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"Say Sorry Barry" Campaign Statement on today's AAPI Budget Hearing


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Vincent Paolo Villano, vpvillano@gmail.com / 202-631-9640



Washington, D.C. -  In a tense budget hearing this afternoon, Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry continued to deflect responsibility for his comments regarding "dirty" Asian businesses and Filipina nurses. Councilmember Barry instead accused members of the media and the public for taking his comments "out of context" and for "jumping to conclusions." 

In response to today's hearing, the "Say Sorry Barry" campaign issued the following statement:


Members of the campaign joined the budget hearing today expecting a grounded conversation about the challenges Asian American small businesses, health care workers, and teachers have in our community. And an important part of that was to convey how Councilmember Barry's hurtful remarks, despite his intent, have further isolated Asian Americans and immigrants in Ward 8 from the public official that represents them. Instead of using the hearing as an opportunity to rectify his strained relations with Asian Americans and immigrants, he instead fueled race-baiting tropes by blaming immigrants for "taking" American jobs and scrutinizing the citizenship of Asian American witnesses by asking them, "how long have you lived here?"
We will not accept this kind of intolerance from an elected public leader. The "Say Sorry Barry" campaign hopes to work with Councilmember Barry to strengthen the DC we all believe in and belong to. We urge Councilmember Barry to open the space for dialogue by issuing a formal apology and joining us for a meeting. 


To learn more or to speak to someone from the campaign, contact Alex Kogan at akogandc@gmail.com / 202-560-3803.

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The Say Sorry Barry Campaign is a coalition of DC based organizations working together to hold Councilmember Barry accountable for his repeatedly using divisive  language disparaging the Asian Pacific American community. This campaign is spearheaded by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress - DC Chapter and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - DC Chapter. We urge Councilmember Barry to uphold his previous commitment to meet with local Asian Pacific American community leaders to build the DC we all believe in and belong to.
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Anthony on Sun, 04/29/2012 - 00:21

These days everyone has to be careful what they say because not only will it be held against them but they will be in danger of media scrutiny as well. I hope he apologizes but most of us I hope he doesn't really have those negative thoughts.


Sometimes it doesn't take much to understand what a person's true feelings are and they are keeping track of things especially when they say something that gives a peek into their soul.

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