Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Millen and Beatty...are People Too?

Cold off the presses is news that Matt Millen has finally been removed as the president of the Detroit Lions organization. Like almost everyone in the entire world, I am satisfied that Millen has finally been stripped of his responsibilities and I can again dream of a brighter Detroit professional football future. Like Kwame Kilpatrick, everything hateful that can be said about Millen has already been said, but I harbor resentment for him because he is in some way responsible for ruining 17 weeks of possible fun and anticipation by the second week for just about 7 years running. There would be no reasonable way to say that he is entirely at fault, but his role in the process has been pretty clear and undeniable.

Even colder off the presses, Kwame's former chief of staff, mistress, text message buddy, and all around frowny (not actually a word) woman Christine Beatty is broke and in foreclosure. Like Millen, she can not claim that she is free of responsibility for her actions' outcomes, and she even (allegedly) broke more than a few laws along the way. Piling on a little more, her (alleged) relationship with Kwame tarnished an already-struggling city and has thrown the metro area into months of uncertainty and ridicule. I am unhappy with Christine for her role in this debacle and wish that she and Kwame had made much better decisions along the way.

It is easy to clearly outline the offenses by these two and how their actions have negatively affected my/our state, and I believe that most of the anger against them is well-deserved. However, I felt my heart wrench just a little bit for Ms. Beatty and (less so) for Mr. Millen when I read today's headlines. I think in our collective criticism of these individuals, it will be important to keep the personal attacks at a minimum and to not celebrate and revel in their downfall. Now is the right opportunity to work on our public image as a people who do not celebrate the failure and disgrace of others. These two individuals, whether you think so or not, are suffering more than plenty in their own personal and professional lives, and they will be paying penance in some form or another for what will likely amount to the remainder of their existence. I am not trying to claim that these people should not have to deal with the consequences of their decisions and actions, but these consequences should not amount to a public lynching. We're better than that.

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