George Kennedy

GEORGE KENNEDY: How Safe is Columbia from Threats of Gunfire?

Oct 16, 2017
Missouri School of Journalism

A 20-year-old man was shot and killed Saturday in a student-housing complex in south Columbia. The same night, four young people were shot and injured outside the appropriately named Ruckus bar on Business Loop 70.

Those are just the most recent reports of gunplay that have some of us longtime residents wondering whether our town is becoming dangerous. We’re not St. Louis or Chicago, but we’re not exactly peaceful Collegetown USA any more.

Or are we?

GEORGE KENNEDY: Mizzou vs. MSU: Not as Lopsided as it Looks

Sep 4, 2017
Missouri School of Journalism

Metaphor: “A figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another.” (Webster’s New World Dictionary of the English Language)

Example: The Tigers of Mizzou take on the Bears of Missouri State University.

You may well wonder what I’m suggesting. After all, Saturday’s football game has been called many things, but not a metaphor.

It has been called a homecoming, because Missouri State’s coaching staff is made up mainly of former Tiger players or coaches.

It has been called a sure win for the Tigers. Certainly, the Bears’ head coach seems to think so, as he expressed, in earthier terms, the hope that the home team doesn’t beat his boys too badly.

It has even been called a payday, because MU is paying MSU a tidy $400,000 to come take a licking.

Read the complete column online at the Missourian.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Community Conversation About Profiling Gains Momentum

Aug 28, 2017
Missouri School of Journalism

  Near the end of Tuesday night’s “community engagement” conversation at the Second Missionary Baptist Church, the convener, the Rev. Carlos Taylor, asked what I’m sure he intended as a rhetorical question.

“How many people here have no faults?”

From the nearly 200 of us in the sanctuary, not a single hand went up. Rev. Taylor made his point: “We’re all flawed. We have imperfect people on all sides, but we all want Columbia to be a better community.”




GEORGE KENNEDY: Unless Districts are Redrawn, Missouri Will Stay Red

Aug 14, 2017
Missouri School of Journalism

It was certainly no surprise that Republican Sara Walsh won Tuesday’s special election in the legislative district that covers southern Boone County and parts of Cole, Cooper and Moniteau counties. The surprise was that Michela Skelton came within 300 votes of taking the seat for the Democrats.

After all, Ms. Skelton was the first Democrat to even run for that office since the redistricting of 2011. If more than 25 percent of the Boone County electorate had turned out, she might have won, since she got 58 percent of this county’s vote.

The outcome leaves Boone County represented by three Republicans and two Democrats in the state House of Representatives and a Republican in the state Senate.

It seems reasonable to ask how that can be, given that Boone is, in national and statewide elections, a Democratic island of blue in the sea of Republican red that covers the state between Kansas City and St. Louis.


Read the complete column online at the Missourian. 

GEORGE KENNEDY: New ID Law Seems to be a Benefit to Voters

Jul 14, 2017
Missouri School of Journalism

 I voted against the constitutional amendment that passed last year requiring a valid photo ID for voting in Missouri elections, beginning with the local election Aug. 8.

Like many of you, I suspect, I thought the requirement, heavily promoted by Republicans, was really intended more to discourage voting by minorities, poor people and new citizens — groups more likely to be Democrats — than it was to prevent the rare cases of voter fraud.

So when I saw the notice of a forum on the topic to be held at the public library last Monday night, and when I read that the forum was sponsored by two Democratic state representatives and co-sponsored by three African-American organizations, I expected to hear a full-throated attack on yet another voter-suppression tactic.

I was wrong.

Missouri School of Journalism

  When I told my long-suffering wife I intended to write about Wednesday’s announcement of our university’s new chancellor, she replied with some asperity that she could predict what I would say.

“You’re always optimistic about the new people,” she said, noting that I’ve sometimes had cause to regret those first impressions.

Well, here we go again.

How could I not be optimistic? President Mun Choi, about whom I remain optimistic, was close to giddy as he introduced Alexander Cartwright. The standing-room-only welcoming crowd in the Alumni Center was buoyant. The sun was shining.

In the press conference that followed the opening ceremony, Rudi Keller of the Columbia Daily Tribune seriously asked the question I had posed half-jokingly to Mike Alden earlier as we walked into the building: Why would Dr. Cartwright, or anybody, want the job?..


Read the complete column at the Missourian.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Tuesday's Election - How This Columnist is Voting

Apr 3, 2017
Missouri School of Journalism

Like most of you, I suspect, I’ve been reading with interest the Missourian’s extensive coverage of the campaigns leading up to Tuesday’s local election.

Unlike nearly all of you, I sat in on the candidate forum Tuesday evening sponsored by the NAACP downtown at the Second Missionary Baptist Church.

This was the third forum I’ve attended. It helped me make some choices.