D.C. City Council Moves To Honor Marion Barry With Prominent Statue In Front Of City Hall

Barry was a disgrace to his office and the decision to honor him undermines the values of the D.C. government.  He was repeatedly criticized for open corruption as well as insulting comments directed against the Asian and Polish communities.  He voted against recognizing same sex marriage and was ultimately stripped of all committee authority after years of alleged corruption and conflicts of interest.

Barry was sent to another prison after he was found to have had a prostitute perform oral sex on him in the middle of a visiting room with families of other prisoners.  Barry also pleaded guilty in 2005 to tax evasion misdemeanors. When he was subjected to mandatory drug testing, he came up positive for cocaine and marijuana.  In 2006, he was again convicted of tax evasion but given a term of probation.  Prosecutors later tried to revoke that probation  in 2007 for failure to file his 2005 tax return.

In 2009, prosecutors again sought to revoke his probation after his failed to file his 2007 tax returns.  The government presented evidence that Barry had not filed his taxes in eight of the prior nine years.  In 2011, the IRS hit Barry with a federal tax lien against Barry because of unpaid federal income taxes for 2010.  Each time, Barry used his medical condition or other excuses to avoid jail time.

Barry also racked up thousands of dollars of unpaid tickets and had continual driving violations.

He was also arrested for stalking  in 2009 after political consultant Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, his ex-girlfriend, filed a complaint.  Those charges were also dropped.

He was also accused of a variety of conflicts of interest in using his government positions to benefit himself.  A Special Counsel found that Barry personally benefited from a contract that he arranged for  Watts-Brighthaupt.  It was alleged that his girlfriend then kicked back money that she owed to Barry with the contract money.  Moreover, the girlfriend later admitted that her report issued under the contract was plagiarized.  Barry refused to cooperate with the Special Counsel who was also looking into dozens of earmarks allegedly benefitting Barry.

On March 2, 2010, the Council of the District of Columbia voted 12–0 to strip Barry of all committee assignments in light of the allegations and his refusal to answer questions.  Now the city council committee voted unanimously to honor him.

The District of Columbia was widely ridiculed for returning Barry to office and keeping him in office despite continual scandals.  Now the City Council wants a permanent reminder to the world that it considers Barry to be a role model for everyone in Washington.

It would hardly be difficult to come up with a better model than the likes of Marion Barry. Here are a few historical figures born in D.C.  bypassed by the city council to honor him in front of city hall:

Duke Ellington (1899 – 1974), one of America’s greatest composers and bandleaders.

Benjamin Oliver Davis, (1877 – 1970) the first African American general in the United States Army (1940) (and the father of Air Force General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.)

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896 – 1953), winner of  the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 for “The Yearling.”

John Philip Sousa (1854 – 1932) famous American composer and conductor known as “The March King.” He also developed the sousaphone.

There are dozens of others who led lives that greatly benefitted the city and enriched its culture and history.  Instead, this will be the memory enshrined in D.C. history:

 Of course, if his most famous quote is too racy for the statue, there are these examples of why Barry was widely viewed as a clown-like figure:
  • “First, it was not a strip bar, it was an erotic club. And second,what can I say? I’m a night owl.”
  • “The laws in this city are clearly racist. All laws are racist. The law of gravity is racist.”
  • “I am clearly more popular than Reagan. I am in my third term. Where’s Reagan? Gone after two! Defeated by George Bush and Michael Dukakis no less.”
  • “I am a great mayor; I am an upstanding Christian man; I am an intelligent man; I am a deeply educated man; I am a humble man.”

122 thoughts on “D.C. City Council Moves To Honor Marion Barry With Prominent Statue In Front Of City Hall”

  1. The story says “He voted against recognizing same sex marriage ”
    Mr. Mayor. Did something Right.
    That being said this story presents a compelling argument for Congress to remove “Home rule” for Washington DC. By Every standard D.C. was a better place to live, work and visit prior to Home rule.

    1. As statues of Jefferson, Washington, etc come down and the national anthem is replaced with who knows what, one wonders when the first Hillary Rotten Clinton statue will be erected. (Erected…word choice for Bill).

  2. After reading all these posting, it appears that just about anyone who gets a building named after them or a statue erected in their honor seem to have a dark side. I guess this shows us how imperfect human beings are.

  3. Marion Barry is considered an icon by those on the left that care nothing for ordinary minority people, young people, women, etc. Along with numerous crimes, kickbacks, stalking, foul mouth, corruption, racism, conflicts of interest, tax evasion he was also guilty of having “a prostitute perform oral sex on him in the middle of a visiting room with families of other prisoners.” Marion Barry is right up there with Harvey Weinstein except Marion Barry has longer list of crimes.

  4. Off Topic: Vice President Pence just gave the best speech I have seen. It was on TV and he addressed the Veterans at National Veterans Day Ceremony.
    I was a Democrat. I would vote for this guy for President or for VP again.

  5. I’m a little bummed they didn’t go with Bera, Queen of Sodom. A more striking figure and you could save on all that granite with just some salt crystals. Throw in Lot’s wife, Ildith, too.

    1. I don’t think the blog posting has anything to do with Roy Moore so I think people would be more interested in what swathmoremom and Tribe think of erecting a statue to commemorate all of Marion Barry’s illegal activities. What say you swathmoremom, do you think Marion Barry deserves such an honor?

    2. Why does Tribe refuse to use God’s preferred pronoun? What a bigot.

  6. I totally disagree with Turley here. Marion Barry is a near PERFECT person to use as a symbol of D.C. He was corrupt, sleazy, a criminal, and a liar. Does he not perfectly capture the truth and the “spirit” of D.C.? Of course, he does! The only thing I’d object to is that D.C., being run by lying weasels, will not state the truth about Marion Barry. But, I guess that goes with the territory. What would the corrupt, sleazy, criminal, lying D.C. government be if it were not also hypocritical?

  7. We already have a statue of corruption in D.C. While they function like statues, they are a living and breathing monument commonly known as the United States Congress.

  8. I want a statue of LBJ in front of the Capitol Bldg or White House in honor of his passing The Civil Rights Act of `964 and then the Votting Rights Act of `965. Maybe there is one there somewhere already. Anyone know?

    1. in honor of his passing The Civil Rights Act of `964 and then the Votting Rights Act of `965.

      He signed it, Congress passed it.

    2. You seem to have forgotten that the recently released JFK papers have pointed to LBJ’s membership with the KKK. This, of course, was hushed up, and never fully investigated. The only reason that JBJ was pushing for the Civil Rights Act that was STARTED by JFK was that, unlike JFK, was 100% for escalating the Vietnam War so as to spend hundreds of billions of dollars and many Amerian lives to help support his Military Industrial Complex masters. The Elite Establishment looked at the Civil Rights Act as necessary grease for their more important War efforts. Plus, they ultimately viewed the Civil Rights Act as yet another means to enslave the masses.

  9. “Bitch set me up” – sums up Barry the perpetual victim. If the denizens of DC want to erect a statue honoring this person so be it.

  10. “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

    And the ditzocraps are gonna let ’em!

    Whose —-ing idea was this, anyway?

    “Crazy Abe” Lincoln wanted to fundamentally transform America. I’m with him!

    To wit,

    “If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” After acknowledging that this plan’s “sudden execution is impossible,” he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”

  11. More red meat to the base. You had to dig up a stale story from 27 years ago to stir them up, totally bypassing the Roy Moore and other Republican scandals. We need to choose a theme song for the Kellyanne Pivot. Maybe “Funeral March For A Marionette”? No, Alfred Hitchcock already took that one.

    1. What?
      Whatever. You can head over to JT’s post on Moore he just put up. I won’t spend the time–know nothing about him. Alabamy is a long way from me. Barry on the other hand…

    2. Perhaps it’s not so much ‘red meat to the base’ as it is JT’s passive-aggressive way of purposely annoying you, Natacha. Perhaps it is red meat just for you. 😉

  12. Hmmm, I’d go with “the law of gravity is racist” on the plinth as my favorite quote.

    If the City Council voted for this then it is a failed Litmus test of their ethics. Respond accordingly and get them out or we encourage more of the same. They clearly have no concern of consequences.

    We need to put fear of voters back into politicians to at least try to keep them honest.

    1. For a statue of Rep. Hank Johnson his should read:

      “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize”

      Place the monument on the side of Guam opposite the naval base as a counter-balance.

  13. We need s statue of Marilyn Monroe in DC. She had some flings with John Kennedy and brother Bobby and brought grace to America.

    (music to tune of Amazing Grace)

    Amazing Grace! Our Marilyn!
    She was fine and fine to see.
    I once was blind but now I see.
    How John Boy pissed off Jackie!

    1. Liberty Second – who can forget “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” as Marilyn was in the process of having a wardrobe malfunction with her dress.

  14. Berry would not be a first choice for most, but neither would the J. Edgar Hoover building or naming a airport after St, Ronnie. Or a bridge after Edmond Pettus. Or Stone Mountain. Or naming a park after Nathan Bedford Forrest.

    1. Reagan, as much as you can say of any officeholder in the last 50 years, was an accomplished President, to the extent that latter-day Democrats will make use of his icon to bash present-day Republicans from time to time. J.Edgar Hoover had actual accomplishments in the realm of institution-building. Edmund Pettus and Nathan Bedford Forrest led troops into battle. Marion Barry is just another local pol, and a peculiarly corrupt and incompetent one.

    2. Fishwings – who is Stone Mountain named after? And Nathan Bedford Forrest was an incredible Confederate general. You probably got the short version of the War of Northern Aggression when you were in school. Read Bruce Catton and JFC Fuller to learn what really happened. Catton will give you the long overview while Fuller will dissect the military maneuvers.

    3. Assuming, what you appear to think, that J. Edgar Hoover didn’t deserve a building named after him, why would you want to add another undeserving person to the list of honors? That sounds rather foolish and a silly way of thinking.

  15. This is how every totalitarian regime in history did it, folks. Anyone that thinks that modern progressives have anything in common with their forebears needs their head checked. Our society is in real trouble. I’m sure that millennials who weren’t alive or were infants at the time of Barry’s trial, and whose parents have never explained a single thing to them about literally any facet of real life, will think this is just *fantastic*.

  16. I agree. This is an odd choice to immortalize, but is it really the worst of American politics? Can you say Roy Moore?

    1. This is hyperbolic distraction and immature “whataboutery”.

      Innocent until proven guilty.

      Berry was convicted.

      I guess that we’re so used to unjust behavior toward people that we disagree with, it’s now the norm. Give me the crime and I’ll find the evidence. If that’s the case we should call Obama, both Clintons, and the entire Obama cabinet criminals. Cursory knowledge with find them guilty of collusion, election law violations, unmasking a private citizen, charity fraud, and obstruction of justice. There’s some whataboutery for you.

      I want to see the rule of law applied by lady justice. The process must be consistent and legal.

      1. “We don’t have the rule of law. We just don’t. It’s a myth, a dangerous myth.” -Barrett Brown

        1. Why are you quoting a notorious head case as an authority? Do we get the wit and wisdom of Jared Loughner next?

    2. This is an odd choice to immortalize, but is it really the worst of American politics? Can you say Roy Moore?

      OK, you’re silly and disoriented. Any other excuses?

    3. “but is it really the worst of American politics? Can you say Roy Moore?”

      Were you born… yesterday??? Roy Moore could end up being a big creep, but being around at the time of Barry, I doubt if there wasn’t any perverted excess he wasn’t party to. And no one saying to run out there and build a statue of Roy Moore.

      How about Pete Sampras. Great tennis player. Seemlingly a good guy. Mediterranean roots… works for me. Not a politician though, but I think that’s a good thing. Was going to say Wayne Shorter, but he was actually born in Newark.

  17. Once again, a handful of judges charged with properly interpreting the Constitution turned tail on their duties, informing us that what the Founders of our nation and Framers who drafted the Establishment Clause were actually trying to do was not merely prohibit a national church, but scrub any reminders of religion from the public square.


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