Reason TV’s Kennedy catches up with Marion Barry to discuss his rather provocative statement about Asian restaurants in Washington DC and the need to replace them with businesses owned by African-Americans. Barry scolds Kennedy for not comprehending the difference between racism and culturism, and reluctantly attempts to elaborate … and just manages to bury himself even further:
Marion Barry was D.C.’s mayor for sixteen years (1979-91 and 1995-99), and currently he’s a city council member representing Ward 8, a section of D.C. that’s overwhelmingly African-American.
Barry, who popularized the phrase “Bitch set me up!” during an FBI sting operation that sent him to prison, is back in the news for declaring that Asian business owners in his district should be driven out.
“We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops,” he said at an April 3rd campaign event. “They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now.”
Racism, culturism … it’s all pretty much the same thing: bigotry. And it’s ugly no matter what Barry wants to call it. I’d like to believe that Barry is “finished with that,” or finished in politics, but if a drug bust on tape hasn’t convinced DC voters to send Barry into electoral oblivion, then I doubt that a little anti-Asian prejudice will change minds.
Update: And just think — if the statehood-for-DC activists had their way, this could be Senator Marion Barry.