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Marion Barry insults Polish people calling them "Polacks"


MediaWatch 10 | 945
25 May 2012 #1
Ex-Washington DC mayor Marion Barry put his foot in his mouth again. While apologizing for insulting Asians, he calls Polish people "Polacks".

It appears Barry said this more out of ignorance than maliciousness. He doesn't seem too sophisticated.

Marion Barry:

"America has had racial tensions from the time it was founded and immigrants came. The Italians caught hell. The Irish caught hell. The Jews caught hell. Polacks caught hell. Chinese caught hell. Asians caught hell. That didn't start yesterday. It started some time back," he said, as leaders of Asian-American and Filipino nurses' groups stood beside him at the podium.

wmal.com/Article.asp?id=2463107

wtop.com//109/2878890/Marion-Barry-I-misspoke-when-I-said-Polacks

washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/post/marion-barrys-offensive-apology/2012/05/25/gJQAcNKPpU_blog.html

freebeacon.com/barry-uses-ethnic-slur-after-apology-meeting-with-asian-americans/
jon357 63 | 15,569
26 May 2012 #2
Don't be so silly
jasondmzk
26 May 2012 #3
It appears Barry said this more out of ignorance than maliciousness. He doesn't seem too sophisticated

Then what's the purpose of your post? Most people woulda said "sheesh, whatta jerk", and moved on. This needed four supporting links?
patrick 6 | 113
26 May 2012 #4
Ojejku somebody is offended by calling Poles "Polaks". Isn't this what they call each other anyway? By the way, I've met some people who are offended by being called "Jews". They prefer Jewish.
NorthMancPolak 4 | 648
26 May 2012 #5
Ojejku somebody is offended by calling Poles "Polaks". Isn't this what they call each other anyway?

No, we call each other "Polacy".

It's like saying Pakis instead of Pakistanis.
Lenka 3 | 2,194
26 May 2012 #6
Oh,give it a break.MediaWatch is absolutely oversensitive.He is always looking for someone who insults Poland or "Polacks":D
OP MediaWatch 10 | 945
26 May 2012 #7
Hey pal relax.

I didn't create this story.

I'm just reporting on what's in the media about Polish people.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
26 May 2012 #8
Just callus Polish not Polack. It's like someone using the n word. You think he would be sensitive to that.
Lenka 3 | 2,194
26 May 2012 #9
Hey pal relax.

I didn't create this story.

Of course you didin't but it's clear to me that he used word "Polacks" with no intention to offend so what's the big deal?Btw the word Polacks is clearly from word Polak so I don't know what the problem is.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
26 May 2012 #10
Just callus Polish not Polack. It's like someone using the n word. You think he would be sensitive to that.

I'm gonna give the ex-mayor a pass and this is why. In my neck of the woods the Poles have co-opted the "p-word" similar to blacks using the n-word. I hear it all the time. Staś asks his black friend "where is that polak Jaś". They call each other "dumb polak", so on and so forth. Unless told otherwise, as our african american brothers have done, non-Poles will assume it's ok and cool to use the offensive word......just a thought
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
26 May 2012 #11
Marion Barry insults Polish people calling them "Polacks"

I've said it before on the forum many Latinos or Blacks don't know that the word Polack is offensive. They hear it said and think it simply means a Polish person. Besides who cares, Marion Barry is a ex crackhead with holes in his brain.

youtube.com/watch?v=mTMif8cGlcE
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
26 May 2012 #12
I'm gonna give the ex-mayor a pass and this is why. In my neck of the woods the Poles have co-opted the "p-word" similar to blacks using the n-word. I hear it all the time. Staś asks his black friend "where is that polak Jaś"

Using Your own logic it's fine for me to say "I don't care what that dope head N***** has to say" then,is it? Don't know much about your neck of the woods but I can't imagine that there's a heck of a lot of Poles living in the redneck country.

I've said it before on the forum many Latinos or Blacks don't know that the word Polack is offensive

BS, are you saying they lack the basic knowledge on the very issue they themselves struggle with on daily basis even now in the US.

Then what's the purpose of your post? Most people woulda said "sheesh, whatta jerk", and moved on.

Oy vey!, should I use another example to better illustrate this point to you? Funny how this "sheesh, whatta jerk" attitude is missing every time the Jewish issues are raised, they are always described as anti-Semitic in nature by You. Now that's being a jerk!
teflcat 5 | 1,032
26 May 2012 #13
youtube.com/watch?v=SOnkv76rNL4

would be far more courteous if you posted a few lines about the link instead of just posting a web address
nunczka 8 | 458
26 May 2012 #14
Why is everyone so critical of the OP? I see nothing wrong with his post. Here is another liberal nut making fun of the Polish Dyngus holiday.. He has since apologized,after the American Polonia complained.

thefw.com/anderson-cooper-dyngus-day/
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
26 May 2012 #15
BS, are you saying they lack the basic knowledge on the very issue they themselves struggle with on daily basis even now in the US.

It happened twice. Once in New York I was chating with some Latinos and asked if they're Mexican one answered 'my friend's here are Mexican I'm Puerto Rican' I told him I'm from Poland he says' ohh ok Polack' I told him it's offensive like using the N word he says 'ohh I didn't know.' Another time also a Puerto Rican but here in Philly said 'my friend Tomek is a Polack' I explained it again he replied 'so how do you calls yourselves, Polish?? I replied yes. People who live in their own little ethnic communities don't really know.
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
26 May 2012 #16
Once in New York I was chating with some Latinos and asked if they're Mexican one answered 'my friend's here are Mexican I'm Puerto Rican'

There's your answer, little sarcasm for your ignorance, I would do the same if I was the Puerto Rican', well deserved insult for a stupid statement too yet you still don't see the difference.
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
26 May 2012 #17
There's your answer, little sarcasm for your ignorance, I would do the same if I was the Puerto Rican',

I think you mean his ignorance.. he wasn't being sarcastic silly, he looked shocked and worried that I might say something to him about using it. Do you even live in the States?
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
26 May 2012 #18
Every single one of the ethnic groups Barry mentions has slurs associated with it, yet he went with "Polack" alone. He could have just as easily said "Polish," since he used "Italian," "Jew," "Irish." That's a noteworthy insult to Poles everywhere!
OP MediaWatch 10 | 945
27 May 2012 #19
Of course you didin't but it's clear to me that he used word "Polacks" with no intention to offend so what's the big deal?

Well this story was all over the news, so evidently many Poles and non-Poles felt it was newsworthy and a big deal.

Btw the word Polacks is clearly from word Polak so I don't know what the problem is

Yes English language word "Polack" is from the Polish word "polak" and "Polack" has a harder sounding P and K sound which was used in a derogatory context during the 1960's and 70's TV shows where Polish people were slurred. It was part of that anti-Polish TV era of "Dumb Polack Jokes" which were meant to insult Polish people.

I'm gonna give the ex-mayor a pass and this is why. In my neck of the woods the Poles have co-opted the "p-word" similar to blacks using the n-word. I hear it all the time. Staś asks his black friend "where is that polak Jaś". They call each other "dumb polak", so on and so forth.

Well like I said in my first post, I give Marion Barry a pass as far as him saying the P-word maliciously. Its clear he was not saying the P-word to malign Poles. Ironically, he was using the word to sympathize with Polish people "catching hell" in the US.....which he is right about. His P-word comment was more said out of ignorance then anything else. But the story was newsworthy because most Poles and non-Poles thought an ex-mayor of Washington DC would know better than to use that word.

As for those unsophisticated Poles who use the P-word and parrot other Hollywood anti-Polish media messages like "dumb Polack" in an attempt to "co-opt them", that's no better than those Italians calling each other dumb waps or Jews calling each other hooked nosed Kikes or Blacks calling each other Niggers.

Is it so wrong for decent people to critique the crude language of others to raise the level of conversation? Or should we all just settle for crude unsophisticated language?

. Unless told otherwise, as our african american brothers have done, non-Poles will assume it's ok and cool to use the offensive word......just a thougt

Yes......that's the point.

I've said it before on the forum many Latinos or Blacks don't know that the word Polack is offensive. They hear it said and think it simply means a Polish person. Besides who cares, Marion Barry is a ex crackhead with holes in his brain.

To your point, I have also heard white people say the P-word in a degrading way about Polish people, but I have ALSO heard white people and non-white people say it in a neutral way about Polish people.

But there are also people out there who use words like wop for Italians, Kike for jews, Nigger for Blacks in a non-deragatory way because they don't know better. Now MOST people know better then to use these terms for these groups because these groups have been vocal in the past, speaking out against these ethnic slurs about them.
Meathead 5 | 470
27 May 2012 #20
This has got to be one of the most absurd topics on this forum.

Oh no, another thread trying to determine if "polack" is an insult or not.
patrick 6 | 113
27 May 2012 #21
As you wish you dumb mutt yank, wonder why so many of you have a problem with that whenever I use it.

After living 13 years abroad, nobody has ever once said something like this to my face, although I know they think it. Trust me, we know a lot of you don't like us. The Internet gives people this fall sense of 'guts'. Maybe you're the one guy who would do this, but I have a feeling you're not.
p3undone 8 | 1,135
27 May 2012 #22
ShortHairThug and Patrick,I moved both of your posts.I don't want any one crying favoritism,ShortHairThug,I'm not going to show quotes as

both Know what was said.This is an interesting thread and has been pretty clean thus far,lets keep it that way,what do you say?
patrick 6 | 113
27 May 2012 #23
To quote my Saudi students, "No problem".
jasondmzk
27 May 2012 #24
The funniest thing about this is that Marion Barry is a disgraced former mayor who was caught on tape smoking crack cocaine with a prostitute. And that was just the START. I think having him say anything is the biggest endorsement against repeating that thing there could be. Let him keep talking!
patrick 6 | 113
27 May 2012 #26
It just seemed befitting that with the word [i]insult[i] in the title of this thread, that a few may be tossed around.
p3undone 8 | 1,135
27 May 2012 #27
Patrick,I know,I'm just trying to keep it civil.
patrick 6 | 113
27 May 2012 #28
Okay enough of the jokes. Yes you are doing your job.
OP MediaWatch 10 | 945
28 May 2012 #29
The funniest thing about this is that Marion Barry is a disgraced former mayor who was caught on tape smoking crack cocaine with a prostitute. And that was just the START. I think having him say anything is the biggest endorsement against repeating that thing there could be. Let him keep talking!

You have an interesting point.
Jimmu 2 | 157
5 Jun 2012 #30
The only Poles I know who might be insulted if I called them a Polak are the women. They prefer Polka.


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