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Posted at 04:40 PM ET, 04/05/2012

UPDATE: Marion Barry apologizes for anti-Asian remarks

 

UPDATE, 4:40 P.M: Faced with a torrent of criticism from his colleagues and other city residents, Marion Barry apologized Thursday afternoon for his Election Day suggestion that Asian business owners in his ward “ought to go.”

Barry said via his Twitter account that he is “very sorry for offending the Asian American community” with an “admittedly bad choice of words” but remains concerned about the conditions of some restaurants in Ward 8.

“I admit, I could and should have said it differently. But the facts are still very present in our daily lives here,” he tweeted. “We are tired of sub-standard treatment, tired of being kept [at] arms length distance, tired of the lack of community engagement.”

Barry said in a telephone interview that the apology was heartfelt: “It is as solid as Marion Barry can make it, and believe it, because I have a history of not doing anything to purposely disparage any group of people.”

ORIGINAL POST: Marion Barry is mostly refusing to back down from remarks Tuesday that Asian business owners in his ward “ought to go.”

Barry made the comments Tuesday night, at a party celebrating his landslide victory in the Democratic primary race for the D.C. Council seat he’s held since 2005.

WRC-TVcameras caught the remarks: “We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops. They ought to go, I’ll just say that right now, you know. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.”

Since then, outrage has mounted.

One Facebook page appeared Wednesday, demanding that Barry apologize to the Asian community. By 1 p.m., it had more than 72 “likes.” One of his D.C. Council colleagues, Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), took to Twitter late Wednesday to decry the remarks as “deplorable.” Five suburban Maryland lawmakers of Asian descent — Democratic delegatesSam AroraKumar BarveSusan LeeAruna Miller and Kris Valderrama — also called on Barry to apologize.

“At best, Mr. Barry’s attack on Asian Americans is deeply troubling, and at worst it is race baiting,” they said in a statement.

Barry isn’t apologizing. Rather, he said, in an interview, he suggested his critics “get to know Marion Barry and his stellar record on civil rights.”

”I’ve spent the last 50 years of my life fighting for justice and equality of all people,” he said. “Those five people don’t know Marion Barry at all. They know my name; they don’t know my record.”

That, he noted, includes establishing a sister city relationship with Beijing, helping to erect the Chinatown Friendship Archway and establishing the city Office of Asian-Pacific Islander Affairs during his four terms as mayor.

But Barry renewed his critique of Asian-owned businesses: “Let me make it clear, I’m not castigating any group of people. I’m not doing anything except trying to have a renaissance of our community and get some respect. A number of these restaurants serve high caloric food, bad food, et cetera, 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. “

Asked why he singled out Asians in his remarks, Barry said, “Because that’s reality. Who owns these little restaurants? Who owns them? You know, Asians. . .Ninety percent of all the small restaurants in Ward 8, at least.” It is difficult to verify that claim.

He added, “We’re spending our money there, and we demand respect. We demand they participate in community affairs. We demand they give jobs to Ward 8 people regardless of their cultural situation. That’s as American as apple pie.”

Barry also tweeted Thursday:

He attached photos of the facade and interior of the dilapidated facade of a Congress Heights carry-out and added, “Funny how folk expect us to sit down, shut up and expect lower standards than what they enjoy in their communities.”

A worker at the restaurant, the China Inn Deli, said its owners were not immediately available to comment. It is not clear whether the business is Asian-owned.

One prominent Korean entrepreneur criticized Barry for lumping all Asian business owners together, but said he understood the root of his concerns with “dirty shops.”

”He shouldn’t have said Asians,” said Gary Cha, who owns the Yes! Organic grocery chain. But he added that “any of those people running a dirty store that have an adverse impact on the community should go. And sometimes I am ashamed some of the Asian business owners don’t spend the time to keep the stores in a respectful manner.”

He added, “I do go around and say, look, if you clean your store, your business will probably go up by 65 percent, no-brainer. I’ve probably said that a thousand times to people, but it doesn’t work. ... In that sense I am with [Barry], but just like saying things about African-Americans — not all African-Americans do certain things.”

Cha — who said relations between Asian businesses and the black residents they serve are “a sensitive issue” — has opened an east-of-the-Anacostia store on Pennsylvania Avenue SE, in Ward 7, but has no locations in Ward 8. He is a past president of the Korean-American Grocers Association, which lobbies on behalf of Asian small-business owners.

Like many of the city’s Asian leaders, Cha fondly recalls steps Barry took as mayor to involve them in the city government. He also noted Barry’s advancing age — he’s 76 — in saying, “I think we should just let it go.”

”I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with my view, but that’s what makes this country such a great place to live and work,” Cha said. “You can disagree with people and still be friends, and I totally disagree with him, 100 percent, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be my enemy or I am his enemy.”

UPDATE, 2:35 P.M.: Top District leaders have responded to Barry’s comments in statements this afternoon.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said he is “deeply disappointed” by the remarks: “There is no room in this wonderfully diverse city for comments that disparage anyone on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation. Our energies are better spent focused on building everyone up rather than tearing anyone down.”

Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) said he “strongly disgree[d]” with the remarks: “Statements like that are divisive, destructive, and have absolutely no place in our city. The District’s character is enriched by the wonderful diversity present throughout our communities.”

By   |  04:40 PM ET, 04/05/2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

Original Post

Oops!! 

 

You know ... as people get older, they just tend to just spit out what they're thinking off the top of their heads at the moment!!    Marion's telling it like it is.  But also, he needs to stress how important it is that there be Black business owners ready to take their place.

 

It's not just about buying a shop and opening up the door.  You have to have the business skills to be able to make it successful.

Originally Posted by EbonyRose:

Oops!! 

 

You know ... as people get older, they just tend to just spit out what they're thinking off the top of their heads at the moment!!    Marion's telling it like it is.  But also, he needs to stress how important it is that there be Black business owners ready to take their place.

 

It's not just about buying a shop and opening up the door.  You have to have the business skills to be able to make it successful.

I don't have a problem with what he said. Why do black people always have to apologize when speaking out truthfully on conditions or things they don't like in our communities?

“We are tired of sub-standard treatment, tired of being kept [at] arms length distance, tired of the lack of community engagement.”

 

Hmmmmm…well….actually, I agree with him. Unfortunately, Asians believe  Negroes are lazy, inept, lack the necessary intellectual skills to compete and have no family structure that is standard for other races and ethnicities. But whose fault is this? Whether you agree with it or not –perception is reality to most people.

 

Since American Negroes openly and willingly allow other races to come into their communities and establish commerce, well, why blame them? There is a void they are filing since Negroes can’t or won’t do it themselves. Other than American Negroes, No other race or ethnicity allows business carpetbaggers to anchor themselves in their communities. The Mexicans don’t allow it. The Asians don’t allow it. The Poles, Jews, Armenians, Arabs, Koreans or Russians won't allow it. And you know white people are going to stand for it. Only American Negroes display unbelievable levels of dependency, apathy and indifference to being dependent on others to provide basic services for them.

 

The Asians believe Negroes cannot compete with them in the class room or in the arena of commercial entrepreneurship. Again, whose fault is it? Don’t like it? Do what I do. I refuse to spend one dime in their places of business. If black people (as a group) who are offended by this foreign occupation did that, they would disappear as Marion Barry hopes they would. But then, who is going to fill the massive void? Negroes? Ha! Ha! Ha! Go figure…….

 

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