Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Prosecutors Want Barry to Do Time

Prosecutors Want Barry to Do Time - Washington Post

Councilman and former DC Mayor Marion Barry should go to jail, as DC prosecutors are suggesting. His claim that he has ‘met all the terms of his current probation’ related to his recent guilty plea bargain for failure to file five years of tax returns, is a gross lie unbefitting anyone who would call themselves a leader and role model.

His public role is where the damage he represents stands out. District inhabitants look at him as a leader and father figure but for what behaviors? Thumbing his nose at laws responsible for our protection and benefit? When leaders flaunt laws for their individual enrichment they are sending a strong signal to the citizenry to consider doing the same. This only contributes to the myriad of crises facing the District.

I am not saying that the Black community should not forgive Mr. Barry for his crack-smokin’ days, or other transgression too numerous to list, or that he has not inadvertently contributed to society. However, I do think his travails have earned him a credibility problem that should reasonably keep him from the continuing embarrassment of those he is supposed to represent.

In any case, there he is on the front page, claiming those who are out to ‘get him’ unfairly. Every voter and Black leader who stands silent while he drags himself, and them, through the mud, shares in the blame. The cost of his public service is too high.

James C. Collier


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