If “teen” flash mobs do not destroy Kansas City’s famed Country Club Plaza, it will not be for want of trying.
And if they do succeed, the failure of city leaders from Mayor Sly James on down to speak honestly about the problem will have contributed greatly to their success.
Although the Kansas City Star chose not to report on the most recent incident, the fox4kc headline captures the spirit of the evening, “‘Mayhem on the Plaza’: Multiple people assaulted during disruption Saturday night.”
The quote comes courtesy of a female Kansas City police officer. A witness told fox4kc she was stopped at a red light when “a group of delinquents” started kicking and jumping on her car. Fleeing the Country Club Plaza, she found the officer at a gas station who confirmed, “There’s mayhem on the Plaza.”
“So you know about it?” said the witness. The officer responded, “There are kids just beating up people. There will probably be kids going to jail tonight.”
In reality, however, there probably were not kids going to jail Saturday night. Understaffed to begin with, the real Kansas City police enter these frays with the PC police not only looking over their shoulders, but also recording their actions.
Police officers understand that “race” will only become an issue if they do something that looks bad on camera. Until then, there can be no talk of race at all. The media use euphemisms to disguise the underlying racial nature of these confrontations.
In the fox4kc article, those euphemisms included “teenage kids,” “delinquents,” “kids,” “teens” and “wild kids.” In addition to scaring citizens off the Plaza these “kids” assaulted at least three people and stole multiple cell phones.
In no media report is there any hint that the “kids” are almost exclusively black and the victims almost exclusively white even though almost everyone in the fox4kc audience knows this to be true. Were the situation reversed, there would be no talk of anything but race.
In May 2013, 41 KSHB interviewed former mayor and current congressman Emanuel Cleaver. When asked about the whether the city should extend its summertime curfew year round to discourage flash mobs, Cleaver said for the ages, “All we’re gonna do is make a lot of black kids angry.”
Can’t have that, but, to Cleaver’s humble credit, at least he did say “black kids.”