Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Marion Barry.. The Last Of A Dying Breed..

November 24, 2014 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( I despise politicians!! They are normally rich ,self-absorbed jerks with no connection to the people the serve. With the only interaction between the two being when they solicit their constituents for votes, only later to slither back in the pocket of big business and big media to do their bidding. Very few times do you find an American political figure who actually walks among the people he serves. In Washington, D.C.,where I’m from, we were blessed to have such a man who embodied all that was good about Our Community. In 1980 Washington, D.C. elected Marion Barry the second Black Mayor of The Nations Capitol it was a historic event because it marked the first time a Brother involved in the movement was elected to public office and I’m proud to say My City made that move. See way before the F.B.I set up that our beloved Mayor had to endure, he was just Marion Barry one of 10 children born to Mattie Cummings and Marion Barry in It ta Bena, Mississippi.

After his father’s death when he was four his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee ,this began to shape our Elders future into a champion for His people. At an early age young Marion Barry had a paper route that offered a trip to New Orleans for anyone who gained 15 new customers. When young Marion and a group of the other Black paper boys met the quota the company refused to send them to New Orleans because it was segregated and they didn’t want to pay for an extra bus. In true Warrior spirit he organized a strike and boycott until the company settled and sent the boys to St.Louis (go figure) because it wasn’t segregated.marionbarry-2014

Later, while attending Lemoyne College Mayor Barry and some friends wanted to attend a state fair to see a science exhibit but was unaware that it was segregated nights and was turned away by a cop because it was the day for whites. After not making a stand and just moving along the feeling of being oppressed drove Marion Barry straight into the arms of the struggle and as my favorite D.C. artist DeWayne”Killa Fats”Thomas says, he “Embraced The Struggle“. Joining the NAACP and becoming more active in Rights For Black People. In 1958 he wrote a letter asking that Walter Chandler, the only white member on the board of trustees at Lemoyne College, after he said Black people “should be treated as a younger brother, not an adult“.(Man Charles Barkley Woulda Loved This Guy) . This did not sit well with our elder, as he wrote a scathing letter to Lemoyne’s President calling for the removal of Chandler (hmmm sounds familiar). A friend of Barry told him to put the letter in the paper , it made the front page. 

Later as a member of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) mayor Barry was involved in sit-ins throughout the country being arrested several times. In 1965 he was sent to D.C.because, like Ferguson, over half the population was Black but no one black represented them in political office. After helping to register Blacks to vote he organized a “Mancott” against Metro for raising fares, he also organized a free food campaign with Giant Food for poor blacks in D.C. after the riots in 1968. Mayor Barry served on the D.C. school board in the early 70’s and had many battles with congress on how money was spent in regarding education. He was influential in having the first woman appointed as the city superintendent Barbara Sizemore. In 1977 Marion Barry was held hostage and shot when the district building was over ran by A run away from the Nation of Islam. 

This furthered the the legend of Marion Barry already known as a champion of civil rights and a man of the people ,now viewed as a hero and a survivor, it marked the beginning of what would be a great and controversial political reign and the birth of Chocolate City.

In 1980 after the election of Marion Barry Washington DC began to see drastic changes for the better in the black community. Mayor berry instituted The Summer Works Program,which allowed every person of working age in school a summer job. He also made great strides in sanitation hiring workers to well paying jobs in the blue collar sect. He renovated and remodel decaying housing projects added valuable school programs , which allowed many of us, even yours truly, to broaden our horizons through education. During his first term Mayor Barry laid off 1500 police officers , with some believe led to the increase in crime rate but if you have any sense of history you understand the FBI led the investigation which led to his arrest on drug charges. I believe this directly ties in because Marion Barry was part of a radical attempt to have a civil rights leader become a politician and he was the only successful case.

He was a prominent face and activist for the rights of black people during the time of J Edgar Hoover, he devoted most of his life to the betterment of his people, and he was not afraid to speak up against incidents of prejudice and racism and speak truth to power. But yet we continue to let them define him by his faults. You don’t tell your children that Marion  Barry set up social programs to give the elderly enough food to eat, you don’t tell your children that DC was once the shining example of what an all-black city could be and do when given an equal chance economically. You don’t tell your children that Marion Barry was a victim of Ronald Reagan and Ollie Norths Iran Contra affair which flooded our neighborhoods and communities all across the United States with cocaine. You don’t tell your children about the witch hunt that the media here in DC engage in when they went after Marion Barry as if he was smuggling cocaine they invested millions in time and money just to record him taking a hit of cocaine after being pressured by his girlfriend. You let Jewish homosexuals make racist comments attacking this great man because you allowed the media to dictate who your real heroes and champions are.

As a D.C. native it saddens me to think that we lost OUR Mayor. I can honestly say due to his diligence and willingness to make sure his people were always ok, that Marion Barry with possibly the greatest black politician to ever live. At least in my lifetime , and it will be of benefit to you all to take a step back and learn about our elder and not listen to Sambo’s like Chris Rock and others who were quick to criticize the people of Washington DC for re-electing Our Mayor For Life because they don’t understand us and they don’t understand him.

Staff Writer; LeVar Smith


2 Responses to “Marion Barry.. The Last Of A Dying Breed..”
  1. LeVar Smith says:

    Well that only applies to the white ones who steal money like Rob Ford help me if you heard this I could go on for days

  2. peckerwood says:

    yeah they dont make mayors like him anymore, i mean when was the last time you saw a mayor paying for prostitutes, and in a hotel smoking crack with undercover cameras. thats the prob with you primates is that you idolize the zoo like behavior. like you he was filthy vermin, elected by other filthy vermin… filth begets filth. enjoy your fatherless holliday

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