Narrow Search

Comment Archives: stories: News

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

Sorry, I misunderstood your statement referring to Kelly's stating, "depending on how you count" I agree and am proud of everything you bring forth within this article.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kimberly Marie Eversgerd on 03/22/2014 at 9:57 PM

Re: “Melissa Stevens – heir to the Patricia Stevens Modeling School – refuses to be forgotten

Melissa is not 57 she has to be 67 or more I remember her photo in 1972 when I was attending Patricia Stevens at Milwaukee School. Susan

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Susan on 03/22/2014 at 5:28 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

You know, it's easy to sit behind a keyboard and blame the past problems with Westport, Plaza, and now the zoo on certain communities of black people.

You know why it's so easy? ITS THE TRUTH!

19 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Jamal Washington on 03/21/2014 at 9:11 AM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

@A. Tom J.
Thank you for your post, and for the questions that you raise. I will separate my response into a couple of different parts (Economic development and the content of the article)

First, a clarification on my own ambiguous language- my reference to the city which you cite, was more a statement about Kansas City as a collective than a specific comment about a government institution (city hall).

Economic Development- Probably less, than more- As you even admit these business are more frequented by white people (ownership [at least among the developers cited] tends to be white). Even if the trend is “organic” (I am unsure what this means) you cannot divorce capital accumulation and access to space from racial/socioeconomic structural inequality and the results of which are disconcerting (predominantly white people remaking a neighborhood by making money off of predominantly white people)

In fact, I don’t really get your point. “Even if this redevelopment is for the benefit of white people, it is okay because it did not involve the government”??? There is little of what I wrote that would agree with that sentiment.

If you look around you, and you don’t see a lot of (or any) people of color [as owners, as customers] then how can you plausibly say there is no race problem?

I don’t have an issue with people making money, I don’t have a problem with the idea of changing Westport to create an area with a safe and profitable night life.

What I do have a problem with is the depiction in people’s discourse that once we got rid of all the blacks at America’s Pub, everything got better. What I have a severe issue with is that “things are getting better” not because we have lowered the level of violence across the city, but because we managed to push the crime out of the neighborhood white people like to go to and into neighborhoods where violence is expected (and probably under-reported by the media).

In terms of the city, I disagree with the assessment that not putting money down on an entertainment district ‘frees’ up money for equitable economic development. That money was already free, the idea it should go to helping businesses first, and if we don’t use it there, then put it into education, job training, redevelopment attenuated to the needs of those most socioeconomically marginalized, is unsound and part of the problem.

If the city is on the verge of announcing a major effort to address structural inequality and improve neighborhoods across the city, I would be incredibly happy. If the city said that tax dollars from Westport are earmarked for that project, I would be glad. If Westport developers said they were going to take concrete steps to increase the meaningful presence of people of color in the area (as owners, customers, employees), I would be ecstatic [and no this last comment is not a call for Affirmative Action/Quotas]. Unfortunately, all I see is white people making money off of white people by creating a neighborhood for white people while casually throwing around coded references and representations of unruly blacks who ruined what was once a great neighborhood.

The content of the article- Race should be a subject in this article, race is always present in any discussion of social space (especially given racial and socioeconomic structural inequality) and the fact that it is not a more open part of the discussion about who is developing Westport (and for whom) is a failure of public discourse as a whole.

I have articulated the problem with the racialized thinking in this article several times (still waiting on a response/defense/retraction from David Hudnall). The sentence “2 Chainz will not be a mainstay of the loudspeakers here” and the surrounding narrative of the article is that the removal of the adolescent Westport’s problem child (black people) allowed the are to mature and grow up to be a thriving business environment (for pre-dominantly white people [as both consumers and owners]) {I wish I had more time for a more thorough dissection of the infantilization of Blacks in popular discourse and it's relationship to this article, but I just don't}. This framing by the author (whole-heartedly supported by a number of commentators on the article) is not a misstep but symptomatic of deeper problem in Kansas City when class, race and space intersect.

The author is a professional writer, the article was approved by an editor (or group of editors) and then published. The comment in the article is not a mistake, it was written by a pro (who is white) and looked at by several sets of (predominantly white) eyes. [Now, I have had a difficult time finding every person that might be an editor at The Pitch, but a cursory look at LinkedIn does not show any people of color as part of the Pitch’s publishing/editorial staff.] No, this does not mean that everyone at the Pitch is a racist… but, it is troubling to see a lack of people of color writing/editing/publishing stories and when combined with the racialized thinking of the article (and that many people possess about Westport), it becomes a highly problematic non-presence.

In short, whether it is explicitly mentioned or not, race is always a part of the discussion. The fact the author choose to comment on it in the manner in which he did should not be ignored or dismissed so lightly.

10 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Hate you on 03/20/2014 at 9:05 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

Yet more examples of white-guilt ridden hand wringers exculpating the behavior of a violent demographic so they can brag about it at upscale cocktail parties played by "The Smiths".

9 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Michael Dorman on 03/20/2014 at 6:52 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

@hate you: While I agree that the author unnecessarily brought race into an article that didn't need it, and I have no idea what the hell happened at the zoo Tuesday, I wanted to address your main point: "the problems of this city will not be solved by driving those that are deemed undesirable to certain neighborhoods and gentrifying the other parts so that (pre-dominantly white) consumers can spend money on over-priced bar food. Economic development should be focused on improving individuals suffering from massive socioeconomic and structural disadvantages."
Don't you think that the recent developments in Westport are more or less supporting your ideals of economic development? Basically, this is an area with new businesses opening because potential business owners are seeing a market and buying into that market/trend (craft cocktails and beers, good food). While these may be businesses that are generally frequented more by white people than black people, the important thing is that there is no larger institution (the city, Cordish, etc.) implementing these changes. When the city isn't putting money down on an entertainment district (P&L), this frees them up to spend money on the types of economic development you are talking about.
So, possible racism of the author or comment trolls aside; I agree that city hall doesn't need to build us bars. Therefore isn't this type of purely business-funded and organic redevelopment/expansion the best kind for the city, regardless of the clientele of the new businesses?

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by A.TOM.J on 03/20/2014 at 12:08 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

@Kimberly - PMS?

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Whole Hog on 03/20/2014 at 8:18 AM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

Great article! But Kelly's isn't claimed to be the oldest bar in Kansas City. The building is arguably the oldest functioning building in KC. Do your research before you make a condescending comment like, "oldest bar in KC depending on how you count"

2 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Kimberly Marie Eversgerd on 03/19/2014 at 10:14 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

@novedthefang
1.) Westport turned to shit for a lot of reasons (KCPL District, indoor smoking ban, and a massive economic downturn). Bad economy = more violence, racist dress code policies that target people of color will drive them to alternative venues (out of KCPL to downtown/Westport), and America’s pub was a crappy bar that was horribly run which creates a perfect cocktail for the shootings Westport witnessed in the 00’s.

Conversely, an economic recovery combined with willing investors has played a large part in turning Westport around (that is the point of the story), and this recovery would not of happened without this investment even if America’s pub closed (although I have a sneaking suspicion these two events worked in concert with each other).

None of this defends the racist narrative of the story which is once we got hip-hop out (signified by 2 Chainz’s lack of presence) that everything is peaceful (which it is not, see the crime data I provided the link to, as well as the St. Paddy’s day DUI stops).

Yes, things are better, but if America’s Pub had been a country western bar (and here is proof that it is shitty bar owners and not the demographic that attract violence because one was hip hop the other country western and they both had violence as well as the same owners http://explorernews.com/import/article_3cc78543-49b2-5901-830e-9b3d90a787a7.html?mode=jqm) then no one would be talking about “that crowd of people” and the article certainly would not of written anything like “we won’t be hearing Garth Brooks on this bars speakers”. To deny there is not a racial/economic/cultural politics at work here, is to have blinders on to the world.

2.) Hip Hop clubs don’t attract paying customers. Well, you got me there, aside from the fact that numerous hip-hop culture clubs operate in Kansas City and around the U.S. and have for years. I have two difficulties answering your “prove me wrong” argument 1.) I don’t have access to the bank statements of a large sample of hip hop clubs in the U.S.(something you probably knew when you issued your challenge) and 2.) I am unsure what will technically qualify as a hip hop club (as opposed to a blend of dance and hip hop).

I will say that if you look at the following list which has the highest grossing night clubs in America (even if you exclude Las Vegas), a large number are in fact catering to hip hop culture (http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/entertainment-articles/highest-grossing-nightclubs-america/). So yes, people will spend money for hip hop culture when the club is run like a business.

How about you prove me wrong, and show that every business venture that supports hip hop is unprofitable and fails. “Where the Hip Hop culture goes. Paying, TIPPING customers won't” if you are so confident in this statement I am sure you have data to back it up.

What is probably more accurate, is that people don’t like to go to places where they are likely to get into fights or get shot (whether they be hip-hop, country, rock, or just a bar). So, if you have a bad club (like America’s pub) and you close it, then trouble will probably decrease, regardless of the demographic you cater towards.

3.)Businesses close because of hip hop- Now you are just making things up. Bannister Mall?? Really? It was hip hop culture that killed bannister mall? I was sure that the rise of developments in south KC and Johnson County, white flight (and the concomitant departure of anchor stores to more affluent locations), the loss of population due to lack of economic opportunity (too numerous to list, but the loss of the federal complex in 2006 was a death nail) that played a part in it, but nope you are right it must be hip hop kids.

Did the same thing happen to Mission Center or the Wal-Mart and HyVee on Highway 350? When did hip-hop culture takeover and kill the Michaels/Fabric store at 91st and Metcalf??

Oh wait, it did not. Quit equating correlation with causation, your argument is terrible.

Yes, crime was a contributing factor to the closing of bannister mall (crime in no small part due to the massive economic problems in South Kansas City), but how this provides evidence that hip culture kills all business (a statement so absurd I actually just spit water out while typing it) is not even plausible.

Yes, you have other examples, but my challenge to you (and one that demonstrates the silly nature of how you frame these examples): Please, explain to me why non-hip hop bars/clubs (or shopping areas that don’t cater to/allow hip hop culture) close while also explaining why those reasons CANNOT also be a major (if not sole) reason why a hip hop club/bar/shopping area closes.

If you can't, then maybe there is more at work in the businesses you cited at closing then simply hip hop kids running wild.

4.) The Zoo- give it up. In your first post you said the incident at the zoo yesterday, now you are back peddling and talking about what you saw last year. And while you were not at the zoo yesterday, you are claiming that it was the “same thing” (even though that it is impossible for you to know, since you admit you were not there, and the news reports indicate that it was teens, not the people in their 20’s to 30’s that you describe seeing last year). Once again, I have zero idea how this is relevant to the above discussion other than your absurd desire to reduce all violence to hip hop culture.

5.) You being mixed race and final thoughts. I don’t care. This neither vindicates your position from the racialized thinking that I have been problematizing all afternoon nor legitimates your supposed “color blindness”. The fact you say “I don’t see white, brown, black etc” is in itself an expression of racial privilege and one not afforded to all people of color.

Your statement "the same rowdy crowd of people that are always-ALWAYS at the root of violence in this city" leaves me at a loss. Not all violent crime is committed by people that are a part of the hip hop culture…. If this is not apparent to you, then you should just stop writing and jump off a cliff.

Once again, and in conclusion, the problems of this city will not be solved by driving those that are deemed undesirable to certain neighborhoods and gentrifying the other parts so that (pre-dominantly white) consumers can spend money on over-priced bar food. Economic development should be focused on improving individuals suffering from massive socioeconomic and structural disadvantages.

13 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by hate you on 03/19/2014 at 7:26 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

@Hate you- "However, the assumption that any bar which is involved in hip-hop culture is automatically going to have violence, was solely responsible for all the violence in Westport and, if removed, would lead to a peaceful area is ridiculous." Well, that will be your little secret! Because the point of this article is to site that in fact it is helping. It is also bringing new business. However, I was at the zoo last year when the same thing happened! Trust me they weren't teenagers. They were in their 20's or 30's. (atleast). How many other establishments do I need to site for you? The Hurricane, Rum Runners in KCK, Bannister Mall, Blue Ridge Mall, Ward Parkway (cleaned up their act), etc etc! Where the Hip Hop culture goes. Paying, TIPPING customers won't. Prove me wrong! I know reality is a hard thing to swallow. I'm mixed by the way! So your racist comments can find someone else to persuade. You wanna see how they are trying to fix the plaza? You know what those big chains told the city? Fix the problem or we will take our business elsewhere. At some point this city has to exercise a little self preservation. By the way, I didn't see black, white, hispanic, or anything for you to try and skew the truth with. I saw the same rowdy crowd of people that are always-ALWAYS at the root of violence in this city. Prove me wrong!

23 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by novedthefang on 03/19/2014 at 4:33 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

@Dawn Johnson Really? The police department has statistics which show the racial breakdown of every person that entered America's Pub and committed violence at or outside of there? Please send me a link to this so I can verify your "100% true statement".

Yes, America's pub was a terribly run establishment that the city should of cracked down on years ago.

However, the assumption that any bar which is involved in hip-hop culture is automatically going to have violence, was solely responsible for all the violence in Westport and, if removed, would lead to a peaceful area is ridiculous.

Proven, in part, by the fact that there are still "problems" in Westport. http://spotcrime.com/mo/kansas+city/old+westport

Of course, this is all aside from the problematic nature of the narrative created by the article, but you don't really discuss that, so I will move on.

2 likes, 28 dislikes
Posted by hate you on 03/19/2014 at 4:02 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

@novedthefang What is the connection to the incident at the zoo? Were unsupervised teenagers frequenting Westport bars in the 00’s and starting fights or shooting people? How do you know that these teens at the zoo were a part of the ‘hip hop culture’ that leads to trouble?

My guess is that you saw non-white skin in photos on the news, and then all the pre-loaded cultural assumptions about race and the irrational tendency towards violence ran their course leading you to believe there is a connection between shootings in Westport in, say, 2008 and yesterday’s violence at the zoo. Then again, I can only assume this based off the rambling, incoherent and racist post you just made.

You would be hard pressed to find someone who has a problem with closing bars with frequent fights or shootings (unless that person is the owner). And yes, I for one, am in favor of economic development. Of course the kind of development I have in mind would target lower socioeconomic classes, providing education and opportunity for upward mobility so that we can address the structural causes of inequality. Building a bunch of gastro pubs and whiskey bars is a very limited, pre-dominantly white, idea of what economic development looks like and how it makes this city “great”.

In regards to "not all hip hop culture being black", true. However, the author made a point of identifying a black hip hop artist as the kind of music that would no longer be played in the new establishments of Westport moments after discussing the violence that occurred in area and just before the lengthy glorification of the new bars. Notice, he did not say, these bars will no longer play Eminem. So yes, it is fair to say the author links the expulsion of black culture to the peace and maturity that Westport now enjoys (obviously, the latter sentiment ignores drunk drivers (Monday’s DUI checkpoint), fights/thefts (http://spotcrime.com/mo/kansas+city/old+westport), but hey at least they are not shootings at America's Pub, right?)

[And no, the above statement is not about reducing all black culture to one hip hop artist, but instead demonstrating that the linguistic choice in the article to identify 2 Chainz (as well as many of the comments made about this article) demonstrate a thinly coded disdain for non-white culture, manifested in this particular instance, around the image of a black male rapper, and the need to expunge it from Westport in order to have peace].

7 likes, 33 dislikes
Posted by hate you on 03/19/2014 at 3:52 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

Why is it racist to state a fact?

Most of the problems in Westport stemmed from those who frequented America's Pub.

Most of those who frequented America's Pub were Black.

Most of the problems in Westport were because of the black patrons of America's Pub.

There, I said it. All 100% true statements that can be verified by looking at crime data on the KCPD website.

If you disagree with any of this, you are being completely willfully ignorant.

46 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Dawn Johnson on 03/19/2014 at 3:04 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

I love it! We are constantly trying to make excuses for the clear problem that Westport had. HIP HOP CULTURE! PERIOD! Where the culture goes, trouble follows. This city has heard all of the excuses and all of the same "your a racist" language. The problem starts because we can't have an educated conversation about the problems that plague the nightlife in this town. Do I need to site the "Free Day" at the zoo yesterday? Probably not! If I was a current club/business owner I would ecstatic that America's Pub is gone. In the same breath the people calling this guy racist, would also be crying about economic development. Well, you want economic development? Now you got it! Its called the city is tired of the excuses to act like idiots. By the way, the Hip Hop culture is not all black. So give it a rest with the "your racist, because your obviously right" comments.........Thanks

36 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by novedthefang on 03/19/2014 at 2:21 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

I think it's important and encouraging to see the rise and growth of historic Kansas City areas. America's Pub was a hot spot for mischief, however we cannot invalidate the sensitives of our community.

The line, "One suspects that 2 Chainz will not be a mainstay of the loudspeakers here...", in my opinion, does not fairly add to the point the author was trying to make. If the author had replaced 2Chainz with Garth Brooks or Bruno Mars, would we all, myself included, have the same reaction? Maybe, or maybe not. I believe the intent was to convey that the establishment is not a "party/club scene."

In all this is a very good article that should be shared with others to highlight the great city of KC. Let's not put each other or the author down. This a great piece from a great Kansas City publication. Cheers!

36 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Michael on 03/19/2014 at 1:53 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

Im 52 and i am irrelevant at any youth oriented "entertainment district".

5 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by cmcmcm on 03/19/2014 at 1:50 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

@kcjoe I will call out a racist speech act for being racist because it is racist and if 'that word' makes you uncomfortable then you are probably the type of individual I described in my second post and I do not care what you think of my discourse.

As for your "make an argument" complaint, my original post contained a claim, a warrant and data. That is called an argument and I am still waiting for a reply...

10 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by hate you on 03/19/2014 at 1:41 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

Americas pub is gone! Awesome!

35 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mati Mat on 03/19/2014 at 1:30 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

@kcjoe: gosh, you really shut down those "racism comments" with your "everyone's tired of them" criticism. I'll also be sure to take your advice and stop using the words that clarify the fact that I'm talking specifically about racial social issues in order to sound more intelligent.

@gregkcmo: There wasn't really a problem with calling America's Pub a "problem child." The issue is with the remark, "One suspects that 2 Chainz will not be a mainstay of the loudspeakers here," because of the connections the author is conveying to the reader.

10 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Ms Manifesto on 03/19/2014 at 1:29 PM

Re: “That new new Westport: A party district grows up

America's Pub WAS the problem child. What's racist about that fact?

44 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by gregkcmo on 03/19/2014 at 1:17 PM

All contents ©2014 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation