D.C. Mayor Marion Barry described himself yesterday as a victim of a "massive amount of government abuse" and said federal authorities will never again be able to launch as extensive a criminal investigation as the one against him "without a fight."
Barry also said the government entrapped him by preying on the "great fondness" that "most of us men" have for women, and attributed at least some of the racial tension in Washington to uneasiness among whites about living in a majority black city.
"My analysis of all this is that in those cities where African Americans are in the majority, the tensions are greater than when they're in the minority," Barry said on radio station WDCU-FM (90.1). "I think that has to with the fact that a significant number of people who are non-African Americans do not like the fact that they're in the minority. They're just not accustomed to that, psychologically."
The mayor touched on numerous topics during a 40-minute appearance on Ernest White's "Crosstalk" show, including his decision not to testify in his drug conspiracy and perjury trial, an alleged "sting" operation against him three years ago and his future plans. Barry traveled to WDCU studios during the regular lunchtime break in his trial.
Although he has abandoned his campaign for a fourth term, "I think there must be some other things that I'll end up doing," Barry told White. "I don't think, Ernie, I would ever sit in a corner some place and just make some money and be happy."
Barry continued his criticism of the government's conduct in developing a case against him, saying the trial, "if it does nothing else, will show the massive amount of government abuse heaped upon this city and Marion Barry and his family and the Barry administration."
"Never again will this community be asleep to government abuse," the mayor added. "When they see it coming, they're not going to do what they did with me and other people around the country and say, 'Well, it's not my problem, it's not our concern. That's an individual situation.'
"I guarantee you, Ernie, that never again will the United States government be able to do this to anybody else without a fight," he said.
The mayor also said federal authorities consciously employed black women to "bait" him and testify against him in court.
"If you notice, in this whole operation, it has been the FBI's strategy to use black women from the very beginning," Barry said. "You found black women being used as pawns and victims too, to some extent."
"The bait and the thrust of it was to get black women, because most of us men have a great fondness in general for people of the opposite sex."
Three years ago, Barry told White, he was alerted by a friend to a "sting" operation that he said involved an attempt by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to lure him to a "sex-and-drug" party during a trip to Chicago.
"They started asking me about, 'Where are you going to be after you finish your meeting?' " Barry said, adding that he promptly switched his hotel reservation to avoid the men he believed were agents.
Barry also said that although some had urged him to testify during his trial, in the end he decided not to because his legal defense was so strong and there was no requirement that he do so.
"We're under no obligation as defense to put on any evidence at all," the mayor said.
"There was some discussion about me going on the stand," Barry added. "Some of the people said we should get on so we could have a good tug-of-war between the U.S. government and the mayor. Well, you know, that's like David and Goliath; the U.S. government is Goliath."
"We look for votes," the mayor said a few moments later. "We're looking for 12 votes to acquit me on each of those 14 charges."
Barry said that although the District seems to be polarized along class and color lines, he hopes one day its residents will reach a common ground.
"There has to be that kind of give and take between African Americans and white people," Barry said. "This is our Washington. The good part of it and the bad part of it is ours, and we got to take responsibility for it."