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Barry Apologizes for 'Dirty' Asian Comments

Ex-DC Mayor said shops 'ought to go'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2012 4:12 PM CDT
Barry Apologizes for 'Dirty' Asian Comments
In this 2009 file photo, former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry attends a news conference on the steps of Washington's city hall.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(Newser) – Marion Barry finally sort of apologized today after coming under a hail of criticism for comment disparaging Asian business owners. "We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops. They ought to go," the four-time mayor of Washington, DC, said Tuesday, at an event celebrating his win in a DC Council primary. The remarks were caught on camera by NBC 4, and have drawn condemnation from a handful of DC-region politicians, including Mayor Vincent Gray.

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Barry had stuck by his comments through days of blistering criticism. Asked by the Washington Post why he'd singled out Asians, he replied, "Because that's the reality. Who owns these little restaurants? Who owns them? You know, Asians." He also tweeted an image today of a somewhat rundown Chinese restaurant, with the caption, "WE can do a better job." Today he finally offered an apology, tweeting that he was "very sorry for offending the Asian American community." But he stood by the substance of his attack on local businesses. "I admit, I could and should have said it differently. But the facts are still very present in our daily lives here," he said. (Read more Marion Barry stories.)

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