On cue, Kwame apologized on telly and called on a higher power. His wife, Carlita, issued her own public statement in support of her husband. She’ll have a lot of time to think of ways to support him as Kilpatrick spends 4 months in jail pondering what percentage of the millions he’s cost the city in legal fees he must pay as restitution.
It’s one of those very public events that makes one cringe to be black in America…and yet run to the beauty shop to hear what The People have to say about it. As it turns out, the downgrading of Kwame Kilpatrick from Detroit mayor to Mayor of the Wayne County Hoosegow is the same tired stand-by-your-man, cross-racial, transnational tale. The Kilpatrick saga barely made a ripple on the trans-Atlantic pond, but women from Cheated-Upon-Thames do it, too.
Sitting in a Michigan beauty salon having my ‘do tended to, I overheard this assessment of the mayor’s predicament: his wife was right to stick by him. Just as Hilary had, Carlita clung close to her fella because she’s made an investment in him. (Sh-huh?!) And why should a woman let a man like him go? Just so some other woman could snap him up? Nuh-uh.
In the interest of having my dreadlocks not twisted any tighter, I didn’t enter into this totally irritating, self-hating conversation. But for reals? Should wives remain attached to wayward husbands? Are these love-rats investments that have just had a little dip in stock price? I’m gonna vote no.
And when will we black women get over this scarcity model about black men? As one black feminist I know notes, “that’s a trifling ass attitude to take toward relationships, sounds like somebody trying to figure out whether to keep an old raggedy car or not, just cause they done put some money in it.”
Amen. No more hoopdies, my sistahs! I’d rather ride a walk on my own two legs…