Tilting at Windmills

September/October 2012 Remembering Raspberry

By Charles Peters

William Raspberry was one of Washington’s genuinely wise men. As a black man he had the courage to criticize his fellow blacks: “civil rights leadership, for all its emphasis on desegregating schools, has done very little to improve them.” This was written in 1982. It is lamentably true today. Just last year, Adrian Fenty, the first mayor to have the courage to take on the issue of teacher quality, was turned out in favor of Vincent Gray—whose administration has been characterized by one scandal after another—because of Gray’s support by the largely black D.C. teacher’s union.

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.