Loose Lips

Revisionist History of “Get Over It” Barry Quote

Earlier this week, Mayor For Life Marion Barry said on Newstalk with Bruce DePuyt that when he said "Get over it" to white voters after his comeback 1994 election, it was not a negative message, but a statement to help them start the mental healing process of accepting him as their mayor.

He repeated the same line today on the Kojo Nnamdi Show.

"A first level of reconciliation, it's what counselors tell me,  psychologists tell me, the first level of reconciliation between any two people or any two groups is to get over that which you have a problem with," Barry said.

The dean of the city's press corps, NBC 4's Tom Sherwood, added that he was at the press conference where Barry uttered his second most famous line: "What the mayor said, when he was asked by a reporter, 'What do you tell the people in Ward 3 who voted heavily against you?' Barry said, in his usual disarming way, 'Get over it, I'm going to be the mayor for all the people.' The quote that got into the newspapers and on TV and in other places was 'Get over it,' as if it were in your face. So while it was a risky thing to say in any event, I think the full sentence does count."

Take a look for yourself at about the 8:13 mark:

LL went digging in the archives and found a description of Barry's press conference the day after he won the primary from the Post's Yolanda Woodlee:

[H]is message to white voters in the city was blunt—and demanded they accord him some respect.

"Get over whatever personal hang-ups you got," Barry said. "I'm the best person for Washington. I know best how to protect their investments, their homes, their businesses. I know best how to balance this budget. I know best how to save our city from financial collapse. I know best how to get us moving. I know best how to get our government to be responsive. So to those white people who have whatever hang-ups they have, get over it."

Yes, truly a reassuring message of unity.

  • http://.. Marie Jackson

    Kojo is becoming a talking head who sound like a FOOL.

  • Sally

    Marion Barry: Buffoon for Life.

  • downtown rez

    Who is pushing this quixotic image rehabilitation?
    Anyone besides Barry himself?

  • dbrighthaupt

    Yet he still commands the media. He calls, they make time. I ain't mad at him for salvaging his legacy.

    That's one of the first to learn, 'He who controls the media controls the masses [perceptions]'

  • SEdcDude

    Right On....tell em again Marion Barry, Mayor 4 Life!!

    To all you clowns in here talking that dumb shit, GET OVER IT!!


  • http://CityDesk TONY

    Kojo has been a good colored boy in disguise.

  • noodlez



  • What’s Next

    Gray divided the city with his hate campaign and tried to say he is for one city, just another one of Gray's lies. Why is Gray not telling what he plans to do about Michelle Rhee BEFORE the election? Because no one will like the answer? Gray is deceitful and not being honest with voters. Gray does not deserve to be elected.

  • Nunya

    What's Next--->moveon.org/let_it_go/

  • http://.. Marie Jackson

    Good points noodlez and nunya.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    What's Next- Please share with us some of Gray's hateful, divisive campaign messages. You tools seem to claim this, but I've haven't seen anything.

    On the contrary, it was Fenty who used race-baiting and fear tactics during his campaign. Remember your boy Moten's youtube ads...

    Get real ya douche.

  • Five To Go

    @Adrian Bent-Me, you are right. Fenty stared the race baiting, and age-baiting. Some people (Fenty Fans) can not get over losing the Democratic primary. Well, your guy lost! Grow up!

  • ward8forreal

    Yes Donna, you actully have a valid point. Today you were busying bashing Barry during the primary when you had two Fenty yard signs at your Anacostia home. Barry is the same guy who said he made no mistakes during his tenure, but unfortunately the Control Board had a different opinion. What exactly does Gray mean when he tells black voters in wards 5,7,&8-"We are going to take back our city." Why does than Gray comes to wards like 1,2,3,&6 and say "One City." Please follow the lead of Barry and put that in your pipe and smoke it!

  • ward8forreal

    Lets not forget how Gray talks, talks, talks about he unemployment rate being high in wards 7 and 8 yet does not seem address the many resources already in place to address these issues. For example, OIC, DOES, UPO, and many of the collaborative offers paid job training and paid GED preparation. If receive TANF, you can got to any college or university for FREE, under the TAPIT program.
    Funny how while campaigning, Gray never addresses that fact that entire nation is experiencing the recession and that historically the unemployment rates have been higher than the rest of the city. Now he acknowledges that he won't be able to keep all jobs promises even though he knew in advance the projected numbers for the budget.
    I guess the 35% illiteracy rate is not a contributing factor as to why some people can not attract employers right?
    Gray gave voters in wards 7 & 8, Giant Food gift cards to vote. (Yes there are actual videos on youtube) but was not in wards 1,2, &3 etc, doing that....
    Reality is this, Gray voted the majority of what Adrian Fenty proposed and even the WCP asked him which policy would he or did he overturn, no answer.

  • Typical DC BS

    For all the fools that think Gray will be an improvement over Fenty regarding city policies, who do you think approved current policies while he was City Council Chairman? Gray is as responsible for current DC government triumphs and tribulations as Fenty was.

    Sorry, Gray played the race card in the wards he knew it would play well (ala Marion Barry), but was just smarter with the "One City" crap that some voters bought.

    But, I will reserve my judgment until Mr. Gray is elected and we see who his appointments to city positions of responsibility are and how he conducts city business. I'm willing to watch and hope for the best.