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“…because I got to see what people were talking about and compare what I heard to what I knew and saw. The stereotypes that I heard in my neighborhood about people of a different color did not match up to the reality that I experienced when I as having lunch with them at school. The stereotypes that were pervasive with some of the folks at school about my neighborhood did not match up to the reality of my neighborhood because I lived there. I believe that that constant back and forth, that constant need, impetus, demand for me to examine what’s said, what people believe versus what is real has made me a little bit unique…”


Missouri Boys State – 2013 (June 16, 2013)

Kansas City Mayor Sly James, speaking in Warrensburg at Missouri Boys State

on the campus of the University of Central Missouri on June 16, 2013.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James was the keynote speaker for Missouri Boys State on the campus of the University of Central last night. He spoke for approximately forty minutes and then took questions from the audience.

Part 1:

Part 2:

“…After World War I the United States led all countries on earth in the number of people who had post high school certificates of degrees. Now, we’re like thirty-eighth in the world. We’re staring to slide the wrong way. Now, keep this in mind, too, I told you about Kansas City. I told you about the rest of the state. The country, we’re, Missouri’s one percentage better [in third grade reading proficiency] than the rest of the country on average.  The good news is we’re two percentage better than Kansas…”

Part 3:

“…you’re moving into a world here soon where even facts are negotiable. We have difficulty meeting and talking to each other intelligently because we have the difficult time agreeing on what the baseline facts are. Not opinions, not speculation, facts. If we can’t agree on basic facts then we will never agree on what to do about situations. We have pundits that question everything from where the president was born to whether or not there’s climate change in the cornerstone of physics. And they’re entitled to those opinions, but they are not entitled to invent their own facts…”