Former District of Columbia mayor Marion Barry referred to “dirty” Asian-owned businesses after winning the city’s Council Ward 8 primary, demanding that “they ought to go,” according to a report.
“We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops,” Barry said on Tuesday night, according to video posted by WRC-TV/NBC4. “They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.”
Mayor Vincent Gray said he hadn’t heard about the comments.
“I think you know what I stand for,” he said, according to the local outlet. “And that is everybody having an equal opportunity in the District of Columbia.”
The comments go counter to Barry’s claim on his D.C. Councilmembers biography, that he stands for “always advocating for economic inclusion - on behalf of African Americans, women, Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders.