Hey, Kankakee, your negativity has been called out yet again. Unfortunately, it’s a common refrain. And even more unfortunate, it’s a refrain that often falls on deaf ears.

This time, the spotlight on the negativity splashed liberally around Kankakee came via an out-of-town developer who is putting his money where his mouth is when he says there is great potential in this community.

Speaking on a panel at the Kankakee Development Corporation’s annual meeting this week, one of the forces behind a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the former Midland States Bank Building said that Kankakeeans are much more critical of themselves than is warranted.

While we’re happy he sugar-coated it a bit to soften the blow, a quick gander at social media will show you just how bad the negativity problem has become. You could also ask any local official or leader; we’re sure they have a strong opinion on the matter.

Keyboard warriors are quick to pounce on forthcoming projects or proposed developments. But here’s the thing: Many of the projects on the receiving end of this negativity aren’t hopes and dreams that will never come to fruition. These are real, solid, backed-up-by-cold-hard-cash plans to move Kankakee forward.

And even if they were projects dreamed up by people coming together in hopes of improving the community they call home, what value comes from tearing them down? What is there to be gained from standing in the way of a better, more prosperous community? How does having more amenities make your life worse? Would crumbling facades and vacant storefronts bring you greater joy in life?

Those working to bring good things to Kankakee have enough hurdles in front of them, especially in today’s pandemic-riddled world. Combatting naysayers, Debbie Downers and trolls — yes, we said trolls — shouldn’t be among them. If you aren’t here to be part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.

Are we maybe being a little hateful about it? Yes, yes we are. But we learned it from you so you can’t complain.

To those in the community actively working toward a better tomorrow and uplifting others in the same quest, we applaud your efforts. You are a light that shines through the negativity, and we hope you continue lighting the way for others to follow.