You’re killing us, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

250px-detroitskyline.jpg Not knowing quite where to begin after such a long absence, I suppose I’ll begin with a wished and prayed-for ending. That would be the end of Kwame Kilpatrick as mayor of this city.

As someone who strongly, damned near adamantly supported the man during both mayoral elections, it is rather hard to describe the pain, anger, rage, and anguish that brings me to a point where I feel compelled to scream all of this out loud. And given my current job, which is where it is, some might even say this isn’t particularly wise. But I just can’t shut up about this any more. The man is ripping the bleeding, furiously pumping heart right out of the chest of the community which he hilariously reminds us on a daily basis that he loves so much.

I say ‘hilariously’ because by any rational, recognizable definition of love, Kilpatrick’s warped contortion of both the word and the sentiment are a tragi-comical parody of epic proportions. Simply put, you just don’t do this kinda shit to someone you love. OK? That’s not love, that’s sickness. And when you’re that sick, you need help. You don’t need to be governing a major American city in crisis. YOU NEED HELP, MAN.

There is no need to recount this entire sick episode here because there are more than enough news locations that can provide more minute-by-minute, day-by-day breakdowns than anyone could possibly want. And with each passing day this circus of perversities and wonders simply continues to expand, repeatedly outgrowing one tent and squeezing again and again into another and then another. But it’s hard to imagine a size big enough to contain all of what we’re seeing here. This is simply not a one-size-fits-all situation. This is some record-breaking, jaw-dropping insanity we’re witnessing here that reduces all comparable fictional episodes and TV dramas to boredom-inducing wannabes.

How could any act of fiction rival such a rabidly perverse real deal such as this? We have dead hookers. We have a high-profile politician who has stepped out on his wife to sleep with one of his co-workers. We have lying to a jury, we have secret deals concocted to hide it all, we have hotshot out-of-town lawyers, we have hot and saucy text messages, we have…we have…just so much shit.

What’s not to love?

God I wish this was fiction because if it were I wouldn’t be able to put this book down. But this is happening in my city which I love. This is being done to our city by a man who once had so much potential that it was hard to see where the top floor was. By someone who has already accomplished so much more than many want to give him credit for but which cannot be denied. I mean, it would be bad enough if Kilpatrick had been a mediocre individual. But for some reason it’s always the most promising ones whose sheer brilliance is matched only by their madness. These are the ones who seem to repeatedly crash and burn like Icarus because they cannot resist the lure of the sun, despite the lessons of history. Like Prince said in one of his songs, “The beautiful ones always crash the picture. Always. Every time.”

You’re killing us, Mr. Mayor. And you don’t even give a damn, do you?


~ by Keith A. Owens on March 27, 2008.

20 Responses to “You’re killing us, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick”

  1. awesome essay. I so totally concur.

  2. Thanks, Ken. I appreciate it.

  3. I agree with your analysis. More importantly, I welcome you back to the afrosphere…

    peace, Villager

  4. Thanks so much, Villager. It’s good to b back in the mix.

  5. As an expatriate of the city, it hurts to see the place in such bad shape for such a stupid reason. Kwame needs to step down. Good to see you back D.

  6. I agree, Brandon, and thanks for the good wishes. It’s good to be back.

  7. Kwame’s killed a few ideas that probably needed killing. But he isn’t killing us. Keep your head up.

  8. Hey Lester.

    Maybe not killing us, but he’s certainly administering his fair share of knife wounds. I guess I’m just damned disappointed is all. I made the mistake of expecting more than I should have based on what I believe to be the man’s awesome potential. I still believe his potential is huge. Or at least it was. But he’s shrinking before my very eyes, and I feel like an idiot for being such a champion of the man. It’s not the affair that I give a damn about. It’s all the arrogant, idiotic behavior afterward that showed how above-the-rest-of-us he truly feels that he is. This is litle more than a catch-me-if-you-can game to him, and I’m preety much sick of it.

    But having said all that, it’s good to reconmnect with you after all this time, my brother. Been awhile.

  9. “repeatedly crash and burn like Icarus because they cannot resist the lure of the sun, despite the lessons of history.’

    That is 110% pure top drawer writing.

  10. Thank you very much, Enoch. I appreciate the compliment.

  11. please visit this site:

  12. You brilliantly summed up the feelings that we, who have lived in and around this city that we love, are feeling. I just heard the dead silence that greeted Kwame Kilpatrick’s speech at the Detroit Red Wings celebration. Hope that and all the other little reminders of his betrayal whittle away at him each day. He hurt us. He should hurt too.

  13. The real tragedy is that Kilpatrick is just another black man, despite his accomplishments, whose life has been destroyed by a predatory state, a system ready to criminalize the most minor offenses. Detroit should stand behind its mayor, despite his flaws, as your fate as a community depends on your solidarity and courage to stand against a system of genocide that will not stop until all black men with a voice are castigated, rendered compliant and forever silent in the confines of the American prison system.

  14. Lbbuffy,

    Thank you for visiting my site and for your comment. But with all due respect, I think you are way, way off the mark on this one. Mayor Kilpatrick must go, and he must go NOW. The longer he stays the more damage he does to this city. And I say this as a formerly very strong supporter.

  15. What exactly has so inflamed the public against Kilpatrick? With all due respect, I understand this is YOUR site, but in my view you’re a bit despotic concerning your opinions. So, I need to be in line with your opinion to post comments here?

  16. The State is holding Kilpatrick up for a public lynching, this is an agenda to humiliate and gain political control, and the blacks of Detroit have joined the mob.

  17. Lbuffy,

    All opinions are welcome here. Just understand that my opinions and beliefs are strongly held as are yours. I am not criticizing your right to speak up on behalf of Kilpatrick if that’s what you want to do. But if I think your opinions are wrong, I don’t think it’s being despotic to say so.

    As for what has inflamed the public against Kilpatrick? Eight criminal charges to begin with. Lying to a grand jury to keep his affair secret. I don’t care about the affair – although I was disappointed by it – but his willingness to allow a city as financially strapped as Detroit to be stuck with an $8 million bill that could have been settled for $2 million just to cover up his screwing around is insane. Add to that the stupidity of using a city-issued cell phone to send literally thousands of romantic text messages to his girlfriend/staffer.

    And then there was last week when he assaulted a Sheriff’s Deputy who was serving a legal subpoena to his best friend.

    There’s plenty more. But this was more than enough to get most Detroiters pissed. However there are still more than a few who agree with you that he is being railroaded. I openly confess I cannot understand that point of view to save my life when this man is letting the city burn just to preserve his ego. But whatever.

    Anyway, here you have it. That’s my view.
    And for the record, I mean it when I say all points of view are welcome, so long as they’re not insulting.

  18. It seems to me Due Process doesn’t mean much anymore here in American. So he got a little nookie on the side? When has a little personal indiscretion been the basis for a criminal probe. Have we finally lost our minds?!

    Kilpatrick isn’t the first and won’t be the last imperfect politician. The state shouldn’t have pursued him so vehemently concerning his personal life in the first place.

  19. You are above all…a wonderful writer. I wrote for an advertising firm for 7 years and I have not seen writing like this until it was killed by the client for being to conversational. I love your stuff.

  20. Mike,

    Wow. Thanks so much for the compliment. That means an awful lot and I appreciate it. Hope you’ll keep coming back!

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