Barry Smears Asian Business Owners, Grudgingly Apologizes

by April 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,327 0

News from Dupont-Logan-U Street

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

It may be hard to fathom, but Marion Barry has once again lowered the bar for public conduct.

Politico reported that last week the former mayor touched off a firestorm after calling Asian businesses “dirty.” In a video that quickly went viral, Barry can be seen expressing his concern about Asian-owned businesses being established in the District. “They ought to go,” he tells supporters. “We need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.” (The story continues to garner lots of coverage in local media outlets.)

Barry, who recently won the Democratic primary for Ward 8 and, thus, effectively reelection to that Council seat, immediately fired back at critics of his remarks. But rather than dampen the fires, he added fuel. In defending his comments, Barry revealed further bias against businesses owned by Asian Americans: “A number of these restaurants serve high caloric food, bad food…but the more important thing, they don’t participate in the community… That’s what I object to, I don’t care who it is.”

Finally, on Thursday Barry apologized via Twitter, conceding that he “could and should have said it differently.”

If he isn’t careful, Barry might tarnish his good name…

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