Posted March 14, 2008 – Embattled Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is being rocked by critics for mentioning in a live television broadcast that he has been called “a nigger” by his foes.
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Kilpatrick, who is facing possible perjury charges involving a steamy sexual relationship with a former top aide, made the comments during his annual State of the City address Tuesday, which was carried live on local TV and radio stations.
"In the past 30 days, I've been called a nigger more than anytime in my entire life," said Kilpatrick. "In the past three days, I've received more death threats than I have in my entire administration." But such comments are unacceptable, says state Attorney General Mike Cox, calling the mayor a “race-baiter” and reminding that Kilpatrick, in a very public display with several other Black leaders last summer, buried the “N”-word.
"What he said cannot be unsaid, and he is not fit to be mayor anymore," Cox, who is White, said in an interview on WJR-AM. "He's a very talented guy, but he has overstayed his day. He should resign, he should quit, whether he's charged or not."
Cox likened the 37-year-old so-called “Hip-hop Mayor” to White supremacist David Duke and the late segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace. Even some Black leaders pounced on Kilpatrick.
"It most especially was not a place to use the same word that, supposedly, we buried last summer," the Rev. Edgar Vann, pastor of Second Ebenezer Baptist Church in Detroit, told The Associated Press. "You can make references to it without using it." But not everyone agreed.
The mayor’s spokesman, James Canning, said Cox "has the right to his opinion" but noted that his boss was merely "explaining to the citizens of Detroit the situation he and his family have been put in by some very vile individuals who have decided they will thrust upon he and his family some very threatening forms of communications." Added NAACP national spokesman Richard J. McIntire, "He was trying to make a point. He wasn't using it in the typical vernacular."
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