Someday, far into the future, Marion Barry will find a way to go a few days without insulting one race or another, but probably not anytime soon. While making amends today for recently calling for Korean shop owners to be kicked out of his neighborhood and for wishing — out loud, in public — that there were fewer Filipino nurses working in local hospitals, Barry, for lord knows what reason, dropped the P-bomb:
At a press conference, Barry and several Asian American leaders said the dialogue is an important step toward defusing long-standing tension between blacks and Asians. Asked about the underlying sources of the conflict, Barry said the United States “has had racial tensions since was it founded.”
“The Irish caught hell, the Jews caught hell, the Polacks caught hell,” Barry said, invoking a word that Polish people have viewed as disparaging. “We want Ward 8 to be the model of diversity.
Barry, at least, was man enough to admit his error … eventually.
Asked later about his reference to “Polacks,” Barry at first denied using the word, then retracted it. “I meant Poles.”
Tomorrow, Barry will officially apologize by telling Polish leaders that he’ll never forgive himself for using the slur, just like he’ll never forgive the Jews for killing Jesus.