'Judgmental map' of Minneapolis: Funny or corrosive stereotyping?


Denver comedian Trent Gillaspie intended to get a few laughs out of his "judgmental map" project – and he is getting them, but he also is raising questions about whether such humor just promotes stereotypes.

The satirical map of Minneapolis, posted by a Minneapolis resident who lives in Lowry Hill East ("Wannabe hipsters") area, characterized neighborhoods by stereotype – “Gay renters” in the Loring Park area, "Target Corp zombies roaming the skyways" in central downtown, and “People who think they live in Nantucket” near Lake Harriet.

The map shows you just where to find "sell-out hippies" and "real hippies." It points east to St. Paul and declares, "Nothing interesting whatsoever."

But some people think the labels went over the line, including parts of north Minneapolis labeled as “Too scary to investigate” and “Compton of the North," the Star Tribune reports.

Nearly 150 people had commented on the map as of Monday morning, many as part of a debate about whether it was satire or just racist. One called the map "hurtful and reductive."

CityPages talked to the creator of the Minneapolis map, "Sarah," who declined to be identified because she said the map was being widely misinterpreted. She told CityPages, "So many ideas are intimately linked in our heads to other stereotypes that even when we want to take a step back and be more open and accepting, it's always there in the background. The vast majority of Minneapolis views north Minneapolis as this super scary ghetto that everyone is scared to go to."

HuffingtonPost interviewed Gillaspie in this Q and A about how the project got started with his judgmental Denver map, and he explains what he was trying to achieve.

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