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When will Marion Barry grow up?

You know I've been rather reverential of the civil rights pioneers who have passed away recently. Their push for racial equality and justice at a time when it could have cost them their lives is a heroism we all should admire. Yet, some of the veterans of that fight can't quite move beyond the fiery racial rhetoric and appeals that helped lower the barriers to access to opportunity and helped foster a burgeoning black middle class.

Okay, I'm talking about Marion Barry. If you close your eyes and listen to the guy, you'd swear you were back in America circa 1970.

Barry has been concerned that there aren't enough African Americans in senior positions at the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance. So, at a hearing on Monday, the two-time mayor of Washington (whose first crack at the job was interrupted by a drug arrest, conviction and six months in federal prison) and current member of the city council, slammed the agency's director. He accused Julie Hudman of "apartheid-style action" and said she ran an "all-white department," according to a letter from Peter Nickles, attorney general for the District. Nickles demanded an apology from Barry and called his plan to conduct his own racial census of the agency's staff "completely inappropriate." Agreed.

We've all watched leaders from the civil rights era successfully transition from scrappy, young firebrands on the outside to older, savvy inside players who use their knowledge from both worlds to get things done. That was Barry once -- or so I'm told.

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 6, 2010; 2:14 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Capehart acts the elder statesman when defending government employees against unfounded accusations of racism, while concurrently making them against anyone who disagrees with him politically.

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Posted by: mj13 | May 6, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

To mj13 and (with apologies) Sandra Boynton and the Seldom Herd

Trolls! We're remarkable trolls!
We can put on a show,
every rally we go,
Oh you know we are trolls!

That's right we're trolls...
such remarkable trolls,
We will tell lots of lies,
praise bigots to the skies,
(pray that Obama dies),
yes you know we are trolls.

If you thought that all we could make was a fuss,
you should see us
throw someone under the bus!

For we are trolls, such remarkable trolls,
and where we go,
it's quite a show
for you know we are trolls!

Posted by: kejia32 | May 6, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Barry never will grow up. Better question: When will DC residents stop electing this clown? He couldn't get a job in the real world, probably neither can his constituents, so I guess all y'all in DC get what you deserve.

Posted by: j9zig1 | May 6, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

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