I once admired Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, the former U.S. Rep. from Detroit, but now I’m questioning her reasoning.

In Washington, D.C. this week, Cheeks, who is no stranger to Capitol Hill hearings, will preside over a week of testimony about the existence of extraterrestrials, aliens from space, and unidentified flying objects.

Really?

What is Cheeks thinking? Is she serious about exposing extraterrestrials? Does she really believe in these bizarre hearings? Is it a crazy cry for help or is it simply about the money? Cheeks is being paid $20,000, plus expenses, to preside over the panel.

“I’ve been interested for a while,” Kilpatrick told The Detroit News. The hearings, known as the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure sponsored by the Paradigm Research Group, a private ET lobbying organization. “It’s good to be here. We’re excited. I’ve been reading and watching and so I’m looking forward to the week’s activities.”

This is an unusual departure for Kilpatrick who spent more than a decade arguing passionately on Capitol Hill for funding to pay for housing, jobs, health care and education in Detroit. But I’m not sure who is served by this new round of hearings, which will last through Friday at the National Press Club and will be the basis for a documentary on UFOs.

Kilpatrick said she’ll hear evidence about a government conspiracy to hide the existence of unidentified flying objects and extraterrestrials that have contacted Earth.

“I’m waiting to hear,” Kilpatrick told The Detroit News.

Kilpatrick, the mother of disgraced former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, is joined at the hearing by former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska, as well as former Reps. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., and Merrill Cook, R-Utah.

Woolsey joked that she never made the front page story of her local newspaper until she retired and joined this ET panel. So is this a serious investigation or an attempt by some former congressional leaders to get their names back in the headlines and grab the spotlight, if only for a brief moment in time?

It all sounds a bit suspect to me since no report from the hearing will be issued and organizers said the hearing will only be used to provide footage for the upcoming documentary.

In 2011, the White House said the government has “no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race.” But Stephen Bassett, executive director of the Bethesda-Md.-based Paradigm Research Group, testified Monday that the White House is wrong and said the hearings will prove that extraterrestrials exist.

Kilpatrick also introduced Minister Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, as “one of the leaders in our nation on this topic.” Farrakhan has publicly talked about his own UFO experience that he called “the wheel.”

I don’t know anything about extraterrestrials and I suspect that Kilpatrick doesn’t know much about it either. I do know that many black folks in Detroit are struggling every day to make ends meet, public schools are closing, unemployment is at an all-time high, and the state is preparing to take over the city’s government. Detroit is a mess.

So I’m left to wonder how aliens from space directly impact the lives of black people in Detroit – and all Americans – who are simply trying to survive after a national economic crisis.

Kilpatrick lost her re-election bid in 2010 after spending 14 years in Congress lobbying on behalf of the underprivileged. It just seems to me that Kilpatrick could make better use of her time in her post-congressional life.

What do you think?

(Photo: AP)

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