Ward 8 D.C. Councilman Marion Barry said Thursday that he was not trying to insult the city's Asian community during remarks at a campaign event this week.
“We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops,” Barry said in remarks on Tuesday night first reported by WRC-TV. “They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.”...
...Susan Au Allen, the president of the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, said Barry’s comments concerned her.
“It’s regrettably inappropriate. I’m hoping he misspoke,” Allen said in an interview with The Washington Examiner....
...Roger Campos, the president and CEO of the Washington-based Minority Business Roundtable, said Barry’s comments were disrespectful to minorities beyond the city’s Asian-American community.
“That is totally insensitive. It’s kind of interesting because Asians and Hispanics are fueling the economy in business growth, and we ought to be inclusive of all minority groups, not just one,” Campos said. “He’s got one insensitive focus, and that’s on African-Americans solely and no other groups.”
...Barry, meanwhile, blamed journalists for taking his remarks out of context.
"The media ought to apologize," Barry said. "I want an apology from you."