or with clear evidence of it about him. The original reference was to literal red hands, those of a murderer stained with the blood of his victim. But it soon became broadened to refer figuratively to other crimes, for example to a thief being caught carrying stolen items.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm let's examine "the team:

The Walking Drum - contractor
Your Eyedea - new neighbor, not sure of her livelihood
Johnny Northside! - John, blogger/little bit of everything
Johnny Northside - ditto above
Hawthorne Gardener - I believe this contributor is an attorney, or atleast plays one on tv
Bryan Thao Worra
The Hawthorne Hawkman m - housing director for nonprofit.

Hmmm. I don't see any real estate or property managment folks. I must be confused?

whitey said...

I still don't see how 'being caught red handed' is a slur against minorities. Unless by minorities you are referring to the criminal population?

Hypersensitivity about issues like language and what words mean when they come from from certain peoples mouths just makes me sick some time. If you are so easily offended that you see everything in a negative light then I pity you. Just because you aren't white it doesn't mean the world is out to get you. I shouldn't have to walk on eggshells around you just because you happen to know every racial slur in the book.

Next time you hear whitey say something offensive why don't you walk across the street (or blog) and ask him politely to stop using racial slurs?

And now we can all google 'whitey'

Clarence Watkins said...

It's easy for people who only occasionally think of race to say that someone of color is too sensitive. As a young black man I have to think of race every day. When I walk into a convenience store the clerk looks at me like I'm going to rob her. When I walk by an older white woman she clutches her purse and flinches, just because I'm black. These are only a few examples, but rest assured that I am reminded of my blackness nearly every moment of every day.

And thank you to Hawkman for not using the term "spade" and thank you to Megan for changing your ways. I've had old white men call me a spade and it really hurts.

la_vie_en_rose said...

"Whitey," some people of Native American background consider that a slur against them (even though it's a phrase that's older than this country and has to do with getting caught with cattle blood on one's hands).

Some people ARE overly sensitive about every little word that gets said in their direction. I'm not just talking about people of color or religious preference, either. I'm overweight, agnostic, bisexual, 1/4th Cherokee, and wear glasses. Just imagine all of the things I could find offensive in the course of a day. However, I don't, and I even crack jokes at myself. My husband calls me his "little Injun," and I call him my "dumb big Pollock" in return.

I have friends who prefer to be called black because they consider African-Americans to be people who were born in Africa but live here now. Then I have friends who are proud of their heritage and wish to be called African-American. I know even older black folks who don't get upset when someone says "negro" (which, along with the ultimate no-no n-word, is borrowed from other languages and basically means "black") or "colored". They say it's all in the context of how someone says it to them.

Which brings up my point: it's one thing to get outraged when someone is truly calling you something out of hatred, but it's another to get upset when someone utters a term or phrase, and no ill will is meant.

This is why I love Dave Chappelle; he's got it right. We should all make fun of each other equally!

whitey said...

Clarence Watkins:

I hope you never bump into me and think I am looking at you with hate, fear, or any negativity in my eyes. It is a reflection on white culture that you experience these injustices and that makes me sad... but please don't think that just because some treat you as different that all have it out for you.

I never know exactly how my body language is communicating to black men when I walk past them on the street. I fear some will be offended if I make eye contact or try to great them with a smile, and I fear others will be offended if I DON'T make eye contact and great them with a smile. Usually I ignore them or just nod in acknowledgment.... which is exactly what I do around whites.

Knowing that minorities are justifiably sensitive to these issues (and some are hypersensitive)... how does a white person avoid offending each and every minority they come across? With so many cultures in NoMi, (and subcultures within those cultures) I find it nearly impossible to navigate all the expectations.

And another thing... does anybody know the percentage of whites in north? I suspect we might in fact be a minority.

M. Clinton said...

I just wanted to say that I really appreciated how Clarence Watkins shared his personal experience in a way that was constructive to the dialogue. Thank you Clarence!

Johnny Northside! said...

Here's a Wikipedia entry on "call a spade a spade."

The saying predates the racist use of the word "spade" by, like, a few hundred years.

All the same, I think it would be good if folks would begin use the phrase "call a shovel a shovel."


Furthermore, the word "spade" is such an ARCHAIC racist term that some folks aren't even AWARE of it.

James Nelson said...

No offense John but no matter how archaic a word is, if it offends, why use it. Simple. Apologize, "I'm sorry, I had no idea, thanks for letting me know, I won't use it anymore", and move on to a new unoffensive phrase of your chosing. God bless, James

Johnny Northside! said...


If we stopped using every word that had some offensive archaic usage, or some kind of offensive double meaning, or which somebody somewhere just found offensive...

We'd have no English language left, let alone a rich and expressive English language. We'd have to quack like ducks to communicate.

Go to your Bible, James, and tell me if you find any offensive words or phrases you think need to be eliminated.

Johnny Northside said...

Here's an interesting little nugget of info, which went out over the UWHO listserv from James Nelson:
According to my new friends (I'm still workin' with them) ,there are 4 caucasion ladies about 50 years old, one wears a turban they say (they think) going over to Urban Exposure saying I am bad mouthing the guys there. These young guys let me know, but we would all like you to stop, please, it is making all very uncomfortable and confused as to why you are doing this. Thanks.
Wow, looks like James has some "new friends" at Urban Exposure. When he finds out who the turban lady is, then that will be...


Oh, I slay myself. I just really hope James' new friends don't slay HIM.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "...I am bad mouthing the guys there. These young guys let me know, but we [Who is "we?"] would all like you [Who is "you?"] to stop, please, it is making all [Who is "all?"] very uncomfortable and confused as to why you [Who is "you?"] are doing this [What is "this?"]. Thanks."

Johnny Northside said...

Yeah, I am trying to makes heads or tales of that myself.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...


Even though I don't believe we've met in person, seeing the actions you've taken and written about in recent weeks has led to a pretty deep level of respect for you. That being said...

(Now we go into hugely melodramatic, sarcastic font)

Oh no! The guys caught dealing drugs and gambling and using a business as a front to launder the money from those activities are UNCOMFORTABLE because we're TALKING ABOUT IT OUT IN THE OPEN! Oh the shame I feel! Whatever should I DO! Gee whiz, I sure didn't mean to hurt anyone's FEELINGS. If I had known THAT was going to happen I wouldn't have publicized this at ALL. If ONLY there were some way to get this behavior to STOP without, you know, having to bring it up at all, EVER.

(Back to normal now)

So they're uncomfortable. Damn straight they better be uncomfortable. With the information that has been uncovered in such a short time, I have no doubt whatsoever that there is more where that came from. They can either straighten up and know that their behavior and/or that of their friends has caused them to be under a microscope for a VERY LONG TIME, or they can get the hell out.

Lance said...

It's too late to straighten up, Hawkman. It's time for those no good thugs to go to prison. For a long, long time.

Johnny Northside! said...

(Sarcasm font)

Oh, my word. I've had an epiphany. I suddenly realize all this blogging I do has been a violation of the "stop snitching" thug mandate. This can't go on!

I firmly resolve to turn over a new leaf. From now on, call me Johnny North Silence.

Anonymous said...


I suspect that in the eyes of most thugs you are beyond redemption.

James Nelson said...

Ya'll got jokes. Good stuff though. The bible has great examples to show us folks was crazy and non-inclusice back then too. As far as makin' the "thugs" uncomfortable, what I meant was it is making the fragile relationship I have with the guys or thugs as many call them, hard to maintain. I know you're wondering why I want to even have a relationship. To me, they are kids very misguided. My son (foster, but still my son) was a drug dealer. He's not anymore. Also, in my past, I hung around this type as my "friends". There is hope in them and I want to try and reach them as I wish somebody would have reached me sooner. These guys don't know what to make of this crazy white boy (that's what I am in simplest terms) as it is and the talk that these women go in and do makes it that much more difficult to bridge our cultural differences. I know they're wrong but so was I (but by the grace of God, there go I). I should say further, that there are limits. My wife and I had our son thrown in jail to show him some of the things he did were wrong by even legal standards and not by just what we said. He now knows we had him thrown in jail because we love him. Tough love is the hardest. But, necessary. I hope this helps expain I don't condone illegal activity, but want to reach the person doing it (as I wish somebody would have done for me and as we did for my son). If you want to email me personally, please do. But I see where ya'll are coming from. I hope this helps. We're having a block meeting this Sunday at True Vine at 5:00 if you want to hear our UpperWHO philosophy and approach. There are more like me in this 'hood; lots of them.... We're eating at 5:00 (we try to make it fun not just 'meeting'). Bring a dessert or side dish if you can. God bless, James
John: thanks again for this site!

James Nelson said...

I haven't been able to get this post off my mind from anonymous:
It is not my job to "reach these kids." That responsibility falls primarily with their parents and secondarily with their families.
I agree, our children must come first but we are not alone. Our kids need to learn that we are a community and our actions do affect those around us. Also, the actions of others around us do affect us (and our children). We in UWHO believe it takes "a village to raise a child". I don't want to sound condescending to anybody as we all have our own thoughts and sometimes we can appreciate the thoughts of others we had not previously considered. So, with that hope is why I say this. Also, I, and many of us here, believe:‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ (or words to that effect). God bless,

Johnny Northside! said...

To Anonymous At 10:50

I sure hope so. To the degree they know about me at all. As somebody said in the "wall pisser" discussion:

"What's the internet?"

Curious Minds Want to Know said...

To James Nelson:
Spiritually speaking, do you believe you have an obligation to preach the christian gospel in hopes that your preaching will save the souls of the un-saved (however you wish to define unsaved)?

Dr. Kidney Bean said...

This is Anon 11:10 a.m.
I wrote:
"It is not my job to "reach these kids." That responsibility falls primarily with their parents and secondarily with their families.

It is my job to secure and safeguard an environment for my own children, and my family. That is what I plan to do."

You disagreed, and provided a thoughtful explanation for why you disagree with my statement, though I've noticed you have a hard time actually disagreeing. It's more like you ignore the statements with which you really disagree and twist a small part of what someone says so that you can stretch it into something positive that you agree with.

My problem with your approach to combatting bad behavior is that it is inefficient when it comes to addressing behavior that damages our community immediatly.

To an immediate problem, there must be an immediate solution, within the law.

You seem to advocate tolerating immediate problem behaviors (even some very antisocial behaviors) in the interest of long term individualized personal solutions.

Your tolerant, patient approach simply doesn't get the job done NOW, that needs to be done NOW.

By the way, I expect you to come back with some grateful message telling me how happy you are that I see that you have a tolerant and patient approach and that by working together you and all the great neighbors in Willard Hay are gradually changing the neighborhood, one person at a time. Spare me, please. That is not my point.


While you are buddying-up to these men, other people are being victimized.

Shamika said...

Dr Bean,

Why all the hate? I'm not sure if you're serious or trying to troll this blog, but for argument's sake let's assume you mean what you say.

Don't you think there's more than one way to try to solve a problem? James has said himself that he wants people to use their differing skills to try to tackle problems from a different angle. Just because he's trying to help people in positive ways doesn't mean he is being counter productive. If you want to build a big wall around yourself and not interact with your neighbors go move out to Orono with that idiot Don DuMonet. Nothing James has done stops you from calling 911/311 every time you see someone who you want locked up.

How does the fact that James is out there trying to teach people the error of their ways prevent you or anyone else from trying to improve the neighborhood? If you're not a troll, the attitude you display about wanting to lock everyone up is really sad.

You need to quit hating.

James Nelson said...

To curious minds...: In response to your " do you believe you have an obligation to preach the christian gospel" question, no, I never mentioned Christianity. I quoted the Bible but Buddah, Confucius, Jesus, Gandhi all had great sayings. I use them sometimes too. I do believe in a spiritual being that needs tending just like the physical, mental and socail beings. That's all. And, I also say God bless as Jews, Muslims and Christians all serve the same God. I have never been more specific than that. That has been your interpretaion, which is fine too. God (however you do it) bless you richly, James

James Nelson said...

Dr. Kidney Bean:

Yes, I do appreciate your comments (sorry for that..). You are too black and white. Life is mostly gray. Black and white is the exception. This is our communities downfall, not being I am having too much of a: "grateful message telling me how happy you are that I see that you have a tolerant and patient...". But as John has stated. You do it your way, I'll do it mine and we'll get the job done one way or another. We need all of us to find our calling and do it (sorry for being spiritual...but I is what I is..). God bless, James

This blog is great for honesty (I'm still laughing about 'James Nelson is an idiot'....THX laughter is the best medicine....that wasn't from the Bible but nonetheless true.

James Nelson said...

Dr. Bean,

I should tell you, I am on my way from work to buddy up with some of these ex-bad guys "While you are buddying-up to these men, other people are being victimized," to go buddy up with some current bad guys to stop them from victimizing other people and help them see a better way. It really works (not always, but usually), try it with me sometime. I invite you to join me. It will be a great experience for all. I am not disagreeing with you (I am having a dialogue), because that is not my goal. It should not be you against me or we against them. That is our societal problem. We need to work together more. So, sorry for not disagreesing with you. I'd like to work with you. God bless, James

Curious Minds Want to Know said...

To James Nelson:
The question you did not answer was:

Spiritually speaking, do you believe you have an obligation to preach the christian gospel in hopes that your preaching will save the souls of the un-saved (however you wish to define unsaved)?


Curious Minds Want to Know.

la_vie_en_rose said...

James, I'm not a spiritual person (my husband is the spiritual one), but I commend you for what you are trying to do. Yes, we need to stop crime now, but we also need to try reaching out because no matter what's been done, these "thugs" are still people. I don't see why we can't do both at the same time. We already have police and neighborhood watchers here to stop crime, so the rest of us should try a little communication.

I'm sure some will laugh at me and call me delusional, but seriously, you'd be amazed at what talking can accomplish.

James Nelson said...

Curious minds:
I will try to answer as I see you asking the question. First, I must define "Christian" to make sure we are on the same page there:

Main Entry: 1Chris·tian
Pronunciation: \ˈkris-chən, ˈkrish-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin christianus, adjective & noun, from Greek christianos, from Christos
Date: 1526
1 a : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ b (1) : disciple 2 (2) : a member of one of the Churches of Christ separating from the Disciples of Christ in 1906 (3) : a member of the Christian denomination having part in the union of the United Church of Christ concluded in 1961
2 : the hero in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress

So, with that in mind, I believe it is my duty to love & respect my fellow human beings. We are here to help one another in whatever form that may be. That is my duty as I see it.

These are the things I believe to be my duty to live and pass on these truths:

"A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion".
Mohandas Gandhi

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history"
Mohandas Gandhi

"Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule".

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

"And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself".

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Three men went into the jungle on different occasions and saw a chameleon. "A chameleon is red," said the first man. "No a chameleon is green," said the second man. "Nonsense, a chameleon is brown," said the third man. Those who disagree about the nature of God are like these three men.
- Hindu Teaching Story

These are the things I believe and it is my duty to live these truths. I hope that answers your question as that is the best I can do for you. God bless, James

P.S. Well said la_vie_en_rose

Curious Minds Want to Know said...

Thank you for taking the time to clarify, James.

James Nelson said...

And thanks for being persistent. We, as a society, don't give ample time to dialogue for clarity. This is what we need. God bless, James