Ironic Criminal is Ironic

Remember this guy? He was all over Channel 4 and the Shredd & Ragan show: Shredd & Ragan show about a month ago, expounding on how black people were ruining the old First Ward, etc.  How minorities should stay on their own side of town and not “wreck” South Buffalo neighborhoods.  

Turns out, the proud South Buffalo racist guy is William Shanahan, and he’s not only in jail, he’s a convicted felon

“Scheme to defraud” in the 1st degree involves a systematic, ongoing effort to defraud or obtain property under false pretenses from 10 or more people, or fewer depending on the value of the property and the age of the victim. This is a class E felony. 

Robbery in the 3rd degree involves “forcible stealing” through the use or threat of physical force on a person to take his belongings. According to the New York State Penal Law, this is a class D felony.  

Irony is a guy who complains about “the minorities” and their crime ruining neighborhoods, yet is a convict himself. 


  • I have seen this type of behavior before. I knew a guy that moved to Black Rock from the West Side many years ago. He was a small time criminal type always involved in some kind of shady business. He was fencing stolen goods that he obtained from neighborhood drug addicts and selling them at the Walden Flea Market. They would bring the stuff to his house and he would pay them as little as possible exploiting their situation.
    Fast forward, he tells me one day how he is moving to the country, “Black Rock is getting bad with all these crackheads and scumbags” were his exact words. He failed to see the irony in his role and claimed he was moving “for his kids sake”.

  • This is the kind of shit I expect to hear from old farts in the eastern suburbs.

    I grew up in a city neighborhood that experienced racial and socioeconomic change.  The causes are complex and nuanced, and the reasons for decline can’t be explained away as “it’s just the way those people live.”  Then again, simple minds cant think beyond simple soundbites.

    It’s not race, but class. It’s not “blacks ruin a neighborhood”.  It’s “a concentration of poor people with few opportunities ruin a neighborhood.”  Some neighborhoods around Cleveland and Cincinnati experienced decline after a massive influx of  white Appalachians from West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky after WWII.  Ashtabula, Ohio turned from a miniature version of Erie to what sociologists now consider the northernmost extent of Appalachia – read “Mountain People in a Flat Land”.In my old neighborhood, where wasn’t any white flight when middle-class blacks moved in int he 1970s.  In the late 1980s, when lower income blacks moved in, both whites and blacks left. Class, not race.

    • What does any of what you wrote have to do with anything I wrote? This guy is ostensibly the same lower class person as the minorities about whom he complains. After all, he’s a relatively recent two-time felon. There’s nothing more to read into his comments than rank racism. Yet, for some reason, you insult me for pointing it out. Fascinating response, that. 

      • Chill out.  This is the first time I’ve heard of this guy and what he said.  How did i insult you?  When I said “This is the kind of shit I expect to hear from old farts in the eastern suburbs. “, I meant the simplistic racist bullshit this guy is spouting, NOT YOUR ORIGINAL ARTICLE.   I grew up in Buffalo, though the time Genesee-Moselle, Kensington, Delavan-Bailey, and Schiller Park experienced socioeconomic transition, and I heard this “dose der coloreds der come in and ruin da neighborhoods der” shit all the time.  All. The. Time. That’s what struck me; the Old Buffalo attitude I thought was disappearing with the so-called “greatest generation”.

        Sorry I didn’t focus enough on the guy’s hypocrisy.

    • “It’s not race, but class”, exactly, I have made this argument many times. Poverty is the problem and things are getting worse, those without a piece of the pie are not likely to be good citizens or neighbors. Minorities are singled out because so many are mired in poverty. African Americans in particular have long been held back from accumulating wealth and passing it on to their heirs. Middle class folks seem ignorant of the challenges facing those that are born into poverty. The lack of family assets, lack of stability, lack of role models and mentors is a huge hurdle to overcome. That “pull yourself up from your bootstraps” simplistic myth continues to be the only answer from the right to address poverty. We got a real problem here in America, if we don’t do something dramatic to address it our society and economy will continue to decline.

  • tonyintonawanda

    Quite simply, this guy is about the need to feel superior to someone else.  He is a convicted felon, probably not very educated and can be found near the bottom wrung of the social ladder.  To make himself feel better, he needs to find some other group to look down upon, to blame and to hate. 

  • So, he was on parole when he made those comments?! That’s rich.

  • “I’m just mentally preparing for the expected onslaught of “Clarencepundit” bullshit.”

    I’ll do the nicest possible version of it.

    I grew up in South Buffalo.  It was a racist place — that’s true.  It’s also true that the white responsibility for integration  — whether of neighborhoods or schools — has fallen disproportionately on the working class and the poor.  It’s absolutely racist and wrong that white people should resent having the racial character of their neighborhood or school change, but it’s also the kind of thing that more affluent white folks don’t really have to think about, either.  They could pick up and move to places where economic segregation would shield them from having to deal with these issues in the same way. 

    • “Economic segregation”. There are loads of middle and upper-middle class minorities in the suburbs. They may not all be black, but they’d be “minorities” in Mr. Shanahan’s eyes, nonetheless. Seldom, if ever, does it come up as an issue. 

      • Not so sure “loads” is accurate, most suburbs are by far predominately white. The real issue is class segregation which continues to be a driver of sprawl. As long as the affluent can move away and avert their eyes from the problems of poverty there will  be little real effort to address. It is easy to claim tolerance when living among folks of the same socioeconomic class.

        • The people who live between Linwood, Summer, Richmond, and Forest for example, have they economically segregated themselves? 

          •  Or anyone who doesn’t live in a neighborhood of worker’s cottages or semi-bungalows?

          • No, not completely, the neighborhood  still borders less affluent areas and residents must pass through these areas to get in and out. Also there are pockets of poverty within those cofines and especially on the edges. It is not really possible to segregate yourself in the city, there are too many overlaps and interactions.

        •  > Not so sure “loads” is accurate, most suburbs are by far predominately white.

          Buffalo is an outlier in that regard now.  In most of the  country, the idea of suburbs being the exclusive domain of middle class and affluent whites is something out of the doo-wop era, not the current reality.  Even considering the retro demographics of  WNY, Amherst isn’t nearly as lily-white as many of Buffalo’s urbanatti commonly believe. 

    • Well said, I often encounter the naivete of white affluent folks as to their supposed lack of racism. Suburban sprawl was driven in a large part by racism and classism, that history is alive and well even if many are unable to admit or acknowledge their own complicity in perpetuating this American version of Apartheid.

      • More Diversity in the Suburbs

        “The study, conducted by Myron Orfield and Thomas Luce
        at the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the University of
        Minnesota Law School and released Friday, determined that the number of
        racially diverse suburbs increased by 37 percent between 2000 and 2010,
        and diverse suburbs are growing more quickly than majority-white

        Buffalo is an outlier, and its suburbs don’t represent the state of suburbia throughout the country in general.  In Buffalo’s case, many suburbs are a continuation of the city’s ethnic neighborhoods beyond its municipal boundaries, and a lack of in-migration and immigration have kept them “whiter” than peer communities elsewhere.  However, they’re in no way the “American version of Apartheid”.

  • I wonder if he is a registered democrat as well.

  • Just because the guy is a criminal doesn’t make what he’s saying any less true. 

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