Thursday, January 31, 2008

Detroit fishwrap comment of the day - Kwame Kilpatrick edition

I'm going to step away from sports for one post, much as Drew Sharp pulled a Little Fella and tried his hand at social commentary in today's Freep. His target? Detroit's embattled mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick.

Today's COTD is from the comments of Sharp's take down of the mayor. A Freep reader called midnight rider posts the following thoughts about a big city mayor under siege.

Time Magazine had it right back in 2005 by naming Kwame as one of the worst mayors in the US.

Here's the exerpt- The Nation's Worst Big-City Mayors (in alphabetical order):

Kwame Kilpatrick- Detroit: Equally at home in senior centers and hip-hop concerts, Kwame Kilpatrick, 34, inspired Detroit voters with his energy and determination when he rode into office three years ago. But a cherry red Lincoln Navigator has put a big dent in his reputation. After weeks of denying it, the mayor admitted in January that the city paid $24,995 to lease just such a car for his wife. That outlay showed what Alan Ehrenhalt, executive editor of Governing Magazine, calls ?a tin ear for symbolism,? given that Detroit?s $230 million budget deficit has prompted the mayor to eliminate 3,000 city positions and end 24-hour bus service, TIME reports. He denies and then apologizes

I was born and raised in Detroit and watched the fall of the inner city and neighborhoods. Coleman Young poured money into projects like the RenCen and Hart Plaza while neighborhoods, parks and city services went to hell. Seems like we have second coming of Coleman with Kwame. Detroit is the laughing stock of the US- What a joke!

This comment parrots my opinion of the quandary Kwame finds himself in. His screw-ups just confirm the prejudices outsiders have about Detroit, and it's citizens. The state, all of southeast Michigan, and Detroit, are now a laughing stock.

You'd think the controversy was a movie of the week. The honorable (term used loosely) mayor cheats on his wife with his chief of staff, fires the deputy police chief, amongst others, in covering up his actions, lies about his infidelity while under oath, ultimately costing Detroit $9 million in cash the city doesn't have, in a court judgment awarded to the unjustly fired cops. The mayor is now under investigation for perjury.

The whole sordid story breaks in the Free Press last Wednesday, Kilpatrick goes into hiding for a week, and breaks his silence in a woe-is-me-I'm-so-sorry TV speech last night.

You can see the STEAM rising from her ears. That is one pissed off wife...

Yet many Detroiters are defending Kwame. They blame the media for exposing the mayor to be a corrupt, immature, incompetent public servant. Typical cloistered, short-term, Detroit-style thinking. I should know, as I lived in Detroit for close to a decade. (Don't look at me, I didn't vote for the philandering mayor) Yes, this small town, white bread country boy got to put up with the city's bullshit on a daily basis.

I left Detroit about 2 1/2 years ago, but I didn't bail out on the city because I was driven away. My life changed, and my physical ailments meant I had to downsize my life considerably. Ultimately, I moved back home. If I had the ability, I'd still be living in the city.

Honestly, I LOVED being in the D. I lived in a very safe, full of families, racially mixed, middle class neighborhood. Yes, Detroit has those, it's not all slums and ghettos, despite people who NEVER lived in the city would have you believe. I never felt threatened or out of place. It was great being a short drive from all the cool downtown areas of Detroit, and believe me, there are plenty.

I'm amongst the first to defend Detroit. But to see what's going on now disgusts me.

The longer this used car salesman disguised as a mayor stays in office, the more we'll see of the suburbs (ie: whites) vs Detroit (ie: blacks) issues we had for the near entirety of Coleman Young's tenure. Hizzhonor drew the battle lines back in the 70's. Dennis Archer did his best to bring the area back together, with a fair amount of success. Unfortunately, Kilpatrick is doing his damnedest to create that schism between the suburbs and city again.

After watching his speech blaming everyone but himself this morning, I found Kwame's use of religion as a shield deplorable. Paraphrasing, "This is between me. my wife, and our God." Bullshit. Total and utter BULLSHIT. Not when your infidelity, then covering it up, cost an already flat broke city $9 million!

Yet, after all the lies and criminal actions, he has the absolute gall to take the moral high ground, and give the speech from a church? A CHURCH? Talk about pandering to your populace. That's all Kwame's speech was, pandering to the voter's heartstrings, their faith, and their us against them feelings when it comes to the media and suburbs.

As someone who's marriage was broken up by my wife's infidelity, I have absolutely no respect for those that do cheat on their spouses. I hold them in even more contempt when adultery is committed by someone who claims to be religious. So to say I have NO respect for Kwame Kilpatrick is an understatement.

Cheating is bad enough, though as morally repugnant as you may find it, it's not against the law. But to then lie about it under oath? Committing a felony? Trying to ruin the lives of innocent police officers? Costing your city MILLIONS? There is no defending his actions. You just can't do it.

The more I think about Kwame's past actions, his current blame everyone else attitude and what his farce of an administration is costing, not only Detroit, but southeast Michigan as a whole, in money and reputation, the more pissed off I become.

I hope Kilpatrick is brought up on perjury charges, and they throw the fucking book at him. But why do have have the nagging feeling that his former chief of staff, whom has resigned in disgrace, will ultimately be the culprit thrown under the bus, and the Teflon mayor will walk away relatively scot-free?

It's the Detroit way...


  1. Bravo!! Encore!!

  2. As someone who works in the MSM, i love Kwame because he makes for good headlines. Sure, he's a scumfuck cheating husband, but he's fun to watch.

    Although I wasn't raised in the city, my parents were and I spent plenty of time at my grandparents' house near 7 Mile and the Southfield Freeway. I love Detroit and I would like to see it not be the laughinstock of the nation. However, the D is pretty fucking resilient and will bounce back from this. If it survived the '67 riots and the Insane Clown Posse it can handle Kwame.