Marion Barry Inserts Race Into Turkey Giveaway


Former Washington DC Mayor and current Councilperson Marion Barry is no stranger to inserting atotally inappropriate racial element into fairly innocuous statements. And he did it again this week, spoiling an otherwise generous holiday tradition.

Mr. Barry’s turkey giveaway is an annual tradition, and in years past he has refused to say who has paid for the turkeys or whether the donors have contracts with the city. Pressed this year by the Washington City Paper’s Alan Suderman, Mr. Barry said it’s only “liberal white folks” who are interested in disclosure rules or, for that matter, other good-government initiatives, such as the city’s open-meetings law. After vowing not to disclose the donors (“I’m not ever telling”), Mr. Barry released a statement that cited the involvement of Chartered Health Plan, Wal-Mart, WC Smith, Chapman Development, Intralot, United Healthcare, Fort Myer Construction and Union Temple Baptist Church.

C'mon now. As much as I admire the gesture of giving away turkeys to needy families, does Barry really mean to imply that only white liberals care about transparency and corporate influences over our elected officials?

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