TONY'S KANSAS CITY PERSON OF THE YEAR 2013: DAMIAH L. WHITE
Damiah L. White was 3-years-old when she was gunned down along with her mother during a 2013 late night Kansas City east side shooting that remains unsolved.
Damiah White is the youngest Kansas City homicide victim this year.
The story of this baby killed by gunfire rocked this cowtown for a few days but was quickly forgotten amid a busy election season and buzz regarding so many other economic development issues.
Last year Mayor Sly James rushed to the scene when a football player committed suicide but this tragedy didn't elicit a peep from any Kansas City politico. Neighborhood activists attempted to highlight the importance of this young girl's life and death but their advocacy was mostly filed along news of so many other metro homicides that are causally reported and subsequently ignored.
If anything, there was an impulse to disregard Damiah's violent death because the screams of terror from her loved ones upon hearing the news of the young girl's violent demise were so shocking.
Why was Damiah's violent death any different than so many other Kansas City homicides?
Because Damiah White's murder represents the very worst of case of innocence murdered amid an ongoing spree of deadly Kansas City violence.
If our elected officials are powerless to do anything to improve this situation then they're worthless and represent only figureheads in a corrupt system. If neighborhoods fail to stand up to bring the killers of Damiah White to justice, then they have resigned themselves to live in a nightmare scenario of their own design . . . If Kansas City ignores the murder of Damiah White this year in favor of celebrating mediocre economic development achievements, then we've truly lost our way.
At the risk of making a very rare value judgement . . . The murder of Damiah White represents the most important event in Kansas City in 2013 and in the aftermath of the tragedy it's important to note that nothing has changed.
This time of year Kansas City is awash in lists; most of them are pointless and don't reflect the reality of a wicked little town that would rather ignore the shooting death of a baby than address a longstanding homicide problem that impacts every aspect of local life.