We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Former D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy went to Libya on a mission to broker peace (and then he disappeared for a while), but he’s back now, and he has some things to tell you. The Baltimore Afro-American reports:
[Fauntroy] watched French and Danish troops storm small villages late at night beheading, maiming and killing rebels and loyalists to show them who was in control.
“‘What the hell’ I’m thinking to myself. I’m getting out of here. So I went in hiding,” Fauntroy said.
The Afro was unable to confirm Fauntroy’s version of what’s happening in Libya, but Fauntroy insists, “The truth about all this will come out later.”
“Contrary to what is being reported in the press, from what I heard and observed, more than 90 percent of the Libyan people love Gaddafi,” Fauntroy told the Afro. “We believe the true mission of the attacks on Gaddafi is to prevent all efforts by African leaders to stop the recolonization of Africa.”
The former civil rights leader and pastor has a history of odd statements and strange behavior. Even his trip, according to documents filed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, was kept a secret from his wife until shortly before he left. And once he “went underground” no one heard from him for about a month—-during which time the State Department was surprised to find out he was even in the country.
There were reports that he was trapped in the Rixos Hotel by Gaddafi loyalists, but Fauntroy says he eventually spoke to Gaddafi, and the embattled leader promised to continue uniting African nations.
Fauntroy, who was the District’s non-voting representative in the House for 20 years before stepping down to run (and lose) against Sharon Pratt Kelly in the 1990 mayoral election, adds that Martin Luther King, Jr. told him to “join four African countries on the continent with four in the African Diaspora to restore the continent to its pre-colonial status.”
That’s right. Fauntroy has a secret mission from MLK—-which may or may not be tied to the lobbying he began doing on behalf of the African National Congress in the early ’90s with his consulting firm.
Fauntroy’s history—-much like that of many politicos of a certain age—-is checkered with triumphs, failures, and bizarre vanity projects.
His political influence (and lack thereof) has been felt in the District. Though he did help build the legislation that led to D.C. residents being able to directly elect a mayor, in 1987 he was predicting as-yet-unrealized D.C. statehood. In 1996, he pushed for the New Birth facility, which Washington City Paper described as an “elaborate, undulating geodesic dome” that would serve the city as a prison and hazardous waste processing facility, all for the low, low price of $3.5 billion.
More recently, in 2009, he supported a ban on gay marriage, giving a strange and rambling speech in which he attempted to explain the threat of marriage equality, which concluded, “as we used to say on the street—-‘It’s cheaper to keep her!'”