Racism or Something Else? Why People Call to Shut Down 18th & Vine But Not Westport Following Shootings

As the community continues to recover from the tragic mass shooting which took place at Ale House on Sunday evening, many community members are already discussing the difference in media coverage and broader response when gun violence takes place in white KC establishments (Westport) vs. Black-owned establishments like 18th & Vine and others. 

One Black KC promoter who goes by RaythaJerk on social media, posted “When one shooting happened outside the 9INE: ‘that club needs to be shut down! Where’s the owner at, why hasn’t he made a statement! Does he even care? Fuck that club!” Ray contrasted that with the response which he says people have to the latest shooting in Westport which is simply “That’s why I don’t go to Westport.”

While to be fair, the 9INE Lounge did have a series of incidents in its establishment (not just one), the same can also be said for the numerous shootings that have taken place in Westport. 

The 9INE Ultra Lounge was a club created by Former Chiefs Player, Alphonso Hodge. Hodge is known for hosting events across the city. 

One evening at 9ine Ultra Lounge, a shooting took place leaving 2 dead and 15 injured.  This horrific event rightfully led to immediate scrutiny of Mr. Hodge’s club and security. Hodge responded with upgrading security measures, equipment, and increasing security staff. 

Every outlet in the city, and even national outlets including TMZ, had Hodge’s club on its front page, destroying any attempt the establishment could make to recover a safe, welcoming environment and profitable business. 

The club, which had formerly been placed on probation, had its liquor license revoked following the shooting, and soon after had lost so much business it was forced to shut down. 

This is the backdrop which many community members are comparing to the treatment of shootings and violence which take place in white Kansas City establishments, particularly of the city’s most recent mass shooting on Sunday evening at Westport bar “Ale House” which left multiple injured and at least 1 dead.

The Westport Area has become a very well known area for shootings, car break-ins, violent fights, racism, and other forms of violence. Security is enforced every weekend in anticipation of large crowds, including; metal detectors and armed police stationed at all entrances into the area, yet there still remain consecutive shootings and break-ins which take place on what now seems to be regular occasion. 

Why is it that when Black establishments get shot up, everyone calls for it to be shut down immediately and also go directly at the owner, yet such demands have never been made of white establishments like Westport? 

Is it because Westport is part of the deep rooted racism, and white supremacy in our city that desperately wants to see any type of black entrepreneurship/ownership fail, and all forms of white economy flourish? 

When comparing the responses and upgrades to security of “9ine Ultra Lounge” vs. “Westport,” Mr. Hodges did everything the same as Westport, yet is offered nowhere near the same amount of grace. Politicians were not describing the violence at 9INE as an issue of access to guns or gun control. 

We are yet to hear an apology from Ale house or the city concerning the horrific events that recently took place endangering many, and most of us don’t expect to see the bar or area shutdown. 

The question must be asked; if Alphonso was forced to shut down because of gun violence, why aren’t Westport bars who are plagued by the very same violence being forced to do the same?

Is it racism or something else?

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