Delegate Mark Keam - Virginia's 35th House District

Delegate Mark Keam Decries Racist Remarks by Councilman Barry


Fri., Apr. 6, 2012

Contact: Julia Kim
(703) 350-3911

Delegate Mark Keam Decries Racist Remarks by Councilman Barry

~Keam issues public response in Wash. Post blog~

VIENNA, VA — Delegate Mark Keam (D-Fairfax) expressed outrage at the racist comments made by D.C. Councilman Marion Barry on Tuesday, Apr. 3, and concerns about race relations between Asian and African Americans.

Barry made the following remarks, on the record and captured on video, at his Democratic primary victory event:

"We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops. They ought to go. I'm going to say that right now. But we need African American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too."

When the news broke about this incendiary statement, the public reacted with condemnation.
Late this afternoon, Mr. Barry issued what appear to be a conditional apology as well as further elaboration on his views through several tweets from his Twitter account.

Keam's response to Mr. Barry's inflammatory remarks and subsequent comments were published today in Washington Post journalist Mike DeBonis' blog (


Mark L. Keam (, @MarkKeam) is serving his second term in the Virginia House of Delegates. In 2010, Delegate Keam became the first Korean American and the first Asian-born immigrant elected to serve in the oldest continuous legislative body in the modern world. He is also a commissioner on the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission on the American Civil War.

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