Tony Botello, host of the influential blog Tony’s Kansas City, raises a question that the local media refuse to: “Is it suicide for white dudes to walk home after dark in Kansas City’s Main Street corridor?!?!”

Botello raised the question after the gratuitous murder of 24-year-old Zachary Pearse a block east of Main on Sunday night. After robbing Pearse and a male friend at gun point, the robber shot and killed Pearse for no apparent reason. The police have refused to cite the race of the three perpetrators, and the media have not pressed them. Tony senses a racial element to the shooting, and he is likely right.

“More than a couple of TKC readers have been robbed and assaulted in this part of town and the pattern is the same: White dudes who think they’ll be okay walking through this neighborhood at night,” writes Tony. “Don’t get TKC motives twisted, this post is penned as both a question and a word of warning for some of our friends whom we would like to keep safe.”

Tony Botello at work

“Over the past few years,” Botello continues, “crime along this swath of land has spiked as violent teen flash mobs are all grown up, have been pushed away from The Plaza and desperate hobos stalk this stretch of land.”

Young women, Tony notes, know better than to walk these streets at night. Young men in these trendy hipster neighborhoods do not. To raise the questions that Tony is raising would be borderline taboo in many of their social circles just as it is in local newsrooms. The tragedy is that people are being robbed and even killed to honor the taboo.

Compounding the lethal effect of political correctness is the need to preserve the illusion of progress in Mayor Sly James’s go-go Kansas City. Concludes Tony, “Young dudes have been misled about the dangers of this part of town because real concern about crime in Kansas City is contrary to so much development speculation that powers the local discourse.”

Kudos to Tony Botello for ignoring the taboo.

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