Jack Cashill mainstreams what has until now remained a stunning media omission in the controversy that surrounds Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser's choice of Frances Semler as one of five new commissioners on the city's Board of Parks and Recreation--another member, Ajamu Webster, is the founder of the National Black United Front's local chapter. The group advocates reparations and separatist education for African Americans. Somehow, that was not deemed "divisive" in the least, but a grandmother in her seventies who is a member of the popular Minutemen organization (which is essentially a neighborhood watch group writ large) "rocked" the world of several city council members. Writes the prolific Cashill:
His choices included the first Hispanic ever, a guy who wants reparations for slavery, a rose-growing grandma from north of the river, a male ballet dancer, and the utterly unclassifiable former councilwoman, Aggie Stackhaus.What makes this story even more surreal is that just days before the Semler story broke, Funkhouser, who is a Democrat, had been celebrated by the same leftist local media and municipal government for booting out a bunch of accomplished WASPy white guys and replacing them with this diverse coalition of darks and hens.
These choices might strike the casual observer as the ultimate 21st century Mod Squad.
While I'm glad to see Jack make mention of the pertinent history behind Webster, he does so only in passing. I don't want Webster dragged through the mud like Semler was. It doesn't bother me that a black nationalist is on the KCMO Parks board. It's Parks and Recreation. What difference does it make? Anyhow, it is fitting that he'll be overseeing Swope Park.
This should not have been a story at all, yet it was covered at length by the KC Star and our local news stations. A majority of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Minutemen. The same cannot be said about the NBU Front. Why is the former cast as evil while the latter is not even remarked upon? The hypocritical double-standard is glaring.
Of more philosophical interest, the story illustrates what skeptics of the belief that diversity is in and of itself the highest ideal to be striven for have argued for a long time--diversity and divisiveness go hand-and-hand. Diversity and equality are inherently antagonistic toward one another.
When you bring together people of different cultures, races, religions, physical characteristics, temperaments, intelligence, and wildly disparate socio-economic status in downtown KCMO, you're going to get less agreement and less consensus than you will at the neighborhood homeowner's association meeting in Garden City. The logic is elementary.
Yet just days after singing paeans for Funkhouser's move in favor of greater diversity, the council and media pounced on him for the inevitable divisiveness that same diversity created. They begged for the puppy and then whined that he should be returned to the pound when he defecated on the rug. It is difficult to conclude other than they either desire perpetually increasing conflict, or want to install as leftist a city government as is possible and are using ostensibly objective normative judgments to see this materialize.
I'm glad I live in Johnson County, where this is merely a tale from a far-off (ten miles away!) land. Those of you in Minnesota and Massachusetts can similarly take comfort in the distance. So can those of you in Nevada and Colorado. Oh, well, at least there was once a time when you could have.
When it comes to our doorsteps, will there be anyone left?