Kansas City Petition to Remove Martin Luther King Jr.’s Name from Street

There is no doubt people fight over the dumbest things.  Throw in a disagreement where both sides of the fence have their rights; the one who wins the argument is labeled “racist.”  America is where majority rules.  Those who are not in the majority turn into snowflakes.  When it involves the color of skin, they become the true “racist” but point the finger because they did not get their way.  Council members changed the name of a street without consulting the people in Kansas City.  They changed the name from The Paseo to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, which covers a ten-mile stretch.

The street name was changed last year, and those who look to preserve history wanted to leave the name The Paseo and stated it had a significant meaning to those who lived on the street and in Kansas City, Missouri.

A group known as “Save the Paseo” wore T-shirts with the name and logo while showing up to protest silently in the church.  There were 1,700 signatures needed for a petition, and they exceeded what was significantly required.  They received 2,857 signatures as of April of this year.

Inside the church, those who cried the supporters of The Paseo were “racist.”  They claimed it was mostly white people and that the members of Save the Paseo group did not live on the street, which runs through the black neighborhoods of the city.  The people argued it would send the wrong message about Kansas City and would affect tourism and businesses since it was one of the few cities which did not carry the name of Martin Luther King Jr.  They cried about the supporters of The Paseo being disrespectful inside a church.  Is it not worse to cast a stone of judgment calling people “racist” because of the majority rules?  It is not very Christian or American.

The group Save the Paseo cast down the calls of “racism” by explaining they do have respect for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and there should be a way to honor him.  The opposition comes due to the City Council did not follow the proper protocols and just took it upon themselves to change the name of the street.  They are upset because no one who lived on the street was notified.  Their argument is legit due to the historical value, which was Kansas City’s first boulevard in 1899, was completed.  It is also named in the National Register of Historic Places.

Sunday, it was a showdown between Tim Smith, the organizer of the protest, and U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, who was a former mayor of the city and a minister.  Cleaver pushed for the name change for years to the Civil Rights leader.  He told the protesters they were welcomed but said, “I am standing here simply begging you to sit down. This is not appropriate in a church of Jesus Christ.”

Smith said in response, the group was “designed to force the black Christian leaders who had mischaracterized the Save the Paseo group as racist to say it to our faces.”  He continued, “If tonight, someone wants to characterize what we did as hostile, violent, or uncivil, it’s a mischaracterization of what happened.  We didn’t say anything, we didn’t do anything, we just stood.”

The Reverand Vernon Howard, who is the president of the Kansas City’s chapter of the SCLU, expressed how powerful the street signs of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are.  He said, “I think that only if you are a black child growing up in the inner city lacking the kind of resources, lacking the kinds of images and models for mentoring, modeling, vocation and career, can you actually understand what that name on that sign can mean to a child in this community.”  Howard continued, “If the sign were taken down, the reverse would be true.  What people will wonder in their minds and hearts is why and how something so good, uplifting, and edifying, how can something like that be taken away?”

The return argument came from a leader in the Save the Paseo group, which also closed the meeting.  Diane Euston stated, “The Paseo doesn’t just mean something to one community in Kansas City.  It means something to everyone in Kansas City.  It holds kind of a special place in so many people’s hearts and memories. It’s not just historical on paper; it’s historical in people’s memory. It’s very important to Kansas City.”

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