Will Criminal Marion Barry Get a Memorial?

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

At a time when people are vandalizing statues of Christopher Columbus they want to celebrate Marion Barry!

Former Governor of Washington, DC, Marion Barry was convicted of drug charges and suspected of perjury in dealing with the prosecution of other people on drug charges. You can read about his trial at Wikipedia.

This is a time when statues are being removed because of the evil of racism. How is it not racist to insist that a black man who smoked crack is worthy of a memorial? Why can’t they find more people like Octavius Catto?

The Washington Post reports, “D.C.’s next monument could honor Marion Barry.

As much as anything, D.C. is a city of magisterial memorials to the dead.

Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln — even Sonny Bono — are among the many who have inspired monuments of one form or another after drawing their final breaths.

Now add Marion S. Barry Jr. — he of four mayoral terms, three council terms and one infamous crack bust — to the list of those destined for sculpted immortality.

The D.C. Council on Tuesday preliminarily approved a plan to erect an 8-foot-tall bronze statue outside city hall in Barry’s honor, placing a likeness of the District’s most famous local politician on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, a couple of blocks from the White House and on one of the city’s best-known boulevards.

For Barry’s many admirers, who recall his pugnacious advocacy, the honor is a fitting legacy for a man known to generations for civil rights battles, building the city’s black middle class, providing opportunities to minority contractors and creating a summer jobs program for District youngsters.

[…]

Barry, who died in 2014 at 78, was the District’s second mayor, serving three terms from 1979 until 1991. His reputation as a political giant was tarnished when federal agents in 1990 caught him smoking crack cocaine, after which he was sentenced to six months in prison.

Read the full Washington Post story.

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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