City Desk

Fenty Visited Dorothy Height Before Her Death

UPDATED 4 P.M.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty visited a stricken Dorothy Height last month, weeks before the civil-rights pioneer's death.

The visit is significant because nothing has symbolized Fenty's deteriorating relationship with black voters quite like his seeming snub of Height last summer.

Height, who died last week at 98, became enmeshed in a city political squabble when the Fenty administration threatened to evict former First Lady Cora Masters Barry and her nonprofit from the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center last August. Barry tapped her impressive Rolodex, and Height, along with poet Maya Angelou, twice scheduled meetings with Fenty to plead for mercy. Both were canceled by Fenty's office; the mayor would not explain why.

Height attended a September court hearing challenging the eviction, telling reporters afterward in a faint, matter-of-fact voice that she'd been unable to get a meeting with Hizzoner.

They finally had their rendezvous.

Fenty visited Height at Howard University Hospital last month, shortly after she was admitted on March 25. The meeting was confirmed by a spokesperson for the National Council of Negro Women, the advocacy organization founded long led by Height.

Perhaps the meeting was meant to defuse tensions—tensions that have already bled onto the hustings. Or perhaps the mayor simply wanted to pay his respects to a civil rights legend.

The mayor's office would not confirm the meeting.

UPDATE, 4 P.M.: A person who was at the hospital during Fenty's visit offers some more detail: "She was in a coma," the person says, so there would have been no conversation. The mayor was at Height's bedside "for a very short period of time."

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  • maserfentyaintnogood

    Maser Fenty waited to late to acknowledge Dr. Dorothy Height. She was in the intensive care unit at that time and didnot recognize him. Please rest is peace now. No vote from me regarding this snub of Dr, Height.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    This is just as bad as Jesse Jackson saying he cradled Dr. Martin Luther King's body after he was shot, which was not at all true by witness accounts!, what HYPE!

  • candycane1

    That's not good and it doesn't help the situation. Something tells me that he plans to attend the funeral services and needs to make it alright with all that will undoubtedly give him the "you insincere fake ass" look.

  • mike

    Did he flash her his abs? They seem to be the only thing Fenty has going for him.

  • WARD4DC

    I agree with all the comments above. Adrian shouldn't not attend Dr. Dorothy Height funeral, after his snubbed her. Adrian is taking heat for his bad behavior and disrespect for this 98 year old civil rights advocate. If it had not been for blacks like Dr. Dorothy Height and others, Fenty's half breed ass would not be sitting in the position where he is now. This guy has no knowledge of black history or our struggles in the United States. Fenty's mother is Italian American and he father's family is from the West Indies in the Caribbean. Fenty see's himself as an immigrant, not as a descendent of slaves brought to the United States over 400 years ago. Adrian can go straight to hell where he belongs and I will not be voting for him.

  • WARD4DC

    Correction:

    I agree with all the comments above. Adrian shouldn't attend Dr. Dorothy Height funeral, after he snubbed her. Adrian is taking heat for his bad behavior and disrespect he showed this 98 year old civil rights advocate. If it had not been for blacks like Dr. Dorothy Height and others, Fenty's half breed ass would not be sitting in the position where he is now. This guy has no knowledge of black history or our struggles in the United States. Fenty's mother is Italian American and his father's family is from the West Indies in the Caribbean. Fenty see's himself as an immigrant, not as a descendent of slaves brought to the United States over 400 years ago. Adrian can go straight to hell where he belongs and I will not be voting for him.

  • Delta Soror

    Calling all Sorors to the floor. (DST) Mayor Fenty was wrong by disrespecting and not meeting with my Soror Dr. Dorothy Height. Mike DeBonis you headline should read Fenty met with Dr. Dorothy Height before her death. This woman was well educated and you should address her correctly. Is this how whites still refer to old blacks they see as their mammies that took care of them growing. You called her Dr. Dorothy Height or Ms. Dorothy Height, not Dorothy Height.

    Back to Mayor Fenty. He has angered a lot of women members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the National Council of Negro Women.

  • proballdc

    A snowball stands a better chance in Hades than does Adrian Fenty in getting a vote from me.

    He snubbed Dr. Height not once, but TWICE.

    DeBonis states:

    "The visit is significant because nothing has symbolized Fenty's deteriorating relationship with black voters quite like his seeming snub of Height last summer."

    It wasn't a "SEEMING" snub when it was done twice. It was intentional and his visit was nothing more than political posturing that is going to hurt more than help his image in the African American community. It it would but a simple visit, why did it need media coverage.

    Nice try City Paper, I expect as much from a lilly white liberal publication.

  • Five To Go

    I too, will not vote for Fenty. It was the most disrespectful thing that he could have done. Dr. Height was a educated, talented woman who gave back to the world, and especially her people. Dr. Height stands taller than the sad-mayor Fenty. Why did his parents not tell him to take his sorry-ass-for-a-man behind, and meet with Dr.Height and Maya Angelo? You do not have to be a African-American to show respect for your elder-statesmen and stateswomen. These wise and brave people stood up to Jim Crow and gave their time, and their lives so that all people would be judged by their character and not their race. Shame on You Fenty!

  • Correction

    @Delta Soror

    Dorothy Height did not have an earned doctorate. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to address her as Dr. Height. It really grinds my gears that they call her Dr. Height. It reeks of pretentiousness. She was a great enough woman without one so why call her what she wasn't?

  • noodlez

    A VISIT TO THE HOSPITAL DOES NOT QUALIFY AS A MEETING.

    HE VISITED HER OUT OF GUILT!

    FENTY IS SOME TRASH!

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    Mrs. Dorothy Height was a class act and a very brave women.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com Mike DeBonis

    LL understands the desire to address Dorothy Height as 'Dr. Height.' But Washington City Paper follows AP style on the matter, and AP counsels against using the title 'Dr.' for anyone but practicing medical professionals.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com Mike DeBonis

    More precisely, from the 2005 AP Stylebook: 'Do not use _Dr._ before the names of individuals who hold only honorary doctorates.'

  • Jon Bon Jovi

    Mayor Fenty was wrong for not originally meet with Ms. Height. I wonder if the mayor is on drugs? I am white and I think it was disrespectful for anyone to diss a 98 year old icon. RIP Ms. Dorothy Height.

  • Jon Bon Jovi

    Correction:

    Mayor Fenty was wrong for not originally meeting with Ms. Height.

  • Dave

    Note to Mike: In addition to his abs Adrian also has a really hot ass of which he makes good use if you can believe what everyone says.

    Mrs. Dorothy Height was always very gracious every time this white boy ever met her. She was not the nasty chip on her shoulder for life type Delta Soror seems to be. And seriously, how many folks of whatever color living in 2010 had "mammies"? I'm sure there is a considerable percentage who wouldn't have a clue what a mammy is.

  • downtown rez

    MDB-
    Congrats and best of luck at The Post.

  • KappaNupe

    Mayor Fenty is an embarrassment to the Divine Nine. I look forward in seeing King Fenty get voted out of office.

  • Bisexual Vampire

    Dave are you gay or bisexual? What are you doing looking at the mayor's ass? Let me find out you want to play with it.

    A mammy is or was a black housekeeper who took care of white children and raised them in this country. I don't know if blacks still take care of white children. They have been replaced by Latinos and Africans to take care or babby sit for white children. Maybe in some parts of the south like Alabama or Mississippi, you still have black women taking care of white children.

  • Samantha

    Fenty knew that all African American Women know that he is Garbage and not worthy of our vote, respect or time .Fenty, stay away from Dr. Height's Celebration of Life ! By the way, watch the Judas who tries to sneak Fenty on to the program.Mella Yella!

  • candycane1

    @Samantha: Let's hope and pray that he is not even thought of as a speaker. It's Obama and Maya, Oprah, Eleanor, Vernon Jordan, Maxine Waters and other civil rights giants that should be considered. This little disrespectful dummy wouldn't even know what to say and that would be another insult to the great Dorothy Height. I don't think we will have to worry about him.

  • Brahmin

    @ Correction, Why does such an honor bother you? They are both exclusive and very hard to earn. This is similar to according the title Sir on men who have never rescued damsels or fought to save their Queen..the honor is something to be proud of.

  • bloomingdale20001

    I'm ready to puke! Too little too late Mr. Fenty. You let your little ego get in the way of showing an icon, I repeat an icon, respect and now you will pay a high price for your choice.

    You and I both have sons that are the same age. What I'm teaching my son, yours will learn through you, which is there are consequences to your actions.

  • eyeofthestorm

    Delta Soror, in love, please do not use this platform to speak for members of our Sorority. We are nonpartisan as an organization, more diverse than one point of view, and I do not believe you have that authority.

    And, my two cents, this incident is just one in a long list of reasons why Hizzoner would have to do a serious about face if he thinks I'd consider voting for him. But then, if he's capable of turning around that quickly (as proven during his first term), how much can we count on him? Hmmmm...

  • DCNatives

    Fenty's arrogance wouldn't allow him to see beyond his ignorance! He had an opportunity to be in the presence of greatness and he blew it.

    The polls don’t lie Mr. Mayor; the mothership is on standby and waiting to haul you out of office in November.

  • BlackOmega

    Why are some bashing Delta Soror? It's true, Mayor Fenty has angered a lot of women who are members of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. My wife is a Delta, my mother is a Delta, and my 2 sisters are Deltas. All were angered by Adrian Fenty refusal to meet with the late Dr. Dorothy Height and Dr. Maya Angelou.

    Fenty will have a lot of nerve to show up at this woman's funeral, but now that President Obama will be giving the euology, Fenty will be there smiling before the cameras. Mayor Fenty and Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember along with Marion Barry should be in the same jail ceil together.

  • ABF

    who gives a damn about what he did AFTER he dissed her...F fenty and all those who are with him. He visited her while she was in a coma...so therefore she didn't know he was there, good for you Mother Height! THAT WOULD HAVE NOT BEEN A GOOD SIGHT FOR HER BEATIFUL EYES! RIP!

  • Get off your high horses

    ABF.

    How can you grandstand so much. He went to pay respect obviously. You have no idea why that meeting didn't happen. And, maybe, the guy actually regrets not meeting with her. And, for reasons other than your complaining.

    Muhammad Ali called Joe Louis an Uncle Tom and a bum. He was also helped carry his casket to the grave.

    Ali absolutely abandoned Malcom X and agreed that Malcom should die. Malcom X was then shot dead. Do you think that he shouldn't be allowed to visit his grave?

    Do you think that Ali's disrespect of these Black Heros erases his contributions?

    Adrian Fenty is the duly elected Mayor of Washington DC.
    If he doesn't go...THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH doesn't go. And he shouldn't go because it would be an insult? How is the Mayor of DC attending your funeral an insult? You know he is going and you are setting up to talk more bullshit.

    Stop trying to make her death a political issue. You totally distract attention from WHY her life was so significant. She was a reformer. She was an example of achievement. She wasn't a political spring board.

  • Terry Miller

    To me, this just shows how BAD a politician Fenty is.

  • noodlez

    Get off your high horses YOU ARE COMPARING APPLES TO ORANGES MY FELLOW COMMENTER!

    "Stop trying to make her death a political issue. You totally distract attention from WHY her life was so significant. She was a reformer. She was an example of achievement. She wasn't a political spring board." YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. WHICH IS WHY I DIDNT UNDERSTAND AFTER THE CLOWN DIDNT MEET WITH HER WHEN SHE REQUESTED A MEETING WITH HIM(2X) THAT HE NAMED A DAY IN HONOR OF HER DEATH.

  • Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich

    Get Off Your High Horses, you are wrong. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is heartless and he doesn't have a soul. Fenty will reap what he have sowed as we all we do. I would hate to be in Fenty's shoes on Thursday showing up at Mother Height's funeral. Can you imagine the looks he will get from Dr. Maya Angelou, Oprah, the Deltas, members of the National Council of Negro Women, Cora Masters Barry, and ordinary black citizens?

    Are you really Fenty being a ghost writer?

  • Black Diva

    Mayor Fenty had the nerve to show up a Shiloh Baptist Church for a celebration for Dr. Dorothy Height. Fenty is such an hypocrite and an atheist. It had been me he snubbed and showed up at my funeral, I would reach up from the casket and tell Fenty to go to hell and get out.

  • Polticalguy

    Alright, now that the dust is settling, we need to get perspective...they transcend DC politics, so lets lay off from the usual bashing. Height was a legend..lets leave it at that. Same way Rosa Parks was.They were both human. For those who decry Fenty for not "meeting" her, remember she was appealing for a deadbeat "institution" that was not paying its share of the city tax. I'm sure You can understand his duty first as mayor.

    Im irked by the so-called delta-soros and fake wanna be "black elite" however who claim they represent or influence the black community. Mike corrected Deltasoror aptly whose words betray this sense of entitlement and use of terms as "mammies" to propogate a long-gone era. This is what these soros want to take you back to a few rich blacks with the masses poor. Your usefulness and clout (and policies) have long withered. These wannabe elite represent the old guard Marion Barry et al, who ran behind "black votes" when attacked on merit. We all know that dark period DC had.
    A new young black breed based on hard work, entrepreneurhip and results has emerged leaving these soros seeking dc "jobs" behind.
    Blacks in dc area are v. smart and can tell riches from wealth. This explained why Michael steele won in 2004. Fenty ironically appeals to working blacks of all socioeconomic groups not to mention other up and coming newcomers who want a better DC.. These Gray cronies, soros and old-guard blacks want to take DC to that model of a few black "elites" leading the masses in poverty, free housing, medicaid, stamps etc etc. This is waht the election is about. There is some noise about Fenty "over-reaching" on multi--million dollar deals, but its earned him near $46 million in campaign by this entrepreneur group. Question is will it overcome the Gray elite model or not. Lets see come election time

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