Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cowardice of Manoogian Magnitude

I have known cowards in my time: male elementary school teachers working out their latent homosexuality by battering around nine year old kids; the high school basketball coach and his arm-flailing tantrums, regaling teenagers with stories of his bar fights during bus rides to out-of-town tournaments; politicians who avoided military service of their own, but have no trouble sending others into war. Few times, though, have I witnessed sheer tail-between-the-legs cowardice that Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is exhibiting at the moment of this writing.

Last week, embarrassing transcripts surfaced of sexually explicit text messages the mayor wrote back and forth with his female chief of staff, which has whipped the panty-sniffers into a righteous fury. The revelation also raised the issue that the mayor and chief of staff perjured themselves in a whistle-blower court case where they were asked if they were carrying on an affair and answered in the negative.

So, for the last week the embattled city of Detroit has awaited a statement from its mayor. And for the last week, he has remained in hiding, leaving some in the media to even wonder who is running the city. I imagine Kwame Kilpatrick slumped in an easy chair, glad in boxer shorts and a wife-beater shirt, in front of a television set while playing with a nickel-plated revolver; a mixing bowl filled with salted pumpkin seeds next to him. His mistress has faced the music, sending in her letter of resignation and making a statement apologizing for the upset news of these text messages has caused. Not a grand gesture and certainly no surprise, but at least it's something.

The fact that Kwame Kilpatrick has so far refused to show his face in Detroit proves how much he is used to lurking in shadows -- intimidating and firing all those who accuse him of wrongdoing, surrounding himself with a ridiculous number of body guards, living beneath the shelter of his family name and parents' work. Right now, the city of Detroit needs Kwame Kilpatrick to stand up and make a statement. But there is no Kwame Kilpatrick -- there's no there there, no person within the pimp suit, no voice behind the bluster, no conscience behind the brash words and deeds, no backbone behind the seal of the mayor of Detroit. When the time arrived for Kwame Kilpatrick the man to stand up, he was absent and cowardly, silent and hiding; a great gaseous exhalation emitting from his bravado, the empty-suit bravado that could only emanate from behind a wall of body guards.

He's so far left his mistress to take the fall in public.

Kwame will appear at some point. By now he has no traction to gain back the ground he has lost as a public official. He has been called by the media to make a statement, called by his constituents to account, and Kwame has hidden himself.

He will surface at some point. Flanked by ministers and his family, he'll doubtless turn on all the phony penitence that comes with the kit when one finally sells his soul and becomes a politician. Like all humiliated miscreants before him, he will ask forgiveness as a preface for begging that all this be put behind him. It's unfortunate that any personality capable of going into politics is fundamentally unable to comprehend the deafening echo of this week of silence from the mayor, neutering his bluster, musting his speechwriter's apology text and rendering invisible the moment he finally emerges from his hiding place.


Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick to break silence on text messaging scandal

So, from the unassailable pulpit of his church, ole Kwame will address the city, no doubt surrounded by a phalanx of security, clergy and family gritting their teeth. Kwame will remain the mayor of Detroit for several reasons. He's too arrogant to resign. The City Council and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy are too corrupt and compromised to make any move against Kwame. And Kwame simply does not possess the character to do the right thing by any one but himself. Even his family has used to mop the floor of his misdeeds, but that doesn't matter to him. He's got three sons who have no paternal role model. But what does that matter so long as Kwame has mistresses to fuck and a city credit card to fund his trysts.

The city of Detroit is bereft of many things -- it's former stature, economic vitality, a cohesive, thriving community, and schools with enough text books for each student. Unfortunately, though it's no surprise, it's still horribly demoralizing to see that the city is also bereft of leadership with even a semblance of honesty or integrity.

The ghost of Coleman Young -- succubus that it is -- continues to feed on the throat of that city. His host body is Kwame Kilpatrick.

No comments: