The Washington Post

Marion Barry prepares to complete cycle of redemption yet again


Barry in 2009, while facing questions about questionable earmarks and contracts. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Say Sorry Barry” wants Barry to apologize for his recent comments targeting Asian shop owners and Filipino nurses. Among those scheduled to appear at the event is David Chung, a member of the city Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs commission, who sharply criticized Barry and his previous non-apology apology at a D.C. Council hearing last month.

Will Barry give the public apology he has thus far skirted? Probably, if history is any guide.

The Asian tempest, you must understand, has been a mini-version of Barry’s various other public cycles of infamy and redemption. They go something like this:

1. Make a mistake.

2. Say you were misunderstood or taken out of context. Alternately, offer other excuses.

3. Give apology-of-sorts, saying sorry for giving “offense” or taking partial responsibility while deflecting full accountability.

4. Endure ongoing public rebuke.

5. Complete cycle by begging forgiveness in friendly territory — more often than not, in a church.

Tomorrow’s event starts at noon at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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