Are we done with Mayor Kilpatrick yet?


MAYOR KWAME KILPATRICK -- Photo by Tom Pidgeon for General Motors

“The kids call him Black Gangster,” is what my friend said, as we were sitting together having a drink at a downtown club.

“Black Gangster? Are you serious?”

He nodded, looking as sickly amused as I felt.

“That’s what they’re calling him, man. Black Gangster.”

Personally, I haven’t heard any kids say that, but then I don’t hang around many kids since I’m 50 years old. But still, I don’t know if it’s true or if it’s not. So I’m admitting that up front. My source on this, however, does have a couple of youngsters of his own plus he’s fairly well plugged in. So take it for what it’s worth.

But here’s the thing that gets me, assuming this is really true and some of the kids really do refer to the city’s mayor in those terms; they don’t mean it as a negative. That’s what’s so damned sick about it, as well as depressing. To these kids, who apparently think Mayor Kilpatrick can do no wrong no matter what the evidence shows, the term “Black Gangster” is a term of endearment. Guess it’s another way of saying “mah nigga” or whatever. The more criminal he appears to be, the more they love him because he’s another brother up against the system and giving it the finger like any good brother should.


Just as a for instance, last week’s big story on Kilpatrick was that he actually assaulted a Sheriff’s Deputy who was legally serving a subpoena to one of his best friends who was thought to be at Kilpatrick’s sister’s house at the time. Turns out Kilpatrick was there when the deputies showed up, according to news reports, and so naturally he rushes out and shoves the deputy off the porch. But not before cursing them out because, well, that’s kinda what any self-respecting black gangster would do. Of course, any reasonably sane grown man elected to represent the best interests of one of the nation’s largest and most distressed cities and who is currently facing eight criminal charges would probably have kept his mouth shut and maybe even ducked into a closet until the whole thing was over.

But then that wouldn’t have been sufficiently gangsta, now would it? Naw. Fuck tha police. That’s the spirit.

So now the mayor has been ordered by the judge not only to pay $7,500 bond money to stay out of jail, but is told he can’t leave town any more without a court hearing. Keep in mind that this isn’t some little street corner thug the judge was admonishing when he said he had thrown folks in jail for much less. This was the mayor of our city.

Meanwhile, we learn that the recall petition wasn’t able to generate enough signatures in time to be placed on the November ballot, although efforts are apparently underway to place it on a special election in February ’09. I bet if Mayor Gangster had jumped that deputy about a month ago that just might have tipped the balance a bit. Then again, who knows anymore.

Sometimes I wonder if we Detroiters are more interested in being properly entertained than properly governed. Because even without the shoving the deputy off the porch incident, there should have been so many signatures on that petition until they could have unfurled it in one bright, shining Path of Awakening from City Hall all the way to Lansing without repeating one single name.

Then again? Maybe we just don’t think we deserve any better any more. And maybe Kilpatrick knows that…



~ by Keith A. Owens on July 28, 2008.

4 Responses to “Are we done with Mayor Kilpatrick yet?”

  1. It concerns me that some people, mostly not in Detroit refuse to allow the judicial process to play out. As for the process servers who came to the mayor’s sister’s home to serve someone who clearly did not live there, that is plain and simple harrassment. Not only that, if you watched the testimony by the two Wayne County process servers, they told two totally different stories. The guy said the mayor picked him up and threw him into his partner (not off the porch), the female process server said (using a demonstration by the mayor’s two attorneys) the mayor grabbed her partner by the arm and shoved him into her. Neither of them fell to the ground, besides the verdict is not in on that incident either, the Michigan State Police have just completed questioning other witnesses and sent their information to AG Mike Cox. Additionally, I am around a lot of children and I have NEVER heard them call the Mayor of Detroit “Black Gangster.”

  2. Mispinster,

    I understand and respect your opinion on this issue, even though we disagree pretty strongly. While I’ll concede a wrongful exaggeration on my part that the mayor was not accused of actually throwing anyone off the porch, the point remains that he should not have interfered in any way whatsoever. At best, he should have demanded to speak with their supervisor after identifying himself. But any physical contact was way out of line. And the comments from Sheriff Evans, once a strong supporter of Kilpatrick’s, and whose daughter, up until very recently, worked for the mayor, were more than enough for me to decide something is way out of line here.

    I used to be a strong supporter of the mayor myself, but there is way too much smoke in the air for anyone to believe that there are no fires. I understand wanting the judicial process to play out, but to not speak out against this outrage until the judge says something is way too late in my opinion. The text messages alone make it more than obvious what this mayor has done. The lies, the deceptions, etc.

    If you choose to still stand with him, then that’s your choice and that’s fine. I simply cannot do that anymore.

  3. I have not heard referent to the Mayor as a black gangster and I must say ,I’m surprise teamowens would go there,let the legal process play out.

  4. Tootsie,

    Perhaps I did go too far on this one. I’ll concede that. I’m so angry at the man because I feel extremely betrayed as a former strong supporter, but that’s no excuse for putting out something like that with less than the necessary amount of backup.

    I will say, however, that I’m not one who believes we need to efrain from all negative and critical commentary of the mayor until the whole legal process plays out. To me, there is more than enough evidence out there that CAN be backed up showing – at least to my mind – that the man is unfit for office and is handicapping this city. Understand that I have stood by Kilpatrick through thick and thin since the very beginning, and openly so. But I can’t do this anymore. He’s gone too far. And you’ll notice I am far from the only former supporter who feels this way.

    But once again, I will concede your point about the ‘gangster’ portion of this particular post. I probably shouldn’t have gone there, and you were right to call me on it.

    Thanks for stopping by, and good to be hearing from you again.

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