Although I live in the northeast, I was actually raised in northern Virginia, my family settled in Fairfax county, a suburb of Washington DC.
It was an awesome place to grow up, so much going on all the time
When I think back to my childhood, there was institutions in my life that I didn’t even realize at the time.
The Washington Redskins, Fried Chicken, SYC soccer, the list goes on and on.
Among those institutions was DC Mayor Marion Barry, who(on and off) served as the top chief of the city government for almost 5 terms.
Barry became the one of the first black mayors in America during the early 80’s, and quickly began the process to create government jobs for the African American community.
This influx of resources attracted blacks from all over the country.
I cannot confirm this, but I believe Barry’s revolution set off a chain of events that led to my parents moving our family from the midwest to the Virginia shortly before I was born.
As I was growing up, Barry’s face was everywhere!
He was also at the dinner table, my brother and my sisters paid attention to far more interesting topics like Hulk Hogan, and George Michael, but my parents used to discuss the mayor quite a bit.
So did the television.
I was too young at the time to realize it, but I was witnessing one of the most disgraceful reigns politics has ever seen.
I had to watch a documentary a few years ago to get the full picture, I was far too green during the 80’s to fully grasp what I was looking at.
Marion Barry is a scoundrel, a bully, and while I don’t take pleasure in publishing those sentiments, there is no other way to preface the history I am about to recant.
Barry’s administration did make positive gains, but the organizers engaged in corruption, graft, and other misappropriations with city money, and a political mandate.
A certain number of government officials were indicted for their actions.
Barry also had a serious drug problem, there was constant stories of him enjoying crack cocaine in public, and touting women on the DC night scene that were not his wife.
Barry’s treatment of women followed his 4 terms in office like a big black cloud, it was a constant dynamic within the general narrative.
Barry’s drug problem was so out of control, that he would appear high out of his mind while carrying out his mayoral duties, such as press conferences, and business openings.
The Mayor was doing drugs on the voter’s dime, another aspect of what at times appeared to be a criminal organization.
The chickens came home to roost in 1989, when the FBI stung the shit out of Barry as he was attempting to buy crack from a woman he believed to be a prostitute.
The pair were in a hotel room with a Justice Department camera hidden in stealthy observation.
Here is the video the FBI shot of the incident.
It was later revealed that the feds had been on the trail of Mr. Barry for quite sometime, after all, he was doing his shady doings in the shadow of the federal government.
“Bitch set me up…I shouldn’t have come up here…goddamn bitch”
Go ahead, watch the tape, observe how the Mayor was behaving when he thinks nobody is watching.
Racial tensions complicated the subsequent trial, and Barry walked on most of the charges, including possession of crack cocaine.
Barry spent 6 months in federal prison, his political career seemingly was over.
Using the race card as a weapon (in a very black city)Barry returned to the Mayoral seat in 1994, my friend’s dad told me at the time that “he was back from the dead”.
Barry would be ousted out of office by the federal government at the end of his 4th term, he remained active in politics right up until his death.
In total, Barry did some extraordinary things in his life, set important precendents, and created thousands of jobs.
That’s worthy of respect, but that’s about it.
Marion Barry was a criminal, a womanizer, a purveyor of the crack cocaine culture, he was also a charlatan, his people mishandled an untold amount of money that was intended for the District of Columbia.
Earlier today, I noticed that a statue has been erected in the name of Marion Barry, it sits on freaking Pennsylvania Avenue.
I saw a picture, people clapping around it, the whole nine yards.
I personally am disgusted that this is even taking place, Marion Barry was given the incredible honor of leading people out of the darkness.
Drugs, corruption, racial bias, he ran on a ticket that promoted integrity, and the stance that he would protect us from these damaging threats to DC residents.
That was all BS, and that’s why he ranks as one of the most controversial politicians ever.
If people want to build a statue in the name of crack smoking womanizer, who through his power as Mayor, facilitated the illegal dissemination of public money for nefarious purposes….. so be it.
Just don’t expect me to visit this “monument”.