Much of the Twin Cities’ feelings are being amplified thanks to cans of spray paint at the moment.
On the outside of Misfit Coffee, artists have used the tool as a way of artistically advocating for dismantling systemic fascism. And over at Tiny Diner? Well, the plywood boards there have seen a wounded, pissed-off neighborhood call Kim Bartmann a “colonizer,” and culminated in the restaurateur scribbling on her own establishment in a defense that borders on comical.
To recap, kinda: Bartmann, who owns Tiny Diner along with six other Minneapolis restaurants, is currently under investigation by the Attorney General's Office for being unable to pay nearly 200 employees their final paychecks at the onset of the pandemic.
Presumably due to Bartmann’s relatively quiet ongoing wage theft investigation in the literal thick of nationally televised looting, the “Powderhorn neighborhood” is campaigning for Bartmann to go.
Appearing in red paint on the boarded-up diner are tags reading “RUN ME MY CHECK,” “KIM IS A COLONIZER,” and “FUCK YOU KIM.”
Before she posted a lengthy (edit: since deleted) letter to Tiny Diner’s Facebook page responding to the community voice(s) writ large, in which she says she’ll “leave it up to the people who live in [the] community to decide” the restaurant’s future and quoted Urban Dictionary’s definition of “colonizer”… Bartmann grabbed an actual cannister of blue paint and went out into the streets to defend her name, editing one tag and responding on the side of her own restaurant.
That four letter word appears a little less nasty now. And about delivering those checks, she scrawled “I DID!” not once, but twice:
“I DID!” (Almost.)
To quote one commenter: “I am obsessed with the fact that Kim is so disconnected from the whole ass world that she went out in the middle of all of this to buy spray paint and RESPOND to the graffiti on the restaurant. Genuinely I needed a laugh after all this.”
Though we, too, appreciate the absurdity of this, let’s hope she expressed support for, we dunno, anything righteous outside herself while that can was in her hand.