You can add this to the growing list of controversies between the black and Asian communities in the US:
Washington Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry spent Thursday firmly defending, explaining and elaborating upon on a comment many feel was disparaging to Asians in his district.
The remark came Tuesday, following his victory in the primary to retain his Ward 8 council seat. During a speech about the dire need for economic improvements in his ward, the city’s poorest, Barry said, “We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops.”
He continued, “They ought to go. I just tell you that right now, you know. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.” [CNN]
Barry ended up sort of apologizing for his remarks:
Washington Councilman Marion Barry said Friday he could’ve rephrased his controversial remark about “dirty” Asian businesses in his district, but he refused to back down.
He said his adrenaline was flowing after Tuesday’s primary victory, when he made the comment, and that he merely was trying to convey that the business community in his Ward 8 needs a new attitude. Asians run a large percentage of the ward’s stores and small shops, he said.
“I said something that I probably could have phrased differently. What you mean is the same. You’re not going to have people who are exploiting us in this community. They’re going to be part of the community. We welcome all businesspeople here … but give us some jobs.”
So basically he meant every word of what he said, but in hindsight he would of liked to have said it differently to avoid the current controversy. This comes on the heels of the manufactured attempt by the usual suspects like Barry to drive a Korean-American owned gas station out of business in Dallas. Like I said during the Dallas controversy, there is nothing stopping people in the black community from saving money to open a business and then work the long hours that many in the Asian-American community do to keep their businesses profitable. Barry should be encouraging people to follow the example of successful Asian-American business owners instead of demonizing them.
You can read more from Michelle Malkin, an Asian-American herself who has her own take on this issue.