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. If they are going to honor Barry at least make the monument prominent. After a couple of centuries of honoring men and women instrumental in positively moving this country towards becoming a more perfect union, it might be time to erect monuments of those public figures our founding fathers warned would undermine this republic.Maybe the former monuments have given the American people a false sense of security by believing anyone entering into D.C. politics are saints.

    Erect monuments to the likes of Barry and make their actual accomplishments a necessary stop on the tours. Teach people that the likes of Barry are in the majority and the likes of those other famed monuments are few and far between.

  2. While I agree that there are better role models than Barry, I don’t think that role model is the message of the vote. Considering the way Congress treats the mostly Black population of the DC, and the limits of power the Congress allows the city by treating it more as a 2nd class colony, I’m not surprised, Do you think the irony of the feds going after Barry while many members of Congress and the White House do similar illegal things and retain their seats is lost on the Council? I think Barry’s re-election and current honoring is more a thumb in the eye of mostly white establishment and its two-tiered “justice” system.

    1. I’m sure Barry had his constituent’s best interests at heart the whole time. Really?? I remember watching the news from DC in horror as a young adult, and there were no benefits to the city at that time. Much like Baltimore today. While your point about Congress is noted, it is pretty much a non sequitur.

      1. I guess it could be a work of art that celebrates infamy, but I think that would be lost on the greater population. Kind of like a college friend of mine who celebrated his “Malcolm the tenth” hat when the movie came out. ??????

        How about a piece for Blues Alley?

    2. Congress doesn’t treat the blacks of Washington badly, nor is DC treated as a colony. No, Barry’s behavior is not highly generalized in Congress. You cannot substantiate any of these judgments.

      You’ve manufactured a set of fictions in your mind, and you believe them.

  3. Aren’t there enough things in DC already named for him? I know of at least one park and one housing project named for Barry.

    It says a lot about what eight years of fundamental transformation wrought. We tear down statues and monuments honoring Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and figures like Lincoln. We erect in their place icons honoring the Marion Barrys of our time.

    1. Andrew, just look at the silly mindsets of those people posting in favor of a statue of Barry that post on this list.

  4. My apologies for the trespass on this thread, but I’m uncertain if Jonathan will post anything on Veterans Day. The federal and State courts are closed today in the Commonwealth of Kentucky in observation of Veterans Day tomorrow. Many of our followers served in the military or have loved ones who did. In honor of all our veterans:



          1. I continue to follow the posts daily and always enjoy your insights. Thanks, Frank

  5. I’ll do my own Barry one, it will be better. I’ll be sure to include “B!tch Set Me Up!” on the memorium. I’ll make a rap (I know four recognizable English words is a lot for a rap tune, but I’ll work it out…) multi-media kiosk to go with it. Sorry posters, going to be too busy to bother you with my gurgling insanity in the near future…

  6. Isn’t it great, they take down Robert Lee’s statue (the general, not the sportscaster), and put up Barry’s statue.

    Clear example of liberal values.

  7. I heard this yesterday and thought the people were just joking about the monuments being removed. Holy moly! I’m going to put out a catalog for sculptures of other great civic leaders–Al Capone, Bonnie & Clyde… I’m getting out front for once.

  8. Excellent article! Good point Wonderer! Question: Will Turley be accused of being a white nationalist racist at his university now because of this essay?

  9. Da Turley T rumpers want to build a statue of Roy Moore. Those girls are lying. The T rumpers say.

  10. It’s an indicator of the rancid culture within the Democratic Party, within the District of Columbia. It’s also indicative of the political culture of urban blacks, who, in their assessment of public life, admire gestures of defiance, demands for R-E-S-P-E-C-T (and gestures of deference from whitey) more than they do actual performance.

    Since 1967, black America has produced two politicians who had an obtrusively salutary effect on civic life in their domain and with regard to whom other public officials ought to go to school. One was Anthony Williams and the other was Robert Bowers. Both should be honored after their death. Anthony Williams’ main task in office was to clean up the messes made by Marion Barry. That Barry gets a statue is obscene. With the possible exception of Coleman Young, he was the least capable and most destructive big city mayor of the last 60 years.

    Memo to bourgeois white liberals: you’re not doing any favors for blacks by acceding to this sort of stupidity.

    1. You said, “Memo to bourgeois white liberals: you’re not doing any favors for blacks by acceding to this sort of stupidity.”

      True, but this kind of bullsh*t does get votes for the Democratic Party, sooo who really cares if it is rancid or not???

      Similarly, refusing to blame whorish black women who produce a 72% illegitimate birth rate, irresponsible baby daddies, gross poverty, and a stupid savage violent thug culture, is not doing blacks any favors either. But falsely blaming those results on White Supremacy, White Privilege, Trump, Republicans, White Families, White Bedtime Stories, and Institutionalized Racism gets votes for the Democratic Party, sooo once again, who really cares if it is rancid or not??? Black Girl Magic, dontcha know!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

        1. VA is a government bedroom playground. They’re going to vote for who pays for the ongoing tax-funded party-scene. Good day to troll, Ken. Maybe I’ll do some statues of your last century heroes–you know, Stalin and Mao for starters.

    2. Sorry… I’m cashing in. Going to start statues of the group that is turning Baltimore into the last scene of Tarantino’s “Hateful Eight,” too. Looking forward to profiting from the nearly vertical decline of western civilization.

    1. Name one, several traitors are in the crosshairs but that is all. Try reading some history and turning off Faux News before posting stupidity.

  11. One of the things so impressive about fools, is their unrelenting desire to prove their predicament at every opportunity. When the fools are elected public officials, the proof is visible and usually permanent. Citizens don’t get the government they want; they get the one they deserve.

    1. Again, the public acquiesces to the choices presented by the political class. In DC’s case, they had better alternatives that they spurned. The trouble is, the alternatives are what they are. There’s a supply side as well as a demand side. The supply side sucks for several reasons: because people suck generally in comparison to my grandparents generation, because the the cultural dynamic is such that the better sorts are not drawn to political life, and because the screening system rewards certain dispositions and penalizes others. The screening system used to be different and perhaps better.

  12. The Japanese are getting rid of their criminal class. We just embrace some of ours in the form of ethnic or racial politicians. Al Capone is salivating in this grave. It is what happens when our academia have been brainwashed.

  13. Barry obviously impressed enough people with some positive attributes. That he was substantially scum at the same time seems to be par for the course for many politicians or ‘public servants’. The most honorable service this mutt can be of would be best performed through documentaries and other media structured vehicles; where the state of politics and its double edged sword can be repeatedly discussed. Erecting a stature would demean the black race and the African American accomplishment in the history books. Not a very smart thing to do.

    1. You think?? Richmond could have put a statue of Arthur Ashe up; it got voted down. A true gentleman who was the antithesis of the salivating tennis barbarians of Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors, and John McEnroe (McEnroe was more guilty of gamesmanship… it used his “irate” behavior to take opponent out of their game. Connors post tennis actions speak for themselves, Nastase did have a sense of humor). I always thought the kind-hearted, compassionate, and carefully spoken man would have made a great representative for the US in an official capacity. He was taken from us too soon.

      1. Connors post tennis actions speak for themselves,

        He’s been married to the same woman since 1979. Any scandals?

        Connors was graceless, but he was far less exhibitionistic and rude in public than Nastase and McEnroe.

        1. Well, and I don’t like to throw stuff like this out there. There’s Chris Evert’s abortion, gambling, eyeing up the locals… etc…

    1. Personal income per capita in the District of Columbia is higher than that of any state, even though the slum population tops 200,000. They have a handsome tax base. Economic geographers refer to the ‘resource curse’ bedeviling 3d world countries with ample oil and mineral resources. Same deal in DC. Great tax base and plenty of money to piss away in repetitive attacks of the stupids.

  14. The statue is a perfect comment on the corruption in DC. The could not have picked a better example.

  15. “He may be a despot. But he’s THEIR despot.”

    Twenty years or so ago I heard that phrase said of Yasser Arafat and the support of his constituents. Such a frame comes equally to mind with Mr. Barry. That the city officials chose to honor such baseness shows exactly what constitutes their own integrity: weak at best and greatly suspicious with any claim.

    Yet if erected this statue is not just representative of one politician or man, but all politicians that currently infest Washington, DC: a monument to self-actualized political sleaze, and a memorial to the death of reason and honor.

    Hopefully it will be fittingly constructed cheaply so that might quickly dissolve in the rains. And history will be as unkind to it as nature is.

    1. Yasser Arafat was a disgusting little racketeer. The trouble with the Arabs on the West Bank and Gaza, is that when they get fed up with the Al Fatah racket, they give their votes to …. HAMAS (who aren’t on the take so much but make their view of the Jews quite transparent).

  16. “Barry was a disgrace to his office and the decision to honor him undermines the values of the D.C. government.”

    I agree with Prof. Turley on the first part, but it’s pretty clear that Barry doesn’t undermine so much as he epitomizes the values of the D.C. government.

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