Tony: Kansas City’s Coldest Winter & the Frozen Baby

The Winter months have been a horrible low point in this town’s recent history. And not just because the sun was more effective at removing snow than city services in the urban core.

The novelty of the new year’s worn off. We’re closing in on city elections. And we’re at that glorious time of the year when pro-sports isn’t really important and we aren’t out of the running yet for the upcoming baseball season.

Still, at this moment a dead baby found frozen in the back of a pickup truck offers a perfect metaphor for the state of our city.


Allow me to explain.

See, crime in this town has always been tough to explain. Of course there are gangs and drug turf battles, poverty and hopelessness but a far more complex motivating factor seems to be on display. Sure a beatdown in Wesport is easy for racists to explain away and really doesn’t motivate people to action. But dead baby shockers are not so easily forgotten.

Of course I have a theory.

In this murder and so many others, I venture to guess that a basic lack of respect for life is at the center of most local homicides.

Only because KC just doesn’t care about human life does a streetfight in front of a crowd of people turn deadly, A borrowed lawnmower turns into a cause for a deadly vendetta or a dead baby ends up in the back of a truck. I’ll try not to get too Catholic about this but the cheapness of life in KC is a problem where we can all take blame, because it’s an overall flaw in this town’s culture.

It’s easy to blame only hip-hop or "stop snichin" which justifiably deserves to take some heat. However, there are more culprits in this blame game of cultural logics.

Every time an Eastside murder is ignored Kansas City says to a significant portion of our residents that those lives don’t merit the same attention other crime victims who dominate the headlines do.

And yes, the disposable nature of life and people in the suburbs probably contributes to a basic lack of respect for life overall.

There’s hope that we can work to change this but far more people are concerned about keeping the E-Tax so we don’t have to go back to paying for trash pickup than changing worldviews in this town.

So the killing continues with only a few brief pauses to count the carnage that has grown even worse over the past four years and has led us to the current state of affairs.

Where even the most shocking newpspaer headline seems par for the course.
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