Twitter erupts over ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s 28-year prison sentence


About a decade ago, when legendary radio deejay Tom Joyner was asked whom he thought would become the first black president of the United States, two words bolted out of his mouth before the question was complete: Kwame Kilpatrick.

That’s just how well thought of he was back then. And Joyner was far from alone with those sentiments.

Today, a legion of mouths are agape as the former Detroit mayor, the product of a local and statewide political dynasty in Michigan and the youngest person to ever serve in the Michigan assembly, was sentenced to nearly three decades in federal prison for an assortment of legal transgressions that stunned and dumbfounded supporters and adversaries alike.

The city of Detroit, for which the former political prodigy (his mother is former Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick) had first became mayor of at the tender age of 31, is still trying to come from under the mountainous debris caused by the Kilpatrick administration implosion that was wrought by his uncontainable hubris and ravenous greed.

Most tragic about all of this is the fact that Kilpatrick was identified, along with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, as a rising star within the Democratic Party and a man with unlimited political potential. (Sex was the common denominator that helped bring them both down in successive spectacular career crashes.) Kilpatrick was affable, highly intelligent, boasted an impeccable pedigree, driven, goal-oriented, extremely charismatic, witty and, on the surface, kind to his constituents when he met them in public, which was often. People wanted him to win.

Kilpatrick graduated from the best schools (Cass Tech), attended one of the nation’s most renowned HBCUs (Florida A&M), got his law degree and proceeded to take the fast track to national prominence.

But as he and his father, former Wayne County Commissioner Bernard Kilpatrick, and contractor Bobby Ferguson were found guilty of racketeering, extortion, bribery, filing false tax returns and other charges, the entire state of Michigan — as well as the Democratic Party — can only shake their heads and wonder just how high this mountainous man could have climbed.

Many observers took to Twitter to vent their feelings about Kilpatrick’s once brilliant career.

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