Detroit in the year 2008 AKK (After Kwame Kilpatrick)
So what will Detroit look like without Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick?
I ask the question because what we need to do now as a city is to put ourselves into a post-Kilpatrick frame of mind. Because Kilpatrick is done. Whatever sliver of a delusional hope he had that the clouds would soon part and the angels would begin to sing his name once again as he returned to the throne is now dust. I’m losing track of all the charges and allegations against the mayor, so you can read about them here if you want to get caught up, but I’m quite sure it’s safe to say that there are enough of them to spell G-O-O-D-B-Y-E.
But what we as Detroiters need to be focusing on right now is the next step. It’s OK to check in on the soap opera every so often if you feel so compelled, but the fact of the matter is that Kilpatrick’s future – or the lack thereof – is now fairly certain. His days as mayor are numbered, he most likely will be ineligible to seek re-election if convicted on all these charges, and he will also be ineligible to practice law.
As for Detroit, it is up to us not only to clean up the mess but to make our city stronger. Because once the cameras are turned off and the pundits and late night comedians are through making jokes at our expense, we will all still be living here amidst the debris. Amidst the shambles and wreckage left behind by Hurricane Kwame. And we will be left largely to ourselves to rebuild, I suspect with very little initial help from the outside, because we are the ones being blamed for letting this happen. Those most likely to contribute to getting Detroit back on track are those with the most to loose if Detroit sinks below the horizon.
But the heavy lifting will be up to us who live on each and every city block. Forget about proving anything to the suburbs or anywhere else that we realize Kilpatrick was a mistake. This is about us as Detroiters and what we need to prove to ourselves about what we have learned and what we are prepared to do to save our city. Because at this point it doesn’t really matter whether you were once a supporter of Kilpatrick’s or whether you always thought the man was a thug. What matters now is that we all step back and take a realistic, clear-eyed assessment of where we are and where we need to be.
Consider this Day One of 2008 AKK (After Kwame Kilpatrick). We have neither the time nor the resources to mourn Kilpatrick’s soon-to-be departure nor his tragic self-immolation that has spread the flames of havoc throughout his Playground/Kingdom. Today is the time for tomorrow.
Before tomorrow becomes too late.
SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ thedspotredeux.blogspot.com