Marion Barry Is the Gaffe that Keeps on Giving

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If you were searching for an afternoon face-palm, D.C. Council member Marion Barry is your man. In the midst of apologizing to Asians for calling them dirty and chastising Filipino nurses (for being nurses?), Barry decided to invoke the term "Polacks." Well done, sir.

“The Irish caught hell, the Jews caught hell, the Polacks caught hell," Barry was quoted as saying in a report by The Washington Post's Paul Schwartzman. After proving the filter between Barry's brain and mouth was non-existent, he added, "We want Ward 8 to be the model of diversity."

Hint: Using an ethnic slur is not a good step towards becoming a "model of diversity." (As Schwartzman's Post colleague Chris Cillizza pointed out on Twitter, "Polack is not the preferred nomenclature, Dude.") Then again, this is the same guy who specifically said that Asian-owned shops were dirty and displayed a xenophobic attitude against Filipino nurses.   

Schwartzman adds that Barry first denied using the slur, but eventually fessed up: "I meant Poles," he said.  And if you let us, we'll just stop there. No apology tour necessary Mr. Barry. Thanks!


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.