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Marion Barry Filipino Nurse Comments Puts Former D.C. Mayor In Hot Seat ... Again

Posted: 04/24/2012 4:30 pm Updated: 04/25/2012 10:55 am

Marion Barry
Marion Barry

WASHINGTON -- Former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry is facing trouble again over comments he made about Asians working in the nation's capital. Earlier this month at his victory party for the Democratic nomination for the D.C. Council's Ward 8 seat, Barry complained about "dirty" Asian businesses -- comments that were harshly rebuked by city and business leaders.

After standing his ground on his comments, Barry later clarified his remarks, saying they were "painted with a brush that was too narrow."

During a D.C. Council hearing on Monday, Barry, according to the Washington Examiner, made some comments that singled out people from the Philippines who work in D.C. hospitals:

"In fact, it's so bad, that if you go to the hospital now, you find a number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines," Barry said, according to the Examiner. "And no offense, but let's grow our own teachers, let's grow our own nurses -- and so that we don't have to be scrounging around in our community clinics and other kinds of places -- having to hire people from somewhere else."

Tuesday afternoon, Washington Examiner reporter Alan Blinder relayed via Twitter:


Alan Blinder
Marion Barry when approached about his insensitive comments on Monday: "I'm sick of you all."

Reason's Matt Welch reminded readers about Barry's opposition to then-D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. The councilmember said cited Rhee's Korean heritage in criticism of her management style, something "that's autocratic ... [coming from] a culture that's dictatorial, a culture of hierarchical in their discussions."

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Filed by Michael Grass  |