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Archive for April 30th, 2012

When did community self-sufficiency suddenly become “racist”?

For the second time in less than a month, D.C. Council member Marion Barry is having to fend off criticism that he unfairly singled out an ethnic group as he attempted to explain how to get more African Americans trained and employed in the District.

At a hearing Monday on the University of the District of Columbia’s budget, he spoke about the need to train more African Americans to become nurses. In a video of his remarks aired by WTTG-TV, Barry noted a growing number of nurses are “immigrants” from the Philippines.

“[I]f you go to the hospital now, you’ll find a number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines,” said Barry (D-Ward 8). “And no offense, but let’s grow our own teachers, let’s grow our own nurses, and so that we don’t have to go scrounging in our community clinics and other kinds of places, having to hire people from somewhere else.”

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations called Barry’s remarks “racist” and “bigoted.”

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