home Lifestyle Marion Barry doubles down on ‘dirty’ Asian shop comments; update: tripling down?

Marion Barry doubles down on ‘dirty’ Asian shop comments; update: tripling down?

http://twitter.com/#!/marionbarryjr/status/187946222194135040

As Twitchy noted this morning, Councilman Marion Barry stated during his Tuesday night victory speech, “we got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops. They ought to go.” With the story receiving considerable attention today, Barry is now defending himself on Twitter. Barry believes that his comments were taken out of context and, he claims, he was only referring to certain Asian business owners. He even tweeted out pictures of the businesses he doesn’t like.

These are the kinds of businesses that need 2 improve.We've cleaned up Ward8 in so many ways & most businesses r good. pic.twitter.com/SpWRJLPm

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

Example of ‘dirty’ Asian-owned business

But the plexiglass barrier is both literal & figurative. Keep bizs clean, carry healthy products, hire from community pic.twitter.com/j77Sqqk0

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

Another ‘dirty’ Asian-owned business

WE can do a better job. I do NOT disparage the Asian community, but the fact is there r some bizs that can do better! pic.twitter.com/vjM9tITw

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

He then urged the owners of the businesses he spotlighted to join the “Ward8 Renaissance” which was, of course, a complete reversal from his earlier demand that the Asian owners be forced out and replaced with “African-American business people.”

Just like the owners of these bizs want the best for their families & communities so do we. The ? Is: will they join the Ward8 Renaissance

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

Many people have contributed 2 the Renaissance underway. EVERYONE is welcome but must work to make at least their own space a nice place.

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

He then attacked those who found his statements hateful and vile.

Finally, many people commenting don't even live here & don't have to experience the plexiglass barriers between them and the store owners.

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

Funny how folk expect us to sit down, shut up and expect lower standards than what they enjoy in their communities. #NOT

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

Apparently Barry feels that he is the real victim in all of this. Somehow his comments that Asian business owners “ought to go” were not the least bit racist and are just being used by outsiders to try and smear the residents of Ward 8. It was all just another set up as the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein mockingly points out.

The bitch set him up again! MT @marionbarryjr: My comments were taken out of context & construed as disparaging 2 entire Asian biz community

— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) April 5, 2012

Finally, it is worth asking whether Asians have a monopoly on “dirty” Ward 8 businesses.

@marionbarryjr Black-owned stores look like that too. By highlighting race, you force ppl to ignore what otherwise could be a valid point.

— Chris DP (@ruSERIOUSINGme) April 5, 2012

The mayor of Washington DC, Vincent Gray, tweets that he is “deeply disappointed” by Barry’s comments.

Barry now says he is “very sorry.” Not really, though:

@kofrank The demand is indeed strong for upgraded bizs in W8 AND I am very sorry my comments were sensationalized & really did offend people

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

Another “apology.” He acknowledges he could have said things differently, but he’s sticking to the story that his comments were “taken out of context.” He is now using race-neutral language — “W8 carryouts,” “food places in Ward8,” “some stores”  — rather than “‘dirty’ Asian-owned businesses.”

I'm very sorry for offending the Asian American community. Although taken out of context by many about the conditions of some W8 carryouts

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

the comment was meant to convey that some stores need better service to and engagement with the community than what is provided now.

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

To improve food places in Ward8, owners have to move beyond status quo.Take down the plexiglass, offer healthy food,keep biz clean&inviting.

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

And anyone NOT from Ward 8, you may want to actually EXPERIENCE the difference of what IS and what CAN BE here in SE.

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

I admit, I could and should have said it differently. But the facts are still very present in our daily lives here.

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

Here he seems to be tripling down:

We are tired of sub-standard treatment, tired of being kept an arms length distance, tired of the lack of community engagement.

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

And he’s still going…

As stated before, our neighborhoods have made remarkable improvement over the last 7 years. Our retail needs to catch up.

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

It costs nothing to keep the store clean. Nothing to add healthy items. Nothing to know your patrons.Nothing to have the will to do better.

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

I do hope that as much attention focused on my admittedly bad choice of words will be given to the very real and present retail needs of SE.

— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) April 5, 2012

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/04/05/marion-barry-claims-his-comments-deriding-asians-were-taken-out-of-context/

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