Barry Endorses Gray in D.C. Mayoral Race, Accused of ‘Race-Baiting’ Comments

Tom Roussey, WJLA (Washington), March 19, 2014

Former District of Columbia mayor Marion Barry said Mayor Vincent Gray should be re-elected because of his experience and track record, and he brushed off concerns about a federal investigation of Gray’s 2010 campaign, saying, “I know about how U.S. attorneys work.”

The 78-year-old Barry, who served six months in prison for a crack cocaine-possession conviction and is now a D.C. councilmember, endorsed Gray on Wednesday afternoon at a church in southeast Washington.

“He’s a fighter, like myself,” Barry said of the mayor.

But during his endorsement, Barry managed to make some comments that offended many D.C. residents, who think he went too far.

Barry stated that D.C. has become a city of haves and have-nots, adding:

“I think its up to white people to be more openminded, because blacks are more open minded than they are. Simple as that.”


This is not the first time Barry has gotten in trouble over racial comments. In April 2012, he stated: “. . .These Asians coming in, opening up businesses, dirty shops . . .”

And while apologizing to Asian-Americans, he used a word that offended Polish-Americans.

Barry also said this at today’s press conference: “And we can’t let the city continue to be gentrified, I’ll tell you that. I’m talking from a black perspective, and a city perspective.”

Gray faces seven challengers in the April 1 Democratic primary, including four of Barry’s colleagues on the council. His bid for re-election has been plagued by questions about how he got elected four years ago. Last week, federal prosecutors said for the first time that Gray knew about an illegal, $668,000 slush fund that aided his 2010 campaign and that he personally requested a large chunk of the money.

Five people associated with Gray’s previous campaign have pleaded guilty to felonies. The mayor insists he did nothing wrong and has not been charged with a crime.


But the former mayor appeared energized by the opportunity to help Gray, and he spoke expansively about the mayor’s accomplishments in stabilizing the city’s finances, providing affordable housing and helping those receiving welfare benefits. He also praised Gray’s snow-removal efforts and reminisced about his own shortcomings in that area. In 1987, then-Mayor Barry traveled to the Super Bowl ahead of a blizzard and got stuck there while city workers piled up snow on Pennsylvania Avenue.


Barry remains beloved by voters in his home ward, and the endorsement represents an attempt by Gray’s campaign to energize his base in poor, primarily African-American neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, where Gray defeated Adrian Fenty by huge margins in 2010. But there are questions about the breadth of his support this year.

“There’s been some slippage,” Barry said after the news conference. “I hope that in the next two weeks, we can stop the slippage.”

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  • MekongDelta69

    Crack Berry: “I think its up to white people to be more openminded, because blacks are more open minded than they are. Simple as that.”

    No Marion Have A Coke And A Smile – blacks are more open handed than Whites.

    Gibsmedat. And Dis.

    • me

      Let me try and deal with the cognitive dissonance here…Whites move away from Blacks and it’s called ‘White flight’, which is a bad and ‘raaaycis’ thing to do, and Blacks don’t like that AT ALL. It’s called ‘Gentrification’ when Whites move BACK into Black neighborhoods…and Black people don’t like that AT ALL. But if a White neighborhood has a group of Blacks move in, there’s not a socially acceptable term for it–nor are Whites allowed to state that they don’t like that AT ALL. Hmmm….I don’t get it….

  • thomas edward

    Well, the guy makes no bones about his racist beliefs. That’s fine with me. I’m always open to honesty.

  • Luca

    When blacks or liberals make mindless intolerant comments they are “controversial”, when Whites or conservatives do 1/10th of the same, they are insensitive, intolerant and racist.

    Just so you know. (I know you already did).

    • LHathaway

      hell, when whites say the pledge of allegiance, that is labeled ‘controversial’

  • benvad

    Every time the black population reaches a high enough level, this is what’s going to happen. Then the mayhem will ensue.

  • JohnEngelman

    Barry also said this at today’s press conference: “And we can’t let the city continue to be gentrified, I’ll tell you that. I’m talking from a black perspective, and a city perspective.”

    – Tom Roussey, WJLA (Washington), March 19, 2014

    There are said to be three things that are important in real estate: location, location, location.

    I suggest that these are the three important factors: neighbors, neighbors, neighbors.

    Much of downtown Washington, DC look similar to Georgetown. There are the same Victorian mansions, the same nineteenth century townhouses. The difference of course is the quality of the neighbors.

    Affluent whites who move into neighborhoods that are dangerous, but have potential, deserve police protection, not criticism.

    • George Clark

      What happens when Asians displace negroes? Do negroes get as angry at the Asians as they do the whites?

      • Homo_Occidentalis

        You heard the man say it himself. Asian businesses are all “dirty shops.” I don’t even want to imagine how dirty negro businesses must be in that case.

    • Alexandra1973

      So if they’re whining about gentrification, they shouldn’t be whining about white flight.

      I know, I’m speaking logically here.

      • MBlanc46

        That is, not “from a black perspective”.

  • The most unfortunate part is that the white leftist voters of D.C. who do vote for a white candidate will engage in all the mental gymnastics they can to justify their votes in non-racial or anti-racial terms.

    • JohnEngelman

      White liberals are never so hypocritical as on matters on race. They advocate school integration while sending their children to white schools. They call for a dialogue on race while suppressing an honest dialogue. They thrill to the oratory of Martin Luther King, Jr., but they do not walk along Martin Luther King Blvd.

      • What seems to be political hypocrisy is almost always a political weapon.

        I have a gun and a carry permit. You’re trying to kill me. I’m going to shoot you. I’m not going to try to shoot me. Am I being a hypocrite? Or is my gun a weapon and a tool for my own well being and self preservation?

  • Conrad

    Gentry is, in part, defined as “Wellborn or well-bred people”.
    I can see why the blacks don’t like that. Of course, from where I am standing, whites should try to do a lot better than they are at this time.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    ““I think its up to white people to be more openminded, because blacks are more open minded than they are. Simple as that.”

    Thanks, I needed the laugh. (Brought to you by the people who think Trayvon was a saint, whites now have license to kill black boys, And whites are the root of all black problems.)

    The truth is that whites are the most open minded race. Too open minded. Open minded to their own detriment.

  • Barry is given the leeway to stand up for his people. The last white politician of any note who could openly stand up for his people was George Wallace. I think it’s great that Barry speaks his mind. Now if only whites could do the same, then we could use the word “freedom” without hypocrisy.

    • MBlanc46

      Absolutely. Let the blacks be as openly racist as they want so long as whites can be as openly race realist as they want.

  • Dale McNamee

    He’ll always be a “crackhead” to me…
    And they say that drugs don’t affect the thought process…

    • IstvanIN

      In his case it didn’t, he was cracked in the head long before he smoked crack.

      • Dale McNamee

        LOL !

  • r j p

    What he said: “He’s a fighter, like myself,” Barry said of the mayor.
    What he meant: “He’s a crack smoker, like myself,”

    “I think its up to white people to be more open minded, because blacks are more open minded than they are. Simple as that.”

    Open minded …. I read an article earlier this week the that stated 70+% of all Kollege educated black males are on the DL, and that 50+% of all non-Kollege educated are.
    The rest just have prison sex.

    So I guess Marion Berry is right, blacks are more open-minded — in a DL sort of way.
    black women though are probably just more open-legged.

    • dukem1

      That’s kinda cold. True, of course, but cold.

    • Katherine McChesney

      I read on a black blog that 60% of black women are sexually abused by black men before they are 18 years of age.

  • Oil Can Harry

    Blacks don’t want us to open our minds.

    Just our wallets.

  • IstvanIN

    When blacks move into a neighborhood it becomes a ghetto, but if we mention it we are racists.
    When Whites move into a neighborhood it is called gentrifying, as in improving. And for some reason that is bad.

    The real question is why do blacks always ruin a neighborhood whereas Whites usually improve a neighborhood?

    • LHathaway

      That must be why it’s very racist, almost unthinkable, to proclaim one doesnt’ want black neighbors, and act to keep them out, but keeping out whites. . that’s a valid political move for a city representative and a push that needs more work. That ‘switcheroo’ was what I got out of the article. . . but maybe your point is closer to being correct; they simply don’t want to see any neighborhood of any kind improve.