I have a lot of love for the city of Detroit; always have from the time I was a small child living in Flint, Michigan. I couldn’t wait to get my driver’s license as a teenager so I could travel to the forbidden and mysterious “Motor City”. As an adult, even after moving from Michigan, I have kept abreast of the happenings in Detroit. A few years back I saw the young mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick on the “State of Black America” forum that is televised on CNN. He was articulate, intelligent, and humorous, I liked him immediately.
Now I don’t know what the mayor did to piss off the powers that be at the “Detroit Free Press”, but the newspaper has reportedly dug of information revealing a romantic relationship between the mayor and a top aide within his administration. It seems that this romantic liaison was animatedly denied by both parties last year when they testified under oath last summer. Both parties could face up to 15 years for lying under oath. During the time of the alleged relationship, both the mayor and the aide were married; in fact the mayor still is married, at least for now.
What I have difficulty understanding is why public people can act so dim-witted at times. They think they won’t get caught, but “Big Brother” is always watching and there are too many footprints you can leave now with email and text messages. It seems that the mayor and his love interest exchanged over 14,000 text messages. It makes me wonder when there was time for him to get any work done at all! Entertainers, sport, and political figures share a certain celebrity in American society that places them in the precarious situation of being spied upon at every turn. As a culture we seem to love to reveal the frailties of our heroes. I think it makes us feel that our mundane lives are not so bad.
I certainly hope that this indiscretion does not diminish Mayor Kilpatrick's accomplishments during his tenure, such as:
- Establishing the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
- Successfully closing the deal for the $180-million renovation of the historic Book-Cadillac Hotel
- Brokering a revised development agreement with three casinos that has produced more than $1 billion in new investment as they build permanent casinos in Detroit
- Convincing Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online mortgage lender, to move its headquarters to downtown Detroit
- Responsible for Detroit being recognized by the "New York Times" Travel Section as one of 53 “must-see” destinations around the world for 2008.