Marion Barry—A Statue They Won’t Tear Down?


Speaking of statues, which I was somewhere back there: You may have been wondering, with all the raging and sputtering over statues of Robert E. Lee, Christopher Columbus, Teddy Roosevelt, and so on, you may have been wondering who, in the minds of goodthinking people, who is worthy of being commemorated by a statue in a public place?

Here’s your answer: Marion Barry.

Yes: Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who died three years ago this month aged 78, will be memorialized with a statue in front of the Wilson Building on Pennsylvania Avenue in our nation’s capital. [DC Council takes step towards placing statue of Marion Barry in front of Wilson Building, WJLA, November 7, 2017]The Wilson building is home to the D.C. Council, which is the District’s legislature.

Barry was elected Mayor three successive times, in 1978, 1982, and 1986. That third term was unfortunately interrupted by the FBI, when they obtained grainy video of His Honor in a hotel room smoking a crack pipe in company with a much younger woman.

He did six months in federal prison for that; but in 1994 the voters of D.C. elected him Mayor again, proving something or other about democracy, or perhaps just about the voters of D.C.

The following year he was deposed by Congress for incompetence. His voters still loved him, though. He was elected to the D.C. Council three more times, and was still serving as a legislator when he died.

So you can keep your Teddy Roosevelt and your Robert E. Lee. Moral midgets like that can’t compare with the true giants of American history: towering figures like Marion Barry.