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Nothing like a health scare to help change someone’s mind. After suffering a blood clot in Las Vegas this week while traveling with a District delegation to a retail conference, former mayor-for-life Marion Barry tweeted that he’s okay, and that he’s been getting excellent care from Filipino hospital staff.
I also thank outstanding medical staff, incl. kind professional Filipino staff. I stand corrected; I truly didn’t mean 2 hurt or offend.
— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) May 21, 2012
This, of course, is in the wake of Barry getting called out for complaining about Filipino nurses. If you’ll recall, back in April, Barry said during a D.C. Council hearing:
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. 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.
Considering this was just weeks after Barry chastised “dirty” Asian businesses, it unsurprisingly didn’t go over that well. Barry initially refused to backtrack, instead blaming the media for taking his remarks out of context. But after a few weeks of of silence, he had a quiet meeting last week with a coalition of Asian-American and Pacific Islander groups who’d launched a campaign insisting that he “say sorry.”
Barry “opened up and did the typical thing that he does—he goes over his credentials,” says a source who attended the meeting but asked not to be identified. “He actually said, ‘I have an impeccable civil rights history,’ which is true.”
At the meeting Barry “gave a genuine apology” and agreed to hold a press conference at noon tomorrow with David Chung, the commissioner of the Office on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs (an office Barry created during his mayoralty) and others at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery