Hearne: Joe Miller Talks About Racism ‘Kansas City Style’

alg_dispersing_crowdTurnabout is fair play…

And seeing as how we’re from “up north,” we all know about racism “down south.” At least we thought we did.

Enter these observations by former Pitch heavweight Joe Miller.

Miller is currently an English professor in Columbus, Georgia. And reading of Kansas City’s ongoing trials and tribulations with black youth on the Plaza and in other entertainment districts about town got him thinking.

“One of the things that really struck me when I got down here is it’s not like Kansas City,” Miller begins. “You know, all the nicest restaurants and bars are on this three block stretch and there are several black nightclubs there. And on weekends and other nights there are big crowds of blacks out on the town. Regularly. And that’s something I seldom saw in Kansas City.”

That is, without a gaggle of nervous business owners, security personnel and rent-a-cops.

84th Annual Academy Awards - ShowChris Rock had this little bit where he said the people that thought they were the sexiest people on earth were fat, black women,” Miller continues. “And when I got down here I saw a lot of 300 and 400 pound black women dressed in like two piece leather tops and bikini bottoms and fishnet stockings. You know, it’s basically like they’re fucking naked. It’s a sight to behold.

“And I thought, is that something that’s just in the south and then I thought, ‘You never see blacks out in Kansas City,’ and when you do, it’s a state of emergency. That’s one of the things that I’ve found down here; people don’t have a problem with blacks like they do in Kansas City.”

There’s also a quaint southern custom of people chatting freely with one another – including strangers – and including blacks with whites and vice versa, Miller says.

“And that’s something I didn’t see in Kansas City,” he says. “I wouldn’t say there’s not racism down here, but it’s different and in some ways it’s not as bad. There’s obviously a history of blacks and whites being in close proximity down here. So there’s not the same discomfort that there is in Kansas City.”

271The kind of discomfort that caused the Country Club Plaza to station 18 off duty cops, a handful of on duty police and horse mounted officers in front of the entrance to the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza theater at 9:40 p.m. the Saturday before last.

“You never, ever experience big groups of mostly blacks in Kansas City without someone calling in the National Guard,” Miller quips. “But blacks and whites will chat and shop in the same grocery stores down here, that kind of stuff. And like there are several black nightclubs in the main area here.

“Do you think you’ll ever see a black nightclub on the Plaza? People here are just not as uptight and fearful (of blacks) as they are in Kansas City.”






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16 Responses to Hearne: Joe Miller Talks About Racism ‘Kansas City Style’

  1. the dude says:

    I don’t think anyone has problems if young scholars want to congregate on the plaza or any other entertainment district and act like normal citizens. The problem arises when these scholars decide to harass and physically abuse the other law abiding citizens to perversely entertain themselves.

    • Hot Carl says:

      Bingo. I don’t care what color people are as long as they’re behaving like civilized people. I avoid groups that act like idiots no matter if they’re white, black, yellow, red, green, blue or purple. I don’t have time for stupid people. That’s who I discriminate against.

      • the dude says:

        I love how this is spun by the ‘scholar crusaders’ that the reason they commit this anti-social behavior is because taxpayers don’t give them enough money to have ‘things to do’. These ‘scholar crusaders’ fleece taxpayers out of their hard earned money ‘to give them things to do’ when we all know the real answer is parents need to start acting like parents and discipline their damn kids.

  2. smartman says:

    Too bad Freaknik was banned in Atlanta. Joe could travel north and get a real taste of Southern racism and world class twerking.

    Columbus Georgia is a far cry from KCMO. I have spent considerable time there in the past when a close friend was stationed at Fort Benning winding down his military career.

    Blacks maintain their own sense of culture and style but do so while properly assimilating themselves into polite society as civic leaders, business owners, people of faith, students, customers, mothers, fathers and extended family. The familial bond of black southerners, adhearance to faith, morals and values as part of the nuclear family unit are far more ingrained in the South than in the North.

    In short, no daily race card bullsh#t, just a desire to be treated fairly and likewise in return. No stench of entitlement or cries for social justice. Just a desire to get along. Much of that influence in Columbus is probably due to the fact that many military familes settle there when obligations to Uncle Sam are concluded. So with that comes people accustomed to hard work, discipline, honor and integrity.

    It’s not all chitlin’s and Kumbaya but it’s a much, much better situation than we deal with on the East side between the thugs, Rev’s, grifters and politicians looking for 40 acres and a pool at whitey’s expense.

  3. Stephen says:

    Kansas City, MO, is 29% black; Columbus, GA, is 46%…

    • the dude says:

      And your point is what exactly?
      Yes, I know about northern cities’ problems with racism, Hunter S. Thompson wrote a great article about it a good while back. If you have not read it you should.

      • Stephen says:

        My point is if one place has 60% more of something, interaction observations are going to be very different simply by virtue of demographics without regard to any underlying social psychology.

        Compare an east coast city with a high Catholic population with KC’s low Catholic population: in that eastern city, you’ll see far more Catholic presence in social life & mores, the archbishop is much more prominent in the general community & news coverage, and of course you’ll see more Catholic churches. Then you come back to KC and don’t see all those things — does that mean KC is anti-Catholic, or simply that there aren’t as many?

  4. mark smith says:

    Joe didn’t see blacks out in kc because he didn’t go out of his way to seek out blacks. Like most white liberal apologists (hearne) Joe makes himself feel good by pointing out the racist segregation of kc, while spending his free time with white hipster douche bags of his ilk. And please spare me the white savior of the black debate club story. Miller is a hack who sold out his employer for a salon article.

    • admin says:

      I dunno.

      Joe lived in the northeast not far from the Kansas City Museum in a pretty ethnic hood and volunteered at Central High School and helped coach their debate team.

      I think he more than went out of his way to, as you put it, “seek out blacks.”

      • mark smith says:

        I lived in midtown off and on since the mid 70s, so what? I’m talking social circles. Point being Joe loves to play the benevolent white savior, that doesn’t mean mean he socializes with the urban poor. Living in northeast doesnt mean he hangs in the same places as the section 8 apt dwellers.

        • admin says:

          He hung pretty close.

          He was more of a homebody – not a barfly hanging at hood bars – but for a white boy, he was pretty black. Oh and read his book about working with Central High’s debate team kids. he was on the front lines, man. No two ways about it.

  5. chuck says:

    The uspoken premise implied by Mr. Miller’s nebulous description of our racist tendencies, is that any and all antipathy for African Americans in this city, more specifically on the Plaza grew to fruition in a vacuum with no causas belli and the genesis for these character flaws is inherent and curable with the liberal application of a liberal ideology to the racist wounds in our colective white psyche. Our incessant preoccupation with white guilt has now turned an American neurosis into an American necrosis.

    Mr. Miller’s anecdotal and affective takes on Georgia make me wanna rent “Song of the South.” Instead, lets take a look at the facts.

    The violence, intimidation and shootings on the Plaza over the last few summers, were not, as Dave Helling would have us believe, caused by Red Heads, but African Americans (Joe has been gone a while Hearne, ya might wanna bring him up to speed regarding the Mayor’s unceremonious dive into the bushes in front 0f the Cheesecake Factory while “shots rang out” during one of those unsolicited, unwanted, unruly African American Flash Mobs where those crazy kids were blowin off a little steam.).

    When it comes to race relations, Mr. Miller has the fully formed IQ of a single hanging chad. All over American, African American flash mobs are violently asserting their will over neighborhoods, shopping areas and cities. This is a list of SOME of the violence over the last year or so.


    The US Dept. of Justice and the FBI stats on crime tell part of the truth (Hispanics are lumped in with whites so as to skew the ratio to more acceptable, but still abhorrent levels.) about African American crime.

    In Mr. Miller’s dreams, we are all on the piano singing Ebony and Ivory, partying with Puffy and boinking Beyonce. In reality, the entire nation is gripped in a low level civil war that more and more pits color against color.

    I would suggest the brilliant Mr. Sutherland review Tom Wolfe’s “Back To Blood” for Mr. Miller, so he can get his feet back on the ground.

  6. What? says:

    Maybe the blacks in Ga still remember getting lynched? And this is the reason for the good behavior.

    • Libertarian says:


      KC never experienced full-blown racism like the south.

      Tear gas was as bad is got in KC back in 65 or 66.
      “Down South” had police dogs and lynchings.

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