Crazy Talk: Defending 'Dirty Asian' Remarks

Marion Barry is blaming the media instead of owning up to his statements.

Linda Davidson/The Washington Post

At a D.C. Council hearing this week, former Mayor Marion Barry deflected pointed criticism of his recent controversial remarks about Asians and repeatedly blamed the media for taking the comments out of context. But he didn't actually provide any context that made them less atrocious.

The Washington Post reports:

Barry has twice come under fire in recent weeks, first for singling out Asian-owned businesses in his ward for being “dirty” and then, this week, for lamenting the number of immigrant nurses “particularly from the Philippines.”

”The media has a way of distorting things,” he said Thursday. “They’re in the business of sensationalism.” He spoke while presiding over a hearing on the budget of the city’s Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.

Barry’s anti-media broadsides did not prevent several Asian-American leaders from offering testimony criticizing Barry’s comments.

David Chung, the chairman of the D.C. Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, was perhaps the most eloquent of Barry’s critics.

”My father is actually one of those dirty store owners you were referring to,” he said, noting that his family has run a Ward 7 convenience store for more than 20 years. “When you made those statements, you broke my heart ... A lot of those store owners like my father are now concerned.”

Read more at the Washington Post.

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