It’s troubling that as the Kansas City Royals begin the playoffs this week and a lot of people are proudly wearing the team’s “KC” logo some young people don the emblem and see the initials standing for “killer city.”
Attendees of a community conversation on violence heard that depressing news on Tuesday. The Concerned Clergy Coalition of Kansas City and Aim4Peace brought about 60 people together to talk about ways the city and area churches can collaborate to end the brutality.
It has been a recurring problem for too long. Homicides, on the rise this year, spill a lot of blood and absorb a tremendous amount of attention.
As of Tuesday, Kansas City police had recorded 77 homicides in 2015, compared with 59 at this time a year ago and 83 in 2013.
Organizers said if violence is like a communicable disease, people need to work together to prevent it from being transmitted to others.
The event, held at the city’s Health Department, preceded commemorations on Saturday of the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., and the 1,000 Real Man March of Kansas City.
Some speakers this week said people seem to have forgotten that those events in 1995 promoted reconciliation, responsibility and self-determination for African-Americans. This community must resurrect those ideals and more.
In discussing solutions, attendees pointed in the right direction: Overcoming fear, engaging with young people, effectively addressing mental health issues and ensuring safe and healthy neighborhoods.
Making all that happen is a major challenge that should unite Kansas Citians despite their racial and geographic divides.