5th Ward City Councilman Don Samuels is causing a stir again with his comment in Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine about 'burning North High down.'
And of course Nick Coleman was quick to snap up an easy opportunity for ridicule here.
I can only imagine how this could swell to ridiculous proportions by virtue of people hearing about Samuel's statement without actually reading it in its context. (Such as if they read about it in Coleman's article, or worse, if they hear about it through North High gossip channels.)
I can see it now, with mothers at a NH PTA meeting:
"Did you hear what Don Samuels said?"
"He said to BURN OUR SCHOOL DOWN!"
"Nuh-uh, for real?"
"That's what the Soc teacher just told me!"
"What an asshole. Who does he think he is??"
Oy Veh. His point as I understood it was that he has no reverence for so-called community institutions if they are in fact failing the community. (These are my words, not his.) His criticism did not stop at North High, but extended to some local churches as well, asking why they did nothing to combat crime which occurs right outside their doors.
CM Samuels made a political mistake with his phrasing. He should not have said "burn it down" because he should have been saavy enough to anticipate the scores of teachers, parents, students and alumni that it would piss off.
The underlying sentiment, however, was spot on, in my view.