Kwame Kilpatrick Still Doesn't Get It

Last week for the first time ever, I watched the classic prison film, “Shawshank Redemption,” starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. Earlier that day, Father’s Day, Kwame Kilpatrick tweeted that he missed his children and looked forward to getting home and becoming a father again to his three boys. On Friday, that wish came true. For the sake of his family, good for him.

How disappointing, then, to read that he will be appearing in DonDiva magazine, which bills itself as “the Original Street Bible” with features on gangsters, rappers and prisoners. In the magazine he characteristically still blames others for his downfall, including Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner, who he says was hard on him as a political  re-election tactic.  Kilpatrick does, uncharacteristically, put some of the blame on himself; although one moment he is ostracizing his flashiness, and the next he is again playing the blame game (and the race card): “[Many] were used to their leadership, especially the African- Americans leaders, being more docile and asking them for permission to do things,” he is quoted as saying.

I’m often asked how I would counsel Kwame Kilpatrick if he were a client. That’s easy. I’d tell him to start being a man. To keep his mouth shut, blame no one but himself and pay his restitution. Period.

With federal charges still to be faced will Kwame Kilpatrick ever truly be “rehabilitated.” To answer that, let me go back to ‘Shawshank” and the final parole board monologue from Morgan Freeman’s character, Red: “Rehabilitated? It’s just a bulls%$t word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a s%$t.”