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Fenty switches it up addressing go-go crowd

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who is in a tough reelection fight against D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, his chief rival, modified his speech pattern Sunday at a go-go music concert in Southeast Washington for his campaign.

Several polls, including one by The Washington Post, show that Fenty is favored by wealthier, white communities, such as Ward 3, but is struggling in black neighborhoods, particularly Wards 7 and 8. The Post poll showed that majorities of black voters thought that Fenty was not honest and trustworthy and did not relate to their problems.

To combat that perception, Ron Moten, Peaceoholics co-founder and former go-go promoter, has rounded up go-go musicians to speak on behalf of Fenty. The campaign is called "Go-Go 4 Fenty: We Got the Facts, Not Fiction." Advertising with go-go stars aired on urban radio stations during the Memorial Day Weekend.

Fenty appeared to take relating to the crowd a step further than just the music Sunday. The 39-year-old mayor, who once told a reporter where to place the commas in a sentence, used bad grammar when he spoke about his love of go-go music.

When he introduced performers, he said, "We got ... we got ... "

At one point, Fenty said, "Hey, but look, a lot of these folk I grew up with. I know Big G since we was little from Uptown Mo, same thing."

Fenty is known for trademark comments, such as "as fast as humanly possible." He's also known for giving a thumbs up for approval.

There were no thumbs Sunday. Just raised hands and an "Awwright!"

By Nikita Stewart  |  June 28, 2010; 1:13 PM ET
Categories:  Nikita Stewart  
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Fenty is known for trademark comments, such as "as fast as humanly possible." He's also known for giving a thumbs up for approval.

There were no thumbs Sunday. Just raised hands and an "Awwright!"

I am assuming the word was actually "Aiiiggghhht!!!" This is called "pandering" and, in substance, is very condescending.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 28, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Just raised hands and an "Awwright!"

By Nikita Stewart | June 28, 2010; 1:13 PM ET

It is pronunced 'Aiiggght!' WTF??

And if this bama used 'Moe' in front of me, I would have fell out laughing.....

True Fenty and Gengus are both from Uptown, but I think it stops right there. Until Big G was recoginized nationally....

I say be yourself and it all will workout....And why does the reporter have to characterize it as 'Bad Grammer'?? Very telling to me.....It ain't bad grammer if you know what you're saying.....

And why in the video, he keeps calling 'Suga Bear' just 'Bear'? I never heard that one....SMH...

Posted by: 4thFloor | June 28, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This is degrading to the citizens of DC. Next he will bring back Amos and Andy.

He talked down to the people by using bad grammar--LORD SAVE US FROM THE WP AND FENTY. So he can only gain support from blacks by using poor grammar--We got...

NIKKI - SHAME ON YOU. The WP keeps referring to the polls showing Fenty support by white and wealthier residents. When was this poll taken?

Posted by: fmurray200111 | June 28, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Fenty backed out because he can't stand up against Gray--he knows it and everyone else knows it. Fenty becomes more pathetic by the day. The truth always comes out and that is that he was never qualified for the job he holds--just like his chancellor, Michelle Rhee. Fenty has been riding the wave put in motion by Mayor Williams and Rhee has been reaping the benefits of following Dr. Janey. It's far past time for both of them to go.

And why is Fenty wasting his time on the "go go" crowd? These are the least likely people to show up at the polls in September--unless you pay them.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | June 28, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The "go-go community" in attendance should be insulted by Fenty, not only by the manner in which he tried to demonstrate his "street cred" in his choice of speech, but also by his coming around now--at election time--to pander for votes.

Residents should also examine the records of Fenty and Williams and they'll see that Fenty is taking a lot of credit for new development that was actually begun under the Williams administration. Please don't be taken for a fool.

Posted by: schooletal | June 28, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Here is the other side of the "racial/stereotypical" platform that Fenty is working...when he is a predominately black Ward he used "street thug-like youth with broken English and pants sagging. However, when he is in Ward 3 (as in the Ward 3 Straw Poll) he ONLY had young white college-educated young adults).

When he attended the Ward 7 Deanwood Rec Center opening he has the most undereducated, broken English, thug-looking young black youth that you could find, as if this is what residents in this particular neighborhood could or would relate to. I had to tell the young men to pull their pants up and stop just sticking their Fenty stickers on people without their permission and stop using such abbrassive and ignorant street language, as if this is what my community expect of young people. It was such an insult.

As I told the young men, stop allowing yourself to be used and read a book. Mr. Obama would be ashamed of your actions. I also told them that I have been at every event that Mr. Fenty has been at and I have yet to see this contingent of black youths at events in Wards 2,3,4 and 6, of course they had no answer.

No one should be able to purchase an individual so cheaply! These young people are degrading themselves and their people for the sake of a dollar.

There is a special place in the afterlife for the likes of Ronald Moten, Sinclair Skinner and Adrian you have three African-American males who should be role models to these young men and they are pandering to the stereotype of ignorance that surrounds black youth.

Posted by: lacairaine | June 28, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Look at the Mayor's record over the past couple of years. Don't allow his presence at a go-go make you think he has your interest at heart. Since he's been in office the DC that I grew up in and LUV doesn't have the same feel or vibe. You can say there is development in DC, but can YOU afford any of the condos or houses? Why is it that sidewalks don't get repaired, public safety issues aren't addressed, decent grocery stores aren't developed until there is a change in demographics. Look at his record -- really what has he done for you lately?

Posted by: dontBdeceived | June 28, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

When there was a BAN on go-go clubs on U Street where was Mayor Fenty to stand up for the go-go community back then; he fell silent on the issue and mute on his involvement in the go-go community or appreciation for the music or culture. Let the record show that he did NOTHING to stop this ban or change the perception of the national media or local media about the fact that go-go music and violence were synonomous with one another.

Posted by: lacairaine | June 28, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Question: How many people from this community are working in the Mayor's bull-pen or his Community Outreach Office with their pants hanging under their buttox and speaking the way he spoke when he addressed this crowd.

Answer: NOT ONE!!!!

Why let this pied piper use you and then discard you!!! C'mon Ward 8 don't be fooled and played.

Posted by: lacairaine | June 28, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

At least Fenty didn't hold his johnson, make gang signs and do a jail shuffle.

Maybe he's saving that for next week.

Posted by: ceefer66 | June 28, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Where was Mrs. Fenty? Why wasn't she doing the Hee Haw with her man?

Posted by: southyrndiva | June 28, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Notice how he had to read from his notes to identify people on stage he allegedly has known since "[they] was little." And yet he's been a fan of go-go since his teens? I wonder how much "Bear" is being paid for his endorsement?

Posted by: schooletal | June 28, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I attended the go go for Fenty. It wasn't patronizing in the least. Everyone has an opinion. It was pretty innovative that in order to get inside to get free food and drinks (which was smart b/c alot of those constituents run out of food stamps right before the first of the month)...In order to get inside you had to register to vote...That was empowering for alot of residents who still were not registered to vote.
No you will not see certain language in certain Wards b/c you speak to the majority of people in ways they can understand, so you will see different verbage in different circles.
That is just good people skills. That certainly does not mean all Ward 8 reisidents use broken english and are uneducated. But the crowd he was addressing at that go go, would not relate to certain verbage, and that doesn't mean Ward 8 residents are stupid. They are not!
Good marketing and empowering for alot of residents who will not come out to "traditional" voter election polls b/c they don't trust politicians. oh, yeah and I'm not on Fenty, Alexander, or Gray's team. Just stating what I observed.

Posted by: survivor2 | June 28, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Sure he can speak a different way he has two sides of his mouth.

He disses Barry in Ward 3 and kisses his but in Ward 8.

Neither Mayor Williams and Chairman Gray have ever thought to do this. They have had Go Go events but talking down to people is condescending and racist. What next chicken and watermelons, a jive to people dictionary (Airplane) and wearing a clock around his neck and screaming boy.

I told a lady who comes to the center for homeownership assistance about Fenty hiring people at 900 dollars tax free for two weeks. She looked dead at me--in her state of need and said she would rather sell ice at the north pole than help Fenty. You cannot forget 3 and half years of neglect, discrimination, maltreatment and disrespect in 3 months. It is Gray's to lose.

Posted by: 411Tibby | June 28, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm? Fenty..who usually has very controlled comments...talked to a go-go audience and sounded like a Black dude from DC.

Maybe that is because he is a Black dude from DC. Just a thought.

Posted by: politicalrealist | June 29, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Where is my Vincent Gray for mayor t-shirt?

Posted by: ilovedip81 | June 29, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Fenty speaks like a "black dude from D.C." only to get elected. Then, business as usual.

Just a second thought.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 29, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

How sad DC has become. The current mayor has to change his speech pattern in certain parts of this city to be understood. I can tell you for a fact, the residents of Ward 8 can understand correct English, as well as, street language. This mayor is so misguided in his quest for votes, from a Ward of the city, that he never travels in. The line about some of the residents running out of food-stamps is so racist. To imply that some people on food-stamps would sell their souls for free food is pathetic. African-Americans are some of the most resourceful people on earth. If we are short of food we know how to acquire funds, from working, saving our money, cutting hair, to getting a part-time job. Please, don't pity us.

Posted by: fivetogo | June 29, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

He sounded like an awkward nerd trying to fit in. Oh, wait...he IS an awkward nerd trying to fit in.....carry on.

Posted by: linroy62 | June 29, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Actually, this was a shrewd move by the Mayor to show he is not afraid to press the flesh. The Mayor is both physically young and "young at heart." Several opposing comments here notwithstanding, I think the Mayor was smart to get out there with the "Youngin's." Nothing beats pounding the pavement, and young folks know and respect this. I do agree the Mayor should repeal the anti-go-go rules the Council imposed on club owners. Go-go music does not cause crime, individuals cause crime.

Posted by: DZPost | June 29, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

So disappointed in all of my heroes.

I guess "Cooning is Alive & Crankin.

Posted by: montmitch | June 29, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The Go-Go Community is being BAMBOOZLED by FENTY. I find this more disappointing because the arts and music programs that most(DC Go-Go players) benefited from, are the one's that he's been responsible for eliminating. I guess "Coonin' is Alive and Crankin'."

Posted by: montmitch | June 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@DZ Post who stated "The Mayor is both physically young and "young at heart."

Fenty doesn't have a heart. He is incomplete. His human parts are missing. He is as dead as he is deadly.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 29, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

i love fried chicken AND watermelon. and i'm white. but i did grow up in pg...

Posted by: wordup1 | June 29, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

ps, relating to the only opinion about fenty is that he seems to have a bad personality for a politician- whether he is talking to the go-go community or reporters.

he is in to physical fitness, so thats good.

he does seem to give his friends contracts, so thats probably bad.

to some degree, DC will never be able to totally screw up their city with all of the federal money and security that is here. I'm afraid without it, you'd be looking at baltimore or detroit.

I can never understand why a city will continue to only vote for one party when that party has underserved them for so long. I'm not anti democrat, but anytime one party doesn't have to worry about competition they can AND WILL do pretty much what serves them and not you.

Posted by: wordup1 | June 29, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

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