MI: Detroit Mayor Defiant … for what?

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on October 29, 2008

We can’t get too judgmental about now former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick as he bursts into political flames, but this photo says it all. Defiant to the very end, Kilpatrick gives his courtroom Al Capone-like pose.  Reports Bill McGraw in the Detroit Free Press:

Kilpatrick spent three hours in court frowning, shaking his head, smirking, laughing, goofing around and teasing Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and her assistants.

If you didn’t know that this was Kilpatrick’s deadly serious sentencing hearing — a time when most savvy criminal defendants act as humbly as possible — you might have thought Detroit’s disgraced former chief executive was attending a political rally or charity roast.

And, even as Kilpatrick carried on, Wayne County Judge David Groner slammed him for the arrogant way he had behaved Sept. 4, after he had agreed to plead guilty in a case that disrupted civic life for months and cost the city millions of dollars.

“This court questions your sincerity,” Groner said.

Jail might change that.

Bottom line is that we should have been suspicious all along of an elected official that touted himself as “the hip hop mayor” given the fact that Detroit is one of the economic armpits of the nation.  Detroit’s unemployment rate nears 10% while its chief executive co-opted urban culture in an attempt to play high-roller rather than, simply, be a Mayor.  Nothing at all against hip-hop – in fact, we were a bit skeptical and offended back then when he was using it for political purpose.  It’s just that cities like Detroit needed effective management rather than shenanigans.  However, in all fairness, he had begun ushering in some downtown revitalization.  Problem is he couldn’t keep his vices under control.

Many of us – thinking his political hip hop concert was cute and personified the best and brightest of Black male empowerment – created the caricature in the photo above.


One Response

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  1. Dredded One said, on October 29, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    It is a shame especially in a time where so many Black mayors are doing the damn thing and we have a brother running for president.

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