Link. The man was a prime example of a con artist, and a polarizing figure. He missed his calling as a corrupt president of a small African nation.
But he made good jam.
There goes the dream ticket of him running with Al Franken.
I remember being completely baffled when he was reelected after his time in jail, but now I’ve heard that he was actually a pretty good mayor.
I don’t know the facts, but I hope he rests in peace anyway.
Not really. He left the city administration in a pretty sorry state. He gutted the city police force in the 80s a few years before the crack epidemic. I was reading Dream City earlier this week, and they mention that MPD didn’t have access to the FBI database because all the reports were being typed on paper with carbon copies.
The rest of the city bureaucracy was a mess as well. His drug problem meant not much was being done.
He did give a voice for the most disenfranchised in the city but he squandered a lot of opportunity and goodwill.
He was a terrible mayor, hiring unqualified cronies who embezzled funds from programs like child welfare, absenting himself from the city during crises, and allowing city services to go in the toilet.
I remember his snow removal policy:
God put it there and God can take it away.
(Although several cities/mayors may have shared this policy.)
Now what will white people in northern Virginia snigger about? He was a complex man and deeply flawed, the HBO documentary about him is very good and helps explain his appeal. I know someone who worked on his staff in the 80s, he was Clintonian in his ability to charm.
Now Rob Ford can absorb his power, creating a Quickening.
We didn’t snigger, believe me. We shivered in fear as we headed off to jobs in DC knowing we might have to walk to our cars after dark through the garbage, snow, and abandoned buildings that filled DC during his administration. We shuddered in horror as we passed the elderly and the drug-addicted people gathered in the streets hoping for a handout. And we shrugged helplessly as the degenerating school systems spit out more and more ignorant voters willing to give their support to an emotionally manipulative charmer who never had their best interests at heart.
The pure human suffering in DC during those years was beyond imagining. And I say this as someone who fasted beside Mitch Snyder to help force the Reagan administration to act and help those people.
So you can take your snide comments and stuff 'em.
Yeah, black folk can be scary.
And we hit the lowest common denominator in eleven posts flat.
When I lived in the area, I declared that DC (and the surrounding suburbs) bought their snow emergency plan from Tahiti.
And somehow you think this debatable list of “attributes” erases the deep corruption that filled his time as Mayor. And his criminal activity should also be ignored, I suppose.
Is this the best Washington D.C. could come up with and did they think it was ok to make our nation’s capital the laughing stock around the world ?
Is it too soon to crack wise?
FYI - My Mother’s Great Grandmother was a slave in Meriwether County, GA, and most of my cousins are black.
So you can stuff that snide comment as well.
I wasn’t scared of the folks lined up for food in Miriam’s Kitchen when I volunteered there in high school. And I wasn’t scared of the folks at the Community for Creative Non-violence when I attended strategy meetings and took notes and cleaned up afterwards. And I’m not scared of you, with your self-righteous references to skin color. My skin tells you nothing about me, except perhaps that I’m too busy to moisturize.
I dunno, spread your jokes out on the table and line them up and we’ll check if they stink.
That (Supreme) Being set me up!
Marion Barry to Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates
Maybe, but not by much. Spent any time in DC?
Barry was a corrupt machine politician who kept in office by appealing to ethnic unrest. He ran the city into the ground while skimming graft and living large. He was the zillionth example of these in American politics. I hope he was the last. But I am not betting on it.
When I heard Barry was arrested for smoking crack I laughed and laughed. Months later when I saw the video of his arrest, and the actions that led to his arrest, I thought it one of the most pathetic things I’d ever seen. Sure, Barry smoked the crack he was offered. It was obvious that he’d smoked crack before - he was completely comfortable with the process. It was even more obvious that Barry was not there to smoke crack. He was there to get laid. If the woman hadn’t insisted he smoke before they had sex, he would not have bothered with the crack. Watching him trying to get to the sex while she was trying to get him to smoke crack was just sad. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost - he was married at the time, and mayor of a major US city. And he may have done the crack afterwards or at another time. Again, it was clear he’d done crack before.
I am sorry for his friends and family that he’s passed. I am sorry for his supporters. I’ve been sorry for them for a very long time. They give him their votes and got almost nothing back, but because he knew how to play them they thought they were getting a great leader. Barry was the zillionth example of that in US politics, and I’m afraid not the last.
And TruCelt you’ve shown yet another reason why you RAAAACK!