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Contrasting Opinions in Black Community about Funkhouser

By Sylvia Maria Gross

When Mayor Mark Funkhouser unilaterally attempted to fire City Manager Wayne Cauthen last month, he was roundly rebuked by African American and Latino community leaders in City Hall. But some black Kansas Citians don't agree that Funkhouser's approach has been racist, or contributing to a racist climate in the city. The day after the Southern Christian Leadership Conference cancelled plans for a national convention in Kansas City, Funkhouser addressed a small gathering at a church near 18th and Vine. Most of the questions there had nothing to do with the appointment of a Minuteman to the parks board, or the city manager.

KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross speaks to the Reverend Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson of the local chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Coalition, Rick Hughes of the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association, Anita Dixon of the Cultural Convention and Visitors Services, and visits Mayor Funkhouser's Town Hall Meeting at Memorial Missionary Baptist Church near 18th and Vine.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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