After famed Minneapolis science fiction and fantasy bookstore Uncle Hugo’s and its sister store, Uncle Edgar’s, were destroyed by rioters, Tony Daniel had this to say:
…a city is not like a statue. It is an unplanned web, a crazy network of individuals doing productive, artistic, crazy, and interesting things, all at once. It pulsates with life and change in some areas, accretes tradition or staleness, or both, in others.
It’s never the same. The hustle and bustle of the street, the shops and restaurants and churches and halfway houses and all the rest engender this…when a cultural institution…is burned, the damage goes beyond the physical. It is not really possible to merely clean up and rebuild, as you might a Target or a police station. The bustle of the street, the fabric of the city itself, is damaged.
The destruction…hurts people’s souls, even if they don’t realize this. When you burn such places down…you are not clearing for renewal. You are destroying the very possibility for growth and change in a community.
You are killing hope.