Kansas City Grovels To Get La Raza Biz
In 2007, the then mayor Mark Funkhouser appointed to the Kansas City Parks Board a 73-year old grandmother, gardener, and neighborhood president named Frances Semler.
In a sane world, this appointment would have passed unnoticed. But in the Bizarro World of America's race politics, the Semler appointment sparked a truly perverse firestorm of controversy. Semler, unknown to Funkhouser, belonged to the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a group of volunteers that peacefully assists the authorities in preventing illegal crossings of the United States border, a sort of neighborhood watch group writ large. "I believe very strongly in obeying the law," said Semler at the time.
Apparently, all the good thought thinkers in Kansas City believed otherwise. The Kansas City Star went ballistic. The NAACP and other putative civil rights groups, including the well-heeled witch hunters from the Southern Poverty Law Center, held a press conference denouncing Semler. And the City Council voted 9-3 demanding Funkhouser purge her like an unrepentant Trotskyite. "This is about racism and divisiveness," said council member Beth Gottstein, "everything we are not supposed to be about."
When Funkhouser held his ground, the National Council of La Raza ("The race," whichever "race" that is) pulled its planned 2009 convention from Kansas City. The Star and its allies never forgave Funkhouser and drove him from office four years later, an experience that fully soured Funkhouser on "liberalism" and the Democratic Party, despite his lifelong allegiance to both.
With Funkhouser gone from office and from town, and with Semler quietly back in her rose garden, La Raza feels that Kansas City may be safe once again for its 2015 convention. "Their leadership agreed to only consider Kansas City," said an anxious local Hispanic leader, Bernard Ramirez.
With the convention's potential for 5,000 filled hotel rooms and $5 million pumped into the local economy, civic leaders are holding their breath and monitoring all appointments. For its part, the Star ran an article with a brooding mug shot of Grandma Evil and a veritable plea for forgiveness.
Given La Raza's intolerance of diverse opinions, I am just hoping this column doesn't queer it for the city. I would hate to see my taxes go up to compensate for the shortfall.