Another entrant in the politicians-behaving-badly non-beauty pageant: Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Boycotted by members of his own city council and surrounded by calls for his resignation, Kilpatrick sidesteps potential perjury charges in his own sex scandal to play the race card.
Using the n-word, Kilpatrick lashed out at media and citizens alike, accusing everyone, it seems of a "lynch mob mentality." According to the Detroit Free Press, "The mayor didn't get specific, but he almost certainly was referring to the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the long-rumored-but-never-proven Manoogian Mansion party, and the ongoing civil case in federal court that is generating speculation that a Detroit stripper was killed in a drive-by shooting because of her connections to that soiree and Kilpatrick himself."
This mess goes deeper than Kilpatrick's affair with a former aide. Two former Detroit police officers claimed that they were fired for investigating claims that Kilpatrick used taxpayer-funded security to cover up his affair.
The cops finally took things to court in a whistle-blower lawsuit that cost Detroit's citizens $8.4 million. That money would have purchased a lot of milk for school lunch programs.
Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press sums this sordid tale up best: "Was Kilpatrick's tirade at the end of his speech, in which he claimed the media and nearly everyone else are to blame for the brutal effects of this scandal on his family, his idea of taking responsibility? The shameful, divisive words he used to draw false lines between those who want him to own up and those he expects to give him a pass will serve only to prolong the agony in this community.
His words represented the height of irresponsibility, and seeped into gross negligence. His attempted humiliation of City Council president Ken Cockrel, who has handled himself with the utmost restraint and accountability during this mess, was unforgivable."
"The mayor still can't even bring himself to admit how he tried to deceive the City Council and the public, or explain why he sought to use the legal system to bury evidence of his affair with his chief of staff and his lies during the police whistle-blower trial. He has nothing to say about the widening scope of accusations and investigations."
As an embattled Kilpatrick hurled the n-word into TV cameras, blaming the whole mess on racism, he overlooked something important: the protestors carrying signs outside represented all of Detroit. Black hands carried signs, too.
For a mayor to interject the n-word and hide behind claims of racism in a city that's worked hard to overcome racial divides is despicable. Like New York's Eliot Spitzer (a white guy), Kilpatrick simply is another politician who talked ethics while living in hypocrisy--all at the taxpayer's expense.