Former Black Mayor Wants Asians Out of Washington, DC
Marion Barry, the former Washington, DC mayor infamously caught on camera smoking crack (only to be re-elected), has once again found himself in hot water. This time, though, it was making a crack that has gotten Barry in big trouble.
Barry, the multi-term mayor of the District of Columbia that achieved international notoriety due to a videotaped drug deal more than 20 years ago, is once again answering questions about what critics say was a comment that he should have kept to himself. Barry was victorious in a landslide win during D.C’s Council primaries this week, but was arguably less than stately while addressing supporters in a post-election speech.
Speaking after his Council Ward 8 primary win on Tuesday, Barry said that he still has some work ahead of him in regards to cleaning up the neighborhood, and he can start by doing something about all of those Asians and their filthy stores stinking up the community.
“We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops,” Barry said to supporters. “They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.”
Less than two days after Barry broadcast this statement, the backlash has already been a big one as critics continue to come down hard on the politician. Several lawmakers in the neighboring state of Maryland have asked for an apology, but for the man about to begin yet another term in the District of Columbia, backtracking seems out of the question.
“At best, Mr. Barry’s attack on Asian Americans is deeply troubling, and at worst it is race baiting,” reads a statement from five Democratic delegates from Maryland, which came only hours after Tommy Wells, a fellow DC councilman, called Barry’s blurb as “deplorable.”
Responding to these claims, however, Barry insists that he is in the right. ”I’ve spent the last 50 years of my life fighting for justice and equality of all people,” Barry responds, reports The Washington Post.
Addressing the Maryland lawmakers’ allegations that comments could be rendered racist, Barry adds that the truth is quite the contrary.
“Those five people don’t know Marion Barry at all. They know my name; they don’t know my record,” insists Barry.
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