D.C. council member Marion Barry hit for racist remark on Filipino nurses

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Ambassador Jose Cuisia

WASHINGTON—The Philippines is condemning Washington, D.C., Councilmember Marion Barry for remarks critical of local hospitals for hiring Filipino nurses instead of District of Columbia residents.

Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia issued a statement Wednesday calling Barry’s comments “intolerant and narrow-minded.”

Barry said at a council hearing on the District of Columbia’s budget on Monday that many hospitals hire “immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines.”

“[N]o offense,” Barry said, “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.”

Barry said nursing schools in the district should train local residents to work in the health industry and deal with nursing shortages.

Cuisia said Barry’s “penchant for blaming Asians … fuels racism, discrimination and violence.”

No Washington officials have criticized Barry for the comment about nurses. The district has preferential hiring practices for local residents.

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (Naffaa) and the Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC) based in Washington, D.C., denounced Barry’s remarks as racist and bigoted.

“We reject this continued Asian bashing by elected officials like Mr. Barry and demand that he apologize for his insensitive and irresponsible remarks,” Naffaa chair Ed Navarra said in a statement.

“We also call on him to engage in a meaningful dialogue with our community so we can better educate the broader American public about the significant contributions that our diverse immigrant communities have made to this country.”

MHC Co-Executive Director Arnedo Valera said Barry’s statements were “unbecoming of a public official.” With a report from AP

Originally posted at 09:34 pm | Thursday, April 26, 2012

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  • mijacogeo

    Barry said at a council hearing on the District of Columbia’s budget on Monday that many hospitals hire “immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines.”
    “[N]o offense,” Barry said, “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.”
    Barry said nursing schools in the district should train local residents to work in the health industry and deal with nursing shortages. (END OF QUOTE)

    May I ask if the above quote contains the statement in question? 
    IF SO, if one of us from the Philippines say the same thing regarding the hiring of whatever professional to perform some of our available jobs, would it be similarly be a racist comment?
    In other words, if we have a shortage of nurses and we start hiring nurses from other countries, would it be racist for anybody to say that it would be best to train our local high school graduates to become nurses who will stay in our country?

  • ddano

    Yah “grow your own teachers, your own nurses” but in the meantime that you haven’t done it yet, what da fk are you blabbing about. Well , he might be just under the influence of whatever he was convicted of using when was a mayor.

  • 050876

    He started out as a civil rights activist, was an “accidental hero” in
    the 1977 Hanafi Muslim Siege of the District Building, became a
    “mayor-for-life” of the District in consideration of his four terms and
    now represents Ward 8 in the City Council.

    He started doing well
    for the district but by his third term, power and drugs must have gone
    to his head. The District became a haven for drug gangs and established
    itself as the Murder Capital of the US. Barry, just like the District
    was sucked by the high of cocaine. On December 1988, after several
    months of FBI surveillance, Barry was caught and videotaped doing crack
    with girlfriend Rasheeda Moore in a DC hotel room. He was incarcerated
    in a Federal prison for six months and lost his run for a fourth term.

    He
    personified redemption when he ran and won as Mayor in 1994 for the 4th
    time and admonished his opponents to “get over it”. This term though
    was saddled with Financial crises resulting in the creation of the
    Financial Control Board by the US Congress thereby virtually making
    Barry a Mayor of no consequence. He declined to run for a fifth term.

    Sadly,
    his political life did not end there. He went back to Ward 8, his
    bailiwick, and was elected its Representative. And it thus looks, that
    he would be Ward 8’s representative for life.

    Then his mouth
    became bigger and his mind perhaps had liquified with all the drugs he
    had induced. Consider his recent pronouncements:

    “We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up
    businesses, those dirty shops. They ought to go, I’ll just say that
    right now, you know. But we need African-American businesspeople to be
    able to take their places, too.” April 3, 2012.

    “In fact, it’s so bad, that if you go to the hospital now, you find a
    number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines,”
    Barry said. “And no offense, but let’s grow our own teachers, let’s
    grow our own nurses — and so that we don’t have to be scrounging around
    in our community clinics and other kinds of places — having to hire
    people from somewhere else.” April 23, 2012.

    The main question in
    Barry’s pronouncements is the unstated: Is Washington, DC, the Capital
    of the United States, a nation built by immigrants, a nation whose
    citizens from all over the world made this country the greatest on the
    planet, belong solely to the black people that Barry represents? That
    any other person of different race does not deserve to do do business,
    get employed or simply exist in DC? Who died and made Barry king?
    Cocaine must give one that high.

    The American way has always been
    the search for excellence. He who is most qualified gets hired, the
    most talented wins, the hardest worker gets compensated. The Asians come
    in to do business and excel because they work hard. The Filipinos get
    employed because they are the best qualified. Competition is the key.
    Not some kind of protectionism nor black-for-black commerce. Will Marion
    Barry accept services from a nurse regardless of color who is
    unqualified?

    The tragedy of such statements especially coming
    from a public official, is the undue influence they would make on those
    whose minds tend to blame others for their misfortune. Those who always
    believe they deserve better and more just because of who they are and
    the color of their skin. They are the ignorant, the dumb, the arrogant,
    the misinformed, the free loader and especially the entitled. Public
    pronouncements like Barry’s tend to form the sympathizing citizen’s
    attitude. Hatred and bigotry exist because they are given a reason to
    exist. Hitler and Nazi Germany did not start with the extermination
    Camps. There were speeches first before the murders.

    Hopefully,
    the black citizenry of Washington, DC can distinguish bigotry regardless
    of what color it is coming from. Having such a history of
    discrimination and the bitter toll that accompanied emancipation and
    civil rights, each black person must not only sympathize with those who
    are discriminated, he must be their champion.  Barry and his cohorts,
    notwithstanding.

    dan,mel&jim
    “The greatest failure is that never attempted.”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZKME5EXCJMYKLDSCJNQ2SVKHV4 John

      How pathetic. Does voting a half monkey to the presidency make these people below this monkey??

      • AllaMo

        You are in the wrong here, john. Are you an african-american agitator in barry’s pay?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PNTIGXL3JZVKOJDRXXDYGGBUUY Jerry

    He’s frustrated but it’s too late now. Filipino nurses have no agenda. It’s just work and work that is why hospitals and health care facilities will prefer Filipino health worker. And where are the blacks or even whites, working at McDonalds. I’m not saying it’s not a noble job. It’s a decent job. But how can a single black mom who mostly depends from the government send her child to college and earn a degree in nursing? The good old days in America is over and those who did not prepare will suffer the most. Grow our nurses? That’s what the immigrants been doing. Not only nurses but doctors and lawyers. It’s the family stupid! You can’t grow nurses or teachers in a dysfunctional family.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZKME5EXCJMYKLDSCJNQ2SVKHV4 John

    Pathetic people. Have you considered that animal belongs to the human race???????????? What happened to you?  Is voting for a half monkey for president put you below that of a monkey? O by the way, that is how they treat you that they sent an gorilla and dressed him like an ambassador.

    • mutawa

      You are pathetic.  You are a bigot.  You cannot have a discussion without name calling and insults.  You need help. You got too much anger in you. That’s makes your brain shrink as of a roach!!!

    • AllaMo

      You are in the wrong here, john. Are you an african-american agitator in barry’s pay?

  • Hermes7254

    You know Marion you are “stupid black racist”…and sad to say that you will only be frustrated with your wishful thinking to grow your own nurses because inherently your people are not naturally endowed with intelligence like the Asians esp. Filipinos who always excel in any field of specialty. Come on !!!! get real here…instead of wishing to have more nurses why just don’t you include in your budget to expand and have more jailhouses, and centers for drug and prostitute rehabs as you have more of those in your country. Next time think twice before you utter any words from your lousy, dirty, thick lips mouth. This is only an unsolicited advice to you and should you need more I am willing to teach you more especially on topic like “tact and diplomacy” pro bono.

  • mfdo

    mijacogeo…

    “IF
    SO, if one of us from the Philippines say the same thing regarding the
    hiring of whatever professional to perform some of our available jobs,
    would it be similarly be a racist comment?In other words, if we have
    a shortage of nurses and we start hiring nurses from other countries,
    would it be racist for anybody to say that it would be best to train our
    local high school graduates to become nurses who will stay in our
    country?”
    Well said. While Filipinos flock overseas to make money, see how easy or next to impossible for a foreigner to get a work pass in Philippines .. since BI has the mandate of protecting jobs for Filipinos. So while we raid the coffers of every foreign country and make sure reverse doesn’t happen, any foreigner who feels intimidated by the invasion is simply – what was that ?? RACIST !!! One one .. Good one ..

     
    Walk the talk. All countries are abhoring unabated immigration and it is not their fault every filipino wants to get out .. considering the future at home

  • mfdo

    to all the keyboard warriors: Well, why not fix the problem at home so nobody need to go overseas or go begging for jobs or even do name calling of any foreigner who feels filipinos are invading their country ?

    Like create well paying jobs, get rid of corrupt politicians, get rid of oligarchs who control even a poor jeepney man’s life ?

    If local pay was good- who want to go overseas and pay the agents their sweat and blood ?

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