April 6th, 2012
08:12 AM ET
9 years ago

Marion Barry's remarks on Asians' 'dirty shops' ignite criticism after primary win

(CNN) - 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."


Filed under: Washington D.C.
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. easydoesit

    How can you defend that statement?

    April 6, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  2. diridi

    It is a truthful statement, but hurts., previously only Educated used to be imported, today, all Gujarat's junk is coming and opening patel brothers, motels, and gas pumps, selling sodas, chips, Cheat on Taxes, hire illegals, etc, Do we need this or Research and Development? You think, you analyze, you rationalize, you judge....I pity. This comment should not have been said openly, but, truth.

    April 6, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I will say what Marion Barry cannot. Blacks and minorities visit and patronize many Asian businesses in their neighborhoods. That is not a problem. The problem is the other side of the coin. Minorities find it difficult to open and sustain businesses in Asian neighborhoods. Why? Let me explain by way of observation.

    Sometimes it is faster and easier to get around Manhattan by walking 10-20 blocks than taking a bus or a subway. On a very hot summer day, I was walking to favorite lunch spot. A man walked out of a laundry and began walking some 30-50 feet in the same direction ahead of me. We continued for several blocks, walking past numerous business owned by people of various ethinic backgrounds.

    As chance would have it, his destination was next to mine. He entered a chinese restaurant, while I entered a pizza shop. As I left with my slice of pizza, he left the restaurant with a bag full of cold sodas. In other words, he walked a dozen blocks on a very hot day just to purchase sodas from an Asian business, walking past many businesss that sold the same items. It was a 10-15 minute walk, by which time the sodas were no doubt no longer ice cold.

    This event made me realize something. .I have seen many minorities spending money at Asian businesses, but I have never seen an Asian visit, much less spend money, at a minority owned business. Never. Just my observation.

    April 6, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  4. once upon a horse

    from Barry's past he's a fine one to talk or be critcal of ANYBODY!

    April 6, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. Fair is Fair

    What exactly did he mean by a "dirty shop"? Never heard that term used before.

    April 6, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  6. Sniffit

    That's some impressive stupid right there. He's always good for a laugh I suppose.

    April 6, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Sandy

    Forgot to mention that I wasn't suggesting that Marion Barry should get a pass for what he said, just that the reporting is lopsided. Marion Barry was wrong and should not get a pass.

    April 6, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |