Wednesday, June 16, 2010


As we have noted, Barack Obama is part of the first generation of black
ivies, black politicians who got elected thanks to passing white exams
rather than crossing white police lines. Others include Corey Booker,
Deval Patrick and DC mayor Adrian Fenty. The first two are doing well
politically, but Fenty, who won every precinct in his first mayoral
election and exudes, even more than Obama, an unappealing narcissism, is
suffering one of the great political come-downs of recent history, as this
story describes. Remember: a high percentage of the boos are coming from
black voters.

Nikita Stewart Washington Post - Adrian M. Fenty wasn't even at the
Academies at Anacostia graduation ceremony in the District on Friday, but
when the mayor's name was mentioned, an unmistakable chorus arose: "Boo!"
many in the crowd shouted. This Story

Almost simultaneously, across town, where Fenty was attending a funeral
for go-go great Anthony "Little Benny" Harley, his attempts to deliver
condolences were nearly drowned out by a similar din. The taunts were so
thunderous that Pastor Deron Cloud had to grab the microphone to calm the
crowd at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

"This is not the place," Cloud said, to no avail.

The chorus heard 'round some parts of the District is one of vocal
dissatisfaction for the 39-year-old Fenty. It's a far cry from the summer
of 2006, when drivers honked excitedly whenever they saw him campaigning
for mayor. Then, residents were as tickled to see the young candidate come
to their doors as if a celebrity had dropped by with a sweepstakes prize.

Now, Fenty is in a contentious battle with D.C. Council Chairman Vincent
C. Gray, his chief rival for mayor, in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.
Supporters say that the criticism and boos are unfair, particularly
because city services get high marks, students' test scores are rising,
and new libraries, schools and recreation centers have opened citywide. . .

Outside the gathering at the law school, Ivan Lee Robinson, 66, sat in the
shade with a group of friends. But he was alone with his Fenty sticker and
Fenty sign.

"I'm the only one voting for him," the LeDroit Park resident said in jest
but in a serious tone. "The man is good. . . . He did a pretty good job
with the snow."

A friend asked: "Did you see him get out and shovel anything?"

In the citywide Democratic straw poll taken at the event, Gray garnered
703 votes to Fenty's 190 votes. Former television reporter Leo Alexander,
also a candidate for mayor, received 75 votes.

In the past year and a half, Fenty has developed a reputation for
arrogance, a lack of transparency, and a failure to work with council
members and constituencies. He delayed giving council members tickets to
suites at Verizon Center and Nationals Park. He would not disclose his
whereabouts when he went out of town, drawing criticism when he missed
several memorial services and funerals for victims of last year's Metro
Red Line crash.

There has also been unrest in some parts of the District about Schools
Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, whose blunt style has rubbed many the wrong

A week ago, some Dunbar High School graduates and their parents booed
Fenty, who was the main speaker at the school's graduation. They wanted
Gray, a Dunbar alumnus who offered remarks to the graduating class, to
deliver the keynote address.

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1 comment:

  1. Black politicians have been under so much pressure from the corporate media to separate themselves from poor and working class blacks. By caving to that pressure, they are alienating one of the core constituencies of the Democratic Party.