Hearne: Urban Youth Mount Unwelcome Return to Plaza on St. Patrick’s Day

They’re back and they’re black…

Much has been said of how bustling Westport was on St. Patrick’s Day. To which I can add, ditto for  Waldo. The Well, Quinton’s and Kennedy’s were on fire.

Which brings us to KC’s other prominent people magnet, the Plaza.

After spending several hours there Saturday afternoon and evening, I can report that comparably, outside of O’Dowd’s and maybe the sports bars the Plaza was a St. Patrick’s Day bust.

Don’t get me wrong.

There were plenty of locals out and about, shopping, dining, enjoying the weather and beautiful day. They just weren’t – for the most part – adorned in tacky green getups and stumbling around drunk.

Which by Plaza standards is a good thing.

However the day also marked the notable return of a crowd the Plaza’s been loath to welcome.

That being the huddled masses of African-American youth the white bread entertainment and shopping district has so disdained the past 10 years. The Plaza has made it abundantly clear that it’s a demographic it would just as soon do without.

In 2002, for example, I reported in the Star, the Plaza installed four large floodlights atop Seville glaring down on the hundreds of black youths that had begun to hang on the sidewalks outside Cinemark on Saturday nights. It was a painfully obvious attempt to discourage the kid’s presence.

Which was further hammered home by the positioning of a formidable force of security and police.

More recently there was the Plaza youth wilding two years back followed by last summer’s shooting spree that caused new KC mayor Sly James to eat dirt to dodge whizzing bullets.

A kiddie curfew was quickly implemented, calm restored and the summer drew to a close.

Until Saturday when the kids were back and not surprisingly Plaza Security was all over them.

However the kiddie groupings I observed were largely well behaved. Plaza Security hovered close by, moving in frequently to break up groups and order them to move along.

As in year’s past the main gathering point Saturday was the Seville block that houses Cinemark, Urban Outfitters and Brio. Continuously being routed, the kids fanned out aimlessly to nearby blocks and to the north and east towards H&M and Barnes & Noble.

It was basically a cat and mouse game.

The $64 million question being, was this a preview of things to come this summer?

Here’s the deal…

Like their white suburban brethren, urban kids enjoy hanging in upscale shopping and entertainment areas where the vibe is upbeat and the streets and sidewalks are safe. They want to see and be seen just like the flocks of teens that roam Oak Park Mall and Zona Rosa.

Yet even though the majority of the urban teen interlopers were nicely dressed and largely well-behaved, Plaza Security did its best to make it clear to the kids they were unwelcome.

Since the security dudes couldn’t bust the kids for rowdiness or curfew violations, they hassled them instead for hanging to long in one place. Or for leaning – heaven forbid – against a rail or building.

Funny, nobody rousted any of the white dudes I saw leaning against buildings.

Frankly, it was kind of sad to watch.

I spoke with a couple kids right after a Plaza Security dude rousted them and they simply shrugged and let it go. They knew how the game was played.

The difference between the Plaza kids and kids in the burbs?

Where my 15 year-old daughters and their friends seldom leave home without ten or twenty bucks – sometimes more – these kids don’t appear to be long on green. So odds are they’re far less likely to duck into Urban and drop $30 or $50.  Or Noodles & Company even.

So not only do the kids present an awkward and uncomfortable presence for white bread Plaza habitues, there’s little to be harvested moneywise by merchants. Merchants who fear the kids presence may scare off paying customers or erupt in violence as they have on the rare but sensationally reported occasions.

And that’s the way this year’s St. Patrick’s went down on the Plaza as I saw it.

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28 Responses to Hearne: Urban Youth Mount Unwelcome Return to Plaza on St. Patrick’s Day

  1. Smartman says:

    Ebony and Ivory
    It’s unfortunate that most suburban white folks shit their pants anytime they see more than 3 black kids together. They can smell the fear on whitey three blocks away. That being said it still is a matter of behavior. The kids don’t just loiter, they block the whole sidewalk. You’ll always hear an occasional comment like, “Peckerwood” or “I’d tap that ass”. When they cross the street they’ll slam your quarter panel or in some cases key it.

    There is a manner of behavior that the urban utes can adopt that will make them at least acceptable, if not entirely welcome on The Plaza. They know what that is but still refuse to adapt. For better or worse, much of the racism directed at these kids is not because of skin color, it’s because of behavior. So since we aren’t gonna be singing We Shall Overcome or Kumbaya anytime soon, get that conceal carry permit, train with your weapon, understand the law, don’t be afraid to pull out your weapon and blast one of these kids if that is indeed the appropriate action.

  2. chuck says:

    Seems like a logical enough fallacy.
    Check this out—-http://violentflashmobs.com/

    That is a URL which lists (Imcompletely, because this is only a list of major mob assaults that made the news.) around 200 viloent flash mobs since 2009. Murder, rape, assualts, theft and of course hate crimes that are not actually determined to be Hate Crimes under current law.

    From the Mall of America, to the Wisconsin and Iowa State Fairs, indeed all over the United States, last year, the violent African American Sub Culture participated in extemporaneous serial murder, serial assault, serial rape, serial theft on a breathtaking scale.

    Should this harbinger of things to come, be met by acquiescence this summer? Are we breaking the butterfly on the wheel? Should we turn to those old 60’s liberal shibboleth cants that provided the Stockholm Syndrome kool aide we’re all still drunk on? Sure we will. We, as a city, as a nation, will suffer through another summer of violence and mayhem brought to us by way of white guilt, short memories and a sea change in demographics that indeed doom the American Nation as we once knew it.

    Hearne, as I recall, there were multiple shots fired, 3 people shot and Hiz Honor had to take evasive action in front of the fuckin Cheesecake Factory. See, I gotta tell ya, I think that is pretty impressive and warrants a large security force and more police on the Plaza in the face of a multitide of African Americans. Indeed, its just my opinion, but if there is NOT an aggressive security force and more police, then I think, and again, its just my opinion, but I think that all fuckin hell breaks loose. Then, the 4th Estate, as Hearne did here, will use the cover of civility and decency as a weapon of genocide. Keep looking up through the entire descent, it won’t kill the pain, but you will feel better until you hit.

    I like this quote, “Frankly, it was kinda sad to watch.” What is kinda sad to watch, is the destruction and violence that these Flash Mobs perpetrate on innocent citizens all over America and the subsequent mitigation, obfuscation of the facts, the motives and most importantly, the outcomes. The animus and hatred that is taught overtly and covertly by way of public education, the 4th estate, Hollywood and print media, for all things Caucasion is a disgraceful and pernicious curriculum vitae, that accompanies ever more African American youths in thier journey through life. Hatin Whitey is the Straight Cash Homey pay off.

    I am gobsmacked by 2nd party excuses made locally and nationally, for what are serial violent attacks, by one culture upon another, by the very people in the culture being attacked. The stock responses and standard catch phrases, a supposed panacea in the face of the unambiguated violence that needs to be faced. No more diversity, multicultural, reductionist bullshit, people are getting killed.

    Last weekend in Chicago, 50 people got shot, 10 of them died. Why is it, that so few, hear the thunder? Its comin, and its comin for you and your family. Maybe not now, not tomorrow and not in JoCo for a while, but for your kids and their kids, its coming, like the man says, sure as God’s vnegence.

    Fuck it, lets braid Bill Mahers hair and see if we are cycle sisters with the Left and all that is good and holy.

    But get ready for the sub culture, to pitch a tent in your excrement.

    Oh yeah, hey smartman, if we shoot a thug, then maybe we can borrow that Trans Panic defense in court, it will be our only hope and, it’s the least the Left can do, imo.

  3. harley says:

    smartman’s an idiot
    not a single intelligent remark in any of your posts so why should we expect anything different.
    Nothing “smart” …nothing of value except old worn out jokes and stupid attempts at humor.
    Your shtick is overdue and outdated. In other words your not even funny…you’re not even
    smart…actually you’re a fucking old fool who’s line of bullshit wears real thin here.
    Get some new jokes or just stfu!

  4. harley says:

    chuck and smartman
    Your times have come and past. You’re big men…brave men when you talk on this site. Truthfully…i think
    you’re both old fools needing a place to exhibit how “cool and brave” you are because no one at home
    listens to you.
    Especially both of you…who post comments at 3am/midnight/1am…overnights because truthfully you
    have no life of your own.
    Get some sleep…calm down…put your “fake ” guns away…stop playing “barney fife”…get some ambien
    and some anti depressants because you two are phony!

  5. harley says:

    kcc failing….
    hearne…while you’re writing comments appealing to old fools and racists who play with guns to act brave and cool..
    greg hall is one of the hottest sites in the city. Have you seen the comments and media play the guy is getting. I thought
    you and glaze were the top media guys in kc…not anymore!!!!!!
    Maybe you should really think about a new knowledeable writers with backgrounds in journalism instead of
    the writers you have now. Your site has gotten stale and as much as i like glaze he’s run out of stuff to
    entice readers…his sports stories are just lackluster and without any real
    Your comment section is dwindling. Many regulars have left. I find most of the stuff you put on here as pure
    puff…and not interesting. Instead of just hoping people read this site…maybe ungrade the content…
    attract some new viewers….so you’re not left with old poor white guys up at 1am reading your site and
    making stupid comments.
    I gave you some really great ideas…use them…you might be surprised at what you get.

  6. Smartman says:

    We’re sorry Harley
    How were Chuck and I supposed to know the phone number on the bathroom wall at Coach’s was your new girlfriend. We only called out of curiousity. Not often you see someone write loves to give oral while taking anal, will send car for you. Heck, it wasn’t until we were done that she told us. If I would have know before I would made Chuck clean the mud of his turtle before we switched.

  7. chuck says:

    Jo Jo has your number.
    GREG HALL: *phone ringing* “Hello.”

    HARLEY/JOJO: “Greg, its Harley.”

    GREG HALL: “Harley Race?”

    HARLEY/JOJO: “No, but I know Harley Race and he is a friend of one of my friends and we go to Cancun sometimes, there are some really hot broads there, not the kind of broads like this town has, like Glazer would date, but real hotties, although I have settled down and don’t have to chase the hotties anymore like Glazer and Hearne even though I have a cool car, not a car like Glazers which says I am old and can’t get any pussy, so I need a cool car, but still, my car is way cool.”

    GREG HALL: “Jesus…”

    HARLEY/JOJO: “Don’t hang up Greg, I have friends at Mizzou who have lots of money and go to Cancun where I sometimes talk with them and they tell me stuff you could use in your blog, which is way better than Hearn’s blog and gets more hits and comments and I comment there to under my real name JoJo, but like I was saying man I am calling for a reason so don’t hang up.”

    GREG HALL: “Jesus…”

    HARLEY/JOJO: “I think you need to have me write for your blog, I have given Hearne all the chances I am going to give him and he let a golden opportunity pass him by and now you can benefit from my connections with my boys in Coumbia where I am very popular and have the inside shit on what is going on there and can get you the heads up on anything you wanna know about the Tigers and the pussy in Columbia and how to score with the broads even though I don’t have to anymore probably like you I bet you have a classy broad not some skank like Glazer’s or some of the loser broads that I see around town, and oh yeah, you could also let me write some tips for where you should go to get broads in Westport and on the Plaza cause I am well known down there.

    GREG HALL: “I am hanging up Harley, ya gotta stop callin here, your freaking my wife and kids out.”

    HARLEY/JOJO: “Wait, I got pictures of Glazer with a new chick and she is white!”

    GRAG HALL: “What about the Restraining Order?”

    HARLEY/JOJO: “Telephoto lens.”

    GREG HALL: “Jesus…”

    HARLEY/JOJO: “I got 240 pictures of Glazer and his car which by the way ain’t that cool, if ya really want a cool car you gotta go with a car like mine that is fast, but gets good gas mileage and the broads like it too, but I don’t chase broads anymore and if I did they would love my car.”

    GREG HALL: “Jo Jo I am calling the police” *click*

    HARLEY/JOJO: *dialing phone…ringing…*


    HARLEY/JOJO: “Hearne, its me Harley.”


  8. chuck says:

    chuck your funny!

  9. expat says:

    Not all that rare
    “or erupt in violence as they have on the rare but sensationally reported occasions.”

    And how many times have White kids at Oak Park Mall erupted into violence? With guns?

  10. paulwilsonkc says:

    Hey, Chuck, its Paul
    Chuck: Dude, Paul, you’re FUNNY.

    Paul: No, Chuck, you OWN funny after that one, I was going to write something funny, but that just took the wind out of my sails. Im unworthy. An old, unworthy, unfunny fool….

  11. chuck says:


  12. Hearne says:

    Thanks for the advice, Harley
    Happy as always to get your input as an authority on all things and a guesser of other people’s ages, occupations and mindsets.

    I wish Greg Hall well – I’ve always supported him and if you recall it was me who coaxed Greg out of retirement to write again three years ago.

    You’re welcome.

    Sports sells, it stirs some people’s passions and callers and commenters love to hear the sound of their own voices and are spellbound by the sight of their own words.

    Look in the mirror if you doubt me.

    And that’s in no small way why sports radio and Web sites garner so many callers and comments.

    But as everybody in the media and probably anybody else who’s given it any thought knows, callers and commenters are an infinitesimally small fraction of overall listenership and Internet traffic.

    Actually, when I see a Star sports story with literally hundreds of comments I seldom read past the first few. Unless one enjoys passing their time reading bathroom walls, who really much cares what a zillion anonymous people have to say about the Chiefs?

    There are exceptions to this of course, but I think you know what I mean.

    Greg’s site has continued to improve and he’s moved up on Alexa from around 5 millionth place in the world to around 4.5 million. He’ll continue to grow though and the site won’t even celebrate its first birthday until June.

    The flip side of that is there are a million sports only sites out there, and honing in mostly on what local radio and television personalities say, then riffing on it may have its limitations. Especially with little to no actual news reporting.

    Just as writing about things going on in Kansas City has its limitations.

    Nice to hear your critiques and concerns though as always, and know that they do not fall on deaf ears.

  13. BarKeeper says:

    The freakin’ Plaza is a time bomb, plain and simple.

    These quick-to-act, feral youth gathering there now are just testing the waters. When the time is right, they’ll go off like an atom bomb. The half-wits at Highwood better send the silver haired rent-a-cops on home and get some real law enforcement on the scene.

    Some major properties that have been somewhat successful in approaching such things, enforce a limit on how many youths can gather in one place, and it’s usually three at max. But I think the worthless parents would start marching if something like that interferred with their babies getting put under some kind of control.

    Just sayin’

  14. chuck says:

    @ barkeeper
    I think your right.

    If appeasement worked in the face of violence, intimidation and a history of destruction, then Neville Chamberlain’s statue would be on that bridge over Brush Creek on the Plaza, not Winston Churdhill’s.

  15. chuck says:

    Sorry, typo…

  16. harley says:

    hobby cop clowns
    chucky and smartman.
    1. you post on this site at midnight/1am/2am/3 am /4am…have you nothing better to do in your
    life than be on this insignifcant site that has all of 4 people commenting…is your life so bad.
    2. smartman said he and chucky read some names in coaches bathroom wall. Are you two
    losers so scummy that you actually go into a mens john at the same time (like women)
    and get down and read the writings on a low rent bar’s toilet wall? what the fuck kind of
    actions are those. and knowing how old chuck is ..he proably had to bring his old man reader
    glasses to see the phone numbers. I can see smartman mounting chucky in the toilet
    while thye read bathroom wal writings. wow…great life.
    3. wannabes: “get your weapons training”…”violence coming”…wtf. You two probably watch some of
    those violent movies mommy tries to keep you from watching…then you play those military video
    games…probably a little camo facepaint…play army (like i did when i was 6)…then go into the
    wooods playing miltary games….come on your 2….you live in a paranoid world than few if any
    other people bleive in…go buy some mre’s and water and get ready for the upcoming end of the world..
    4. plagerize: you plagarzie most of what you put on here…what kind of crap is that?
    can’t come up with any original ideas…and smartman uses old worn out lines and jokes
    that arent even funny anymore.

  17. Steve says:

    probably the best comeback on this site. Harley just racked chuck and smartman with a great comment.
    Harley shows that he can take it and he can bring it on. Smartman/Chuck: you got punked by Harley!

  18. cat daddy says:

    yeah, they have to be devestated
    Tough deal.

  19. harley says:

    smartman: “i made chuck clean his turtle”
    wtf…you two guys are cleaning each others turtle? DIdnt hear it call a turtle beofre..please…this is not a
    gay site like the ones you and chucky read often…so please keep your personal gay lifestyle out of hearnes
    site…hearne is very sensitive about gays.

  20. Smartman says:

    What’s your number

    Chuck and I would love to meet you. What’s your number? And please be more original than 867-5309. For what it’s worth Harley I know who you are. We have a mutual acquaintance, besides your new girlfriend. I can expose you any time I want.

    Steve, you sure you’re not ghost writing for Harley? No one likes breaking balls or getting balls broken more than me! Chucks post at 6:58:04 yesterday is CLASSIC. May even be better than Tony Botello’s legendary, “Hey Tim Finn, how do Hearne’s balls taste?”

    Harley racks no one but himself with guilt and envy.

  21. paulwilsonkc says:

    Hearne, I know Greg does well, but…
    … there’s a certain segment of the population, and I’d say Im not the minority, who doesnt WANT to read about sports all the time. I’d much rather read a more broad spectrum of information that stuff provided by geeked up arm chair quarterbacks who never played in real life but live for pretending like they did. Not for me.

    Chuck, Smart, please don’t threaten exposure of Harley, thats why he left last time when I found the Google Earth of his house and the info on his “company”. He calmed down for a while, but we’re seconds away, I fear, of hearing about him being a 1%’er and everyone else being working class dweebs. If you recall, he had me pinned as a minimum wage something, I forgot the industry, but he was as wrong about ME as he was about HIMSELF!! Go easy on the poor boy, thats what he and Craig share, an undying urge for self promotion.

  22. harley says:

    i follow wilson
    i don’t go after family of people on here…smartman…you have continuously done that not only to me…but everyone
    on here. Wilson made an excellent point..come after the writer…but don’t involve his friends or family.
    Youh ave stepped over theline. Way over the line..and i got back at you for what you wrote about my family
    I know who you are…i know exactly who you are…and if i have to i can put your name all over the media and
    every comment you have ever made…I choose not to provided you stop the attacks on my friends and family..
    which you continously do. Chuck worked for my families best friends and knows the influence and
    connections they and my family have in this town…
    shoudl these continue i will do what wilson did…you come after my family and as wilson did you pay a price.
    Understand i am pretty out ther with comments…i am very opinonated..but you have target me and my
    people with not only rude comments but also harassing untrue comments.
    if you knwo who i am clal me…my numbers in the book and our mutual acquaintances can tell you w
    ehre to cal lme…feel free…but the attacks on my family and friends must stop…

  23. harley says:

    don’t have to google me wilson
    come on by…have some drinks..you’re cool…don’t google my house wilson..maybe come by an d helpme with
    landscaping…grass got disease this year…need help…
    google my rental properties…my company…having a great year…and opening up
    a great new business within 60 days…
    come by…you probably could give me some advice…
    not realy into self promotion…i’m very low key…90% of my biz is out of market…
    just like you…i have fun here…and just like you when glaze went after your wife and family )although i only
    do stuff on this miniscule site)…i ‘d never poststuff on facebook…and if someon e give me crap..i’m okay..
    ove the banter…but leave family out..
    so come on by…and bring a rake (lol)

  24. chuck says:

    Just a little follow-up here on Flash Mobs
    Yesterday in Baltimore, “Hundreds of youths” converged on Inner Harbor in Baltimore and, of course, the shit hit the fan.

    Check this—–http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/03/19/10-arrested-after-crowds-of-teens-create-chaos-at-inner-harbor/

  25. chuck says:

    This is hilarious.
    It happened last night in Omaha, after a ‘Tyga’ concert.

    Sheesh… First some one throws some stuff up on the stage, then the rapper, Mr. Tyga, tells the dude (He uses a pejorative term for African Americans.) that he is going to sing one last song, then kick his ass outside of the arena. Then, there is a gunfight (As you will do.) with a car following the Band, ON THE BUS and shooting at them.

    Ya can’t make this shit up.


    “Honey, when will the kids be home from that concert? I sure hope you remembered to pack some flash grenades and a couple of extra clips.”

    “I did, I miss the good ole days when kids came home from concerts smelling like some bad ass weed, now its a whiff of cordite, check them for flesh wounds and off to bed.”

  26. expat says:

    There you go chuck, quoting I mean plagiarizing articles again! I’m sure all those incidents were the result of media sensationalism.

  27. Meredith says:

    I spoke to a friend yesterday who got pepper spray in her eye as she walked by these local youths. I remember being shocked because, while I was in Arizona, I read this crappy blog out of boredom and thought it was good that KC was moving on from this annoyance. Apparently there was a fight and this was the result of the security breaking up that fight, pepper spray wafting into everyone’s eyes. Did you go to bed early, Hearne? I gotta keep it exclusively to TKC and my better informed and more social friends from now on…

  28. Hearne says:

    You prefer links to other people’s’s stories?
    Knock yourself out. And I’ll save ya a seat…just in case.

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