A lot of us remember Kwame Kilpatrick as one the most influential, young Black politicians in America. Seeing him take his position as the youngest elected mayor of Detroit in 2002; at the time, Kilpatrick was 31 years old. Throughout the duration of his term, Kilpatrick’s name and status as mayor was dragged through the mud, his mayorship peppered with various scandals and side-eyed patterns of strange behavior, including scandalous “house” parties at the Mayor’s mansion, becoming a prime suspect in the murder of a local stripper, being in the center of an extramarital affair carried on with one of his associates, and finally, being implicated with his father in a string of extortion and fradulent activities. Quite the decorated politician? Yeah, we think so too. Kwame’s actions landed him in the jail system for a short while before being released on bail. It wasn’t until earlier this year that he was sent BACK to prison for violating his probation.
This past week, the former Motor City mayor was indicted on even MORE charges. Apparently, this 38-count indictment stems from a pattern of bribery, fraud, extortion and other corruption charges that dates back to the beginning of his term. The grandiose investigation is being led by U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, in which she states that the case is a result of city officials and their close associates “abusing” their powers of the city and its public trust. This statement is backed by numerous instances where the Kilpatrick family has used city accounts and funds for their personal gain and personal expenses, such as luxury cars, large house parties, dispersement of funds to relatives and preferential campaign support. In essence, the goal of the “Kilpatrick Enterprise” was to enrich the family while driving the rest of the city into unbearable debt.
We will keep you informed on the latest findings and verdict for the former mayor, but it just leads you to wonder: was it really worth all that trouble? Another issue which resulted in the fall of Kilpatrick’s scheme was age; did his parents’ status allow him too much power at such an early age? Was Kwame’s mayorship done in the way a 5 year-old’s parents hand him a Fabergé egg? One thing we must always remember is that great leaders are always humble servers…a politician isn’t a rap star, an athlete, or even a celebrity. They are elected into office to SERVE THEIR COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE! It is from this humility that most honest politicians and people gain their character and approval. Yes, the monetary and material gains seem to be most appealing at the forefront of most positions of power, but trust and believe, not only will you have to “pay for it” literally, but you will also pay for it in being convicted, judged and rightfully punished.
Was Kwame’s rise to power based on family ties alone, or did he have the potential for being a great mayor? How do you think the spiral into corrupt behavior happened? Let AskDrO know what you think!