Marion Barry Apologizes To Asians, Offends “Polacks”
In a development that could only be dreamed up by a TV sitcom writer, Washington DC Council member Marion Barry apologized this week for recent disparaging comments he made about Asians- and then referred to people of Polish decent by the derogatory term, “Polacks.”
Yep, that’s caught-on-tape-smoking-cocaine Marion Barry.
Barry bizarrely used a victory speech last week to criticize Asian-owned businesses in his district:
“We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops,” he said in the course of laying out his vision for the ward. “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.”
Barry tried to mend his bridges, apologizing for his choice of words, and hosting an open meeting with representatives of the Filipino, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese communities. Unfortunately, some African American audience members echoed Barry’s original comments.
While speaking at the event and trying to walk back his statement, Barry found himself making yet another faux pas:
Asked about the underlying sources of the conflict, Barry said the United States “has had racial tensions since it was founded.”
“The Irish caught hell, the Jews caught hell, the Polacks caught hell,” Barry said, invoking a word that Polish people have viewed as disparaging. “We want Ward 8 to be the model of diversity.”
Yesterday, Barry issued a seven-word statement saying he “misspoke,” and “should have said Polish.”
Maybe seven words is as many as he can go without putting his foot in his mouth.
[via Washington Post]