Housing Complex

Barry Unsuccessful in Ousting White Architects for Ballou High

While stumping to keep his job a couple weeks back, Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry had this to say about the architectural firm that had been chosen to design the brand-new Ballou High School, which he's touting as an example of his leadership:

I don't like it, because it's an all-white firm, but we're going to deal with that. We want Ballou to be an example of local, disadvantaged business participation, because 99.9 percent of students at Ballou are African American, and I'm tired of these developers coming in and developing, say a school, and the majority of the money goes outside the city. We're going to stop that.

Well, the contract went to a team of Georgetown-based Bowie Gridley Architects and West End-based Perkins+Will, which have nary a black face among their principals, and which have designed some of the whitest schools in the country, which means that Barry failed to "deal with it." Now, watch him spin the choice as an example of his leadership in demanding nothing less than what Georgetown Day and the National Cathedral School got for the children of Ward 8.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

  • Cap City Records Panhandler

    @Lydia -- Your analysis of the Barry-As-Situationlist-Spin-Doctor is exact. Watch it unfold as you've called it...

  • LOL

    How many black/minority firms competed for the design job? If nobody applied, then Barry you need to talk to the black architects Otherwise kick rocks.

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  • DC Guy

    Replace "white" for "black" and watch the outcry. This is simply racism.

  • Jim Abely

    Marion BArry is a racist. Everyone knows it. If Marion were white, he'd be in the Klan.

  • Jim Abely

    Actually, to be fair, Marion may ahve a reason other than bigotry. Marion usually likes to make sure that he is, well, "associated" with the contractor. Marion's Administrations were well-known for their corruption. Marion pronably would ahve been okay with teh firm if he had gotten his cut.

  • Non Liberal Democrat

    Jim Abely, please do a spell check first.

  • SEis4ME

    Chances are, the people posting here at doing so from the vantage of privilege. That would explain the "if he were white" analogies. Whether it's race, gender, or even sexuality for that matter, the people w/in those groups will always be able to say things that those outside won't.

    Don't believe me, refer to a woman as a bytch and watch the legions come after you. Won't matter that women often say it about themselves..either as a pat on the back or an insult.

  • DC Resident

    Marion's concern is that there won't be sufficient cost overruns to insure his cut and that the project will be completed on time.

  • InIt2WinIt

    Barry should have said local, small, disadvantaged business enterprises and left it there. That way, his arguement would have been much less divisive and it would have still been in support of the very businesses he is speaking of.

    I certainly do not have a problem with a Councilperson taking issue with granting lucrative city contracts to out of state enterprises if/when there is a comparable local alternative.

    I know what Barry was saying, his message delivery just needs some help.

  • yeah

    Barry has been inserting his foot into his mouth for decades. He is an enormous racists, womanizer, philander drug addict and felon who has seen dozens of personally appointed friends to his past administrations go to jail for "pay to play" and extorting millions of city contracting money for themselves.

    His racism went over well when the city was 75% black and poorer than it is today. Now that it is less than 50% black and every Ward other than his own has seen exponential growth over the past 15 years, he just looks pathetic, old and small when he says crap like this.

  • chris

    The link you provided to the Perkins+Will site has 5 women of which one appears to be black and another appears to be of Asian descent..

  • JB

    Councilman Barry continues to urge neighborhood troublemakers of Ward 8 to continue making trouble, giving Ward 8 a bad reputation.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/ Mr T in DC

    "Barry should have said local, small, disadvantaged business enterprises and left it there."

    Exactly. He really does come off looking like a blatant racist here. :(

  • Joe

    But it DC, isn't the white firm (whatever that means) the "minority" contractor?

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  • Rod

    .....yeah...the b____ set me up!