[WTOP] When apologizing to the Asian community for comments he made last month, D.C. councilmember Marion Barry may have offended another minority group on Thursday: Polish people. Barry said the U.S. has had racial tensions since its founding. “The Irish caught hell, the Jews caught hell, the Polacks caught hell,” Barry said. “We want Ward 8 to be the model of diversity.” The word “Polack” is a derogatory term that describes people of Polish descent. Barry was at a meeting with Asian-American advocacy groups at the Matthews Memorial Baptist Church where he was expected to apologize for comments he made at an election night victory party. “We gotta do something about these Asians coming in, opening up these dirty shops,” he said on April 3. “They got to go. I’ll say that right now.” Other speakers at Thursday’s event were David Chung, a member of the city Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs commission, who sharply criticized Barry and what some called a “non-apology” for his Asian-American comments at a D.C. Council meeting last month. “The councilman joining us today is a positive first step toward healing racial tension,” Chung says. He says the meeting opens a path for dialogue and for working together. They plan to work with the councilman in continuing dialogue in race relations.
Oh come on now. Cut the guy some slack. I mean seriously, has there ever been a crackhead under so much scrutiny? I feel like we should, instead, be applauding him for overcoming the pipe and maybe excuse him every now & then for the occasional slip-up. In all honesty, I didn’t even know “Polacks” was an offensive term 100% of the time. I’m still not sold that it is. Thought it was like “Jew” or “moolie”. A word that actually did reference a group but could also be derogatory depending on the context of how it was used. Like saying my friend Lee is a Jew isn’t insulting, it’s a fact. He’s Jewish. But if I said my friend Lee is being a real fucking Jew right now, we’re on a different level. Know what I mean? So if Polack is the wrong term, what’s the right one? Oh yeah…Polish. OK, maybe he chose the wrong word. So what? I don’t think he tried to slip in a covert attack because he just can’t help himself. It’s gotta be hard to focus on a proper vocabulary with visions of crack rocks dancing in your head.