Friday, January 25, 2008

Oh Kwame, Say It Ain’t So!

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.
My hope is that he is remember for the progress he facilitated for Detroit and not this misstep.


The Rock Chick said...

I never heard what it is they were testifying about when they lied about the affair. Was the affair relative to whatever they were testifying about?

I can't say I'm condoning the adultery. Truly, I think it's one of the worst things you can do to someone, but that certainly doesn't mean that his work suffered or that he didn't do anything good.

I agree, I think it's wrong and it's dumb to leave 14,000 bread crumbs in a trail, but all of this shouldn't override any positive work that he's done.

I'll have to dig a little deeper into this story!


Lori said...

Funny. I was reading bits and pieces of this story online last night. At times, it sounded like a tawdry, romance novel. From what I understand, Mayor K. had grown up on the same street with the woman's husband. The poor guy each coached Mayor K.'s kids on some sports team.

And the texts themselves. Lord have mercy (LOL). Folks be talking some junk when they don't think anyone else is listening in. But that's just the thing. Someone else always sees or hears, especially when you're behaving recklessly as these two were.

Even more than Mayor K.'s wife, I feel sorry for his kids and the other woman's, if she has any. I guess my thing is, if you want the other woman THAT BAD, hell, just leave your wife. Stop hurting folks who love, trust, support and depend upon you. Be a man, for goodness sake.

Anyway, the same kind of mess was and probably still is going on in my hometown of Memphis and with the mayor who a lot of folks refer to as "King Willie." When his old butt isn't picking fights, telling folks he doesn't "have a punk bone in my body," getting young girls pregnant, he's doing some other kind of foolishness, like telling folks God ordained him to run the city. And like Mayor K., Willie has actually brought a lot of positive change to the city.

It's just sad.

pjazzypar said...

Hey Jessica, I really don't think the affair was relative to the trial, but the feeling is if you will lie about one thing, you will lie about another. I think people should stay faithful or leave because it is much worse to stay in a loveless union than just move on.

I am with you, I think he should still be commended for the work he did in one of the dirtiest, crime-ridden cities in the country.

Hi Lori, I agree with you 100% on everything you said. I didn't really know the back story. It is truly sad. I have never liked texting and I am very careful about what I say on the telephone and emails because anyone can access practically anything they want about you. This is especially true when someone (in this case The Free Press) is trying to defame your character and reputation.

I can't defend his action because both he and the aide were dead wrong. What I can say is I saw the improvements in the city when I was there in July. I hope he can be remembered for the good as well.

Malcolm said...

When this went down last week, they were talking about it on Detroit sports radio. The hosts and most of the listeners were anti-Kwame (some even suggested that he should resign). The bottom line is that Kwame needs to be smarter in the way he handles things. When you are a controversial public figure, there are people just waiting for you to slip up and the powers that be will dig just a little deeper than normal to find something on you.

As you said, I don't think that all the good that he has done for Detroit should be forgotten.

I don't know if you saw this, but this is a clip of Kwame's mother (Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick) defending him during his 2006 re-election campaign. Carolyn's part starts about 35 seconds into the clip. It is pretty funny because she got straight up street in defending her son.

pjazzypar said...

Thanks for the clip Malcolm. You know how mothers will get about their kids. Mayor Kilpatrick should have known better. Although I just don't see what it has to do with him doing his job, except for the fact that he texted this woman 14,000 times. 14,000 text? When did the bastard find time to work. LOL!