Tweet of the Week, Vol. 6

 

Last night after midnight, news started circulating on Twitter that Ward 8 Council member Marion Barry was back in the hospital. For whatever reason, there was a more alarmist feel to his latest visit. Maybe it’s because it was just two weeks after an extended hospitalization that people feared the worst. Also, when Mayor Vincent Gray missed a Ward 3 candidate forum in order to see his D.C. Council colleague as reported by City Paper, that raised some eyebrows.

But the tweets above are a perfect indicator of the candor, honesty and direct approach that have made him so popular over the decades. Now, let’s be clear about a couple of things. I know for a fact that Marion himself isn’t actually pressing the buttons on his phone to send these tweets, but that’s beside the point. The very fact that he’s got someone on his team who can channel his fight and energy enough to represent him well at all is solid.

And I’m not going to question the veracity of his claims about what put him in the hospital as some have done, but the specific nature of the diagnosis are vintage Barry. He’s a guy that’s always been known for, once he decides to be honest, being VERY much so. Even if that’s maybe too much information.

The real gem of the second tweet, though, comes in the shout-out. Many of you either forgot about or never really knew about Kim Dickens, who gave him a kidney back in 2009. That story alone is incredible. As Nikita Stewart and Hamil R. Harris wrote then, it all happened on a bit of a flyer after Barry learned how serious his organ failure was.

Faced with yet another health battle, Barry (D-Ward 8) jokingly asked friends gathered at the Channel Inn, a restaurant on the Southwest waterfront, “Would you give me a kidney?”

Kim Dickens, who has known Barry for more than a decade, responded, “I’ll give you a kidney.”

“Are you serious?” Barry, 72, asked, according to others who were present.

You can’t make this stuff up. And because of Barry’s history with women, it was speculated at the time that the two were in some sort of relationship, which she characterized as a “friendship.” I’d call her a “life saver.”

But those two tweets were a perfect little snapshot of Barry being Barry. Come right out there with the information about what put you down, then unabashedly give props to those who helped bring you back up when few else would. That’s why he’s the Mayor for Life.

Clinton Yates is a D.C. native and an online columnist. When he's not covering the city, pop culture or listening to music, he watches sports. A lot of them.
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