I appreciated Steve Kraske’s recent column suggesting that the J.C. Nichols Fountain be renamed in an admission of the racist intent of Nichols’ wide-ranging real estate projects. (June 19, 19A, “Kansas City should rename famed J.C. Nichols fountain”)
Many whites like me have started and raised families in the suburbs of Kansas City. Because of Nichols’ racist projects from the 1940s, Kansas City’s white suburbs have accumulated great unearned wealth and resources. This has made many areas around the city very desirable for people of all backgrounds.
So, in addition to Kraske’s suggestion that we rename a local symbol of oppression, we should also undo the restrictive covenants that continue to govern our neighborhoods in a severe though unspoken way.
Here are a few ways this could work:
Demand government bodies collaborate with lenders to give minority homebuyers guaranteed ways to qualify and reasonably pay back loans on suburban homes, much like those guarantees given to largely white GIs after WWII. Require real estate agents to show homes in white segregated neighborhoods to minority buyers. Incentivize segregated neighborhoods to pass non-discrimination policies and proclamations, similar to those in cities such as Roeland Park.
Renaming the fountain would be a great start, but we must also act closer to home.
You live history and can study and write about it, but you can’t relive or change it. Steve Kraske’s wish to rename the J.C. Nichols fountain is misguided.
There is no parallel between removing a statue of a Civil War leader and renaming a fountain.
Kraske retrospectively calls J.C. Nichols a racist. Kraske is a man of his time, and so was Nichols. The former is an activist journalist who keys his work to current events. The latter was a real estate developer who provided contemporaneous products his buyers wanted. Enough said.
To rename fountains, streets, businesses and other landmarks named after a man whose leadership and foresight shaped modern Kansas City is foolish and unwarranted.
Kraske’s idea fails the test of time.
The Senate has been holding closed meetings with just 13 Republican men to write far-reaching health care legislation, and they plan to bring a bill to the floor for a vote next week. We have no idea what’s in that bill because they are not holding open hearings, nor are they discussing plans with patients, medical providers or children’s, women’s or seniors’ groups.
We will pay more and get less, and many will lose coverage if the Senate bill is even close to being as “mean” (quoting President Donald Trump) as the House bill.
We need access and affordable care for all, including the most vulnerable: those of us with pre-existing conditions, those who rely on Medicaid and senior citizens.
And why are these drastic cuts to health care even being contemplated? To discredit President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which brought affordable health care to millions, and to pay for planned tax breaks for the very wealthiest.
Admittedly, the ACA has some flaws, but let’s fix them instead of throwing it all out.
You must take the time now to go to senate.gov to contact your senator and make your voice heard. Our health care could be badly damaged next week if our voices are not heard.
As a bleeding-heart liberal, I am grieved (once again) to see a Republican squeak out a victory over a Democrat. (June 21, 12A, “GOP narrowly hangs on to House seat in Georgia election”)
When it comes to politics in this country, it seems the big-money Republicans are always winning recently. I am beginning to despair and reassess my belief that way more people think like I do than like conservatives do. If it were so, why don’t more liberals win?
There are two possible explanations, in my opinion: Either there actually are more right-leaning voters out there or liberals just don’t make the effort to vote.
I don’t want to give up my belief that there are more liberals than conservatives, but time after time, recently, liberals lose, if only by a couple of points. I’m also beginning to fear that my fellow liberals are stupid, overconfident or just don’t care.
With the majority of African-Americans and Latinos leaning liberal, why can’t we win? Do you vote?
As a cynical optimist, I am befuddled. We must figure out a way to get out the vote.
Timothy Earl Osburn