Correspondence

Globalization Transforms Kansas City

After a decade of living in Europe and various locales in the United States, I returned four years ago to the place where my family has long resided.  My great-great-great grandfather, John Maget, along with his brother Rufus, bought in to the Platte County Purchase in 1847, which included lands north of Kansas City.  They lost some of these lands shortly thereafter (having sided with Confederates), but this area has been home for over 150 years.

Kansas City, landlocked dead-center in the United States, has had its fair share of controversies over the years: The burning of Lawrence, Kansas to the ground; the Pendergast Machine; race riots; and high crime rates.  In the 1980’s, it was home to one of the most egregiously destructive desegregation programs, where federal judge Russell Clark effectively took control of the school district and ordered a “desegregation tax” from the bench, figuring that the previous egalitarian efforts had not gone far enough.  (Do they ever?)  Such experiments cost taxpayers millions, if not billions (adding in the secondary costs), precipitated white flight, and continued the transformation of large parts of the city into nearly uninhabitable war zones.

Having recently been released from the dictates of federal judges (for the moment), Kansas City has spawned yet another controversy: the appointment of 73-year-old Frances Semler to the City Parks and...

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