Why the KC shooters didn't get the Rittenhouse treatment

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 2:29 p.m., I got a text from my sister in New Jersey, asking, “You all OK?”

I live in Kansas City. I figured something bad must have happened. It did. At 2:02 p.m. Kansas City Police confirmed that shots had been fired in front of Kansas City’s restored Union Station at the end of the Chiefs Super Bowl parade. By 2:13 p.m. two suspects had been detained.

My office is about 2 miles away from Union Station, but I was unaware of the incident until I checked the news. Now a half hour after the shooting, I quickly texted my sister back, “Boyz will be Boyz.”

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There was already enough information available to make that judgment with confidence. As it turned out, one innocent bystander was killed in the shooting and 23 people were wounded, many of those children.

Two days later, Ann Coulter appeared on HBO’s “Real Time” with Bill Maher. When Maher claimed to not know the race of the shooters, Coulter looked at him as if he were disputing the guilt of O.J. Simpson.

“We have some idea,” smirked Coulter. “If it were a white man shooting, we’d know.” When Maher protested the races were still not yet revealed, Coulter shot back, “That’s how we know it’s not a white man.”

Maher jokingly accused Coulter of having “special powers,” but these powers are accessible to anyone except, apparently, those occupying America’s newsrooms.

Among the blindest of the willfully blind in Kansas City is Mayor Quinton Lucas. I saw him on the local news the evening of the shooting saying, “This is absolutely a tragedy, the likes of which we never would have expected in Kansas City, the likes of which we’ll remember for some time.”

I shouted at the TV, “Hey, mayor, how about Crown Center?” Just four weeks prior, at a popular entertainment venue within eyesight of Union Station, six people were wounded when a gunfight broke out among “youths.”

A week after the shooting, the Kansas City Star ran an article with a promising headline, “Police identify several suspects in Crown Center shooting, investigation continues.”

The article itself honored the Coulter Rule: “In their preliminary investigation,” the Star reported, “police said the shooting broke out after an argument between two groups described as ‘youths.'” As of this writing, the woke Jackson County prosecutor has yet to identify who those “suspects” are.

By contrast, here is how CBS News headlined its story about Kyle Rittenhouse the day after the incident that put him in the news: “Kenosha Shooting: 17-Year-Old Kyle Rittenhouse Arrested In Connection With Shooting That Left 2 Dead, 1 Wounded.”

As a 17-year-old, Rittenhouse “was taken to the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center near Vernon Hills.” His youth did not stop the media, however, from plunging into Rittenhouse’s past and portraying him as an enemy of the people.

The media openly rooted for Rittenhouse’s conviction when tried, juvenile status or not, his obvious innocence notwithstanding.

Rittenhouse did not miss the disparity in media treatment. “I am trying to comprehend why the government was quick to reveal my name after I defended myself,” he tweeted on Feb. 20, “but they still haven’t released the names of the Kansas City shooters.” This tweet got 138,000 “likes.”

In Kansas City everyone knew the demographics of the shooters except, it seems, the local media. Those who depended on local news for updates knew less than those who followed Breitbart or TMZ.

Mayor Lucas took the lead in shaming those who hinted at the obvious. He did not want to be reminded that Kansas City set an all-time homicide record in 2023 with 185 dead, six times the murder rate of Omaha, 40 times the rate of adjoining Johnson County, Kansas.

Two days after the shooting, the Kansas City Star headlined a story, “KC mayor says governor used dog whistle when blaming ‘thugs’ for Chiefs rally shooting.”

Explained Lucas, “I certainly do think this was criminal activity; it’s lawlessness and I think that that’s troubling. But ‘thugs’ is a dog whistle in the most classic sense and I have seen this dog whistle time and again.”

The Star clarified: “‘Thug’ has been used as coded language, typically to demonize Black people as criminals.” Needless to say, Gov. Mike Parson is a Republican.

No, “thug” is used to avoid demonizing all black people as criminals, and it’s a whole lot more precise than “youths.”

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