MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We might be Minnesota Nice, but that can turn fast if someone insults our state.

A reporter from the Washington Post learned that lesson very quickly on Wednesday.

He posted an article labeling Red Lake County, Minnesota, the ugliest county in America by using data from USDA on climate and topography.

Within hours after the article was posted, several Minnesotans gave him a piece their mind.

The author also mentioned Iowa and Delaware didn’t fare well, but said he didn’t hear a word from anyone there.

So, why are Minnesotans so proud?  Good Question.

When you ask Minnesotans to brag about where they live, it takes approximately one half second for them to tell you how great we are. Cleanliness, a new football stadium, bike paths, strong education, four seasons and natural beauty roll right off people’s tongues.

“I definitely can get very defensive about that,” said one Minnesotan who moved back home from Los Angeles after 17 years to raise her family. “I know people in New York who think it’s winter here year-round, and I’m like ‘Are you crazy?’”

Dr. Bill Green studies the history of Minnesota at Augsburg College. He said part of the reason we defend Minnesota so strongly is because of what we invest here in terms of quality of life.

“We work hard to have good government, we work hard to create a society that attempts to include everyone,” he says. “We work hard to invest resources into making this place look beautiful.”

It’s natural for people to be offended when someone insults their home because it’s often a reflection of who they are and the decisions they’ve made about living where they do.

“We tend to want to protect Minnesota because in doing that we’re protecting our own motives for being here,” says Green.

The follow-up Washington Post article describing the reaction from Minnesotans suggests our “outrage” comes from “thick coats, thin skin.”

“We’re also, for people on the coasts, flyover, and even though I think that’s less the case now, we tend to feel easily dismissed by people from the East Coast and people from the West Coast, and we’re every bit as sophisticated as they are,” Green said.

But the best reason might just come from a transplant who’s lived in Minnesota since 1970.

“Anyone who’s put up with more than five Minnesota winters in a row has a certain brotherhood involved,” said one Minneapolis man, while biking along Lake Calhoun on a picture-perfect summer day.

 

Heather Brown

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