Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Worthy Speech

Yesterday morning, the local paper was full of the Kilpatrick indictments. Page after page of explanation and reaction and commentary. Which was a bit of a problem for me since i've long passed the point of caring about the details of this case and have been cheerfully trying to tune out all but the most major developments. Still, I sucked it up and delved into the coverage.

My eye kept being drawn to the full text of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's speech. I'd caught the big Kwam's broadcast response which was splashed all over the cable networks and the local twelve o' clocks. But I'd managed to miss the announcement to which the Mayor was responding. You know, this one:

Which is a shame because reading those remarks a day later, I found them to be extremely powerful. Read them for yourself here (PDF Warning. Of course, if you have this nifty Firefox plugin like I do, that's no longer a big deal.) and you really should because they're a scathing rebuttal to all of the Mayor's antics.

One of the things that's really bothered me about this whole thing has been the rampant race baiting that Kilpatrick has engaged in. It's exactly the kind of politics that Senator Obama spoke out against in that speech of his I was so taken with. Which only ferments the same divisiveness that has torn a formerly great city, my city, apart. But it's not only the go-to move in Hizzoner's playbook, it's also the only play he's got left at this point (Hack Emeritus Mitch Albom made a point today that instead of being the hip-hop Mayor, a more apt analogy for Kilpatrick is that of a jock. Think Pac-Man Jones or Michael Vick or even Barry Bonds. And, you know, I don't agree with a lot of what Albom writes but I think there's definitely something there.).

Worthy, though, takes him to task. Not only for trying to shift blame onto the media, the white devils in their suburb enclaves, and anyone else. But also just for attempting to avoid responsibility. For attempting to shirk his responsibility, for so casually throwing away his integrity, for corrupting our system of justice when he's the very one supposedly upholding it.

As she quotes Teddy Roosevelt, "Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor." No man is above the law. But, then, Kwame Kilpatrick isn't much of a man at all.

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