MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO)An article in “The Atlantic” magazine praising Minneapolis for its high employment, prosperity and affordable housing is under attack.

The Washington Post responded with an article asking the question, “If Minneapolis is so great, why is it so bad for African Americans?”

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“The racial gaps, whether it’s for housing, education or incarceration, are pretty severe and extreme,” Dr. Doug Hartmann from the University of Minnesota said.

Some say there are two different realities in Minneapolis. Strong white prosperity, and some of the worst racial inequality in the country.

Reg Chapman spoke with those who sit on opposite sides of the argument.

In the heart of north Minneapolis, inside the Avenue Eatery, you will find a melting pot of people. Over a cup of Joe, you hear talk of the “Minneapolis Miracle” and if people of color have a more difficult time of experiencing it than their white counterparts.

“Being raised right, doing what’s right, raising my kids being responsible, I don’t think it’s a miracle it’s just being responsible and being a part of society and doing what you are supposed to do,” Brother Jules said.

Jules said he is not living the “Minneapolis Miracle” but feels he is on the right track to do so, and some of his friends agree.

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“There are some things that need to be done but I still think it’s up to us to do what we can to make a difference whether it’s financially or educational,” Roy Pierson said.

In 2011, the Twin Cities led the nation in the jobless rate for African Americans at 18 percent — more than three times that of whites. There’s also a gap when it comes to home ownership and education.

“It’s not like people of color and African Americans specifically are doing worse in the Twin Cities than in other metropolitan areas, it’s that the white folks especially the upper class folks in the suburbs are doing so much better,” Hartmann said.

Hartmann said the disparities between black and white Minnesota are extreme and it will take opportunities to bring about change.

“They start out with the belief that this is a great place to be and optimism and success, they start to realize there aren’t as many set ups or opportunities aren’t quite or don’t seem quite as open to make it to that next level,” Hartmann said.

Dr. Hartmann believes having this difficult conversation will put Minneapolis on the path to understanding how doors can be opened to make the “Minneapolis Miracle” reality for all.

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Some black people we spoke with who did not want to appear on camera said it’s all about resources and access to them. They feel Minneapolis needs to figure out a way to make sure those with the least education, access to jobs and housing get real opportunities to move to the next level.

Reg Chapman