After winning the DC city Council’s Ward 8 primary Tuesday, former mayor and current Councilman Marion Barry said some fantastically creepy and racist things about Asians that harkened straight back to 19th century America’s Yellow Peril, when unemployment was blamed on Chinese immigrants and slogans like “The Chinese must go!” became a political rallying cry, leading to violence committed against Asian workers and businesses.
In his speech to supporters, he stated:
“We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops. 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.”
Video of Barry’s comments here:
“[T]he comment was meant to convey that some stores need better service to and engagement with the community than what is provided now,” he said. “To improve food places in Ward 8, owners have to move beyond status quo. Take down the plexiglass, offer healthy food, keep [businesses] clean [and] inviting.”
Uh-huh. Because nothing says “engage the community” like “you ought to get the hell out of this community.”
The worst part of this is how it appears Barry, a Democrat, has drunk the reactionary right’s Kool-Aid. Pit the minorities against one another so they don’t see the big picture! Start a race war among minorities so they don’t notice they’re fighting for scraps! The right-wing has been spinning this bullshit for years to justify institutional bias, whether it’s putting “model minority” Asians at odds with “problem minority” blacks and Latinos to attack affirmative action or “good assimilating” blacks and Latinos against “bad assimilating” gays to defeat marriage equality.
Michelle Malkin seized on Barry’s comments to make this story about “black racism” while simultaneously resorting to the most racist stereotypes possible of black people in her latest syndicated column, “Marion Barry and the Left’s Hatred of Asian Entrepreneurs”–bold type and brackets in the following excerpt are mine:
In Barry’s bizarre world, law-abiding entrepreneurs [ASIANS] who take steps to prevent robberies are the ones who threaten Ward 8′s quality of life — not the armed thugs [BLACKS] who threaten honest livelihoods in the first place. Vigilant wealth creators [ASIANS] taking care of their families? Scourge of D.C. Profanity-spewing drug addicts [BLACKS] inciting hatred against successful achievers [ASIANS] of the American Dream? Model citizens! [sarcasm for BLACKS aka "problem citizens"]
All of this just obscures the big picture, which is the fact that Ward 8 is the poorest district with one of the highest unemployment rates in DC. Painting these issues as a black-Asian problem and putting Ward 8′s residents at odds with one another isn’t going to change any of that.
Thanks, Victor and Jasmine!
Filed under: Black-Asian Solidarity, Blaming Asians, Councilman Marion Barry, DC, District of Columbia, Fight the Power, Marion Barry, Marion Barry Asian Business Owners, Marion Barry Dirty Asian Shops, Marion Barry Racist Comments, model minority myth, Pitting Minorities Against One Another, Ward 8 District of Columbia, Washington DC, Yellow Peril
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