Marion Barry's mouth set him up. The disgraced former mayor of Washington, D.C., who was caught on tape in a 1987 crack cocaine sting, made an even bigger disgrace of himself and his city on Tuesday. Celebrating a Democratic primary victory, the city councilman attacked small businesses owned by "Asians" in his district. Then the race-baiting clown doubled down.
Barry told supporters in D.C.'s Ward 8: "We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops. They ought to go." Once pushed out, Barry promised, he would replace the foreign invaders with "African-American business people." Barry then took to the social networking platform Twitter to expound on the perils of "dirty" Asian shops in his neighborhood.
As documented by my Twitter curation start-up Twitchy.com, Barry posted photos of supposedly hazardous stores -- including Chinese restaurants surrounded not by trash or toxic waste, but by Plexiglas barriers and reinforced doors. Barry explained that Asian-owned businesses that had the audacity to protect themselves from crime were "lowering standards" in his constituents' communities.
In Barry's bizarre world, law-abiding entrepreneurs who take steps to prevent robberies are the ones who threaten Ward 8's quality of life -- not the armed thugs who threaten honest livelihoods in the first place. Vigilant wealth creators taking care of their families? Scourge of D.C. Profanity-spewing drug addicts inciting hatred against successful achievers of the American Dream? Model citizens!
Crazy Barry doesn't just need another round of rehab. He needs a reality check.
As a commenter on DCist.com noted, 2010 Census data showed that "Asians made up 0.4 percent of the Ward 8 population (blacks made up 93.5 percent, a 1 percent increase from 2000). If anything, Asians are moving out, not in -- the Asian population decreased 13.6 percent (from 301 people to 260 people) between 2000 and 2010. Meanwhile, the child poverty rate in Ward 8 sits at 48.3 percent, a 1.2 percent increase since 2000 -- in contrast, the District's overall child poverty rate decreased 3 percent since 2000. Now that's what I call defying the odds."
If Barry's ignorant slurs had come out of the mouth of, say, former GOP Gov. George Allen of Virginia (pummeled for his "macaca" gaffe), there would be calls for his head from every civil rights organization in the Beltway. While the Washington Post reported that Barry "apologized," he showed typical fake penitence for "offending" Asians and claimed he was "taken out of context."