|Norton Calls on Barry to Target Issues, Not Race|
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today called on D.C. Council member Marion Barry to cease the time dishonored pattern he seems to be adopting of targeting racial groups to call attention to issues. She said that Barry owed an apology to the Filipino nurses in particular, who do not deserve to be insulted for helping fill an indispensable health care need in a profession that we in this country have neglected. “The UDC School of Nursing is doing its job, but we have not done ours,” Norton said. “We have not prepared a child who wants to grow up to be a nurse with the quality of education she or he must have to study nursing.”
The Congresswoman reminded Barry, whom she first met during the civil rights movement, that racial rhetoric surrounding such issues does a particular disservice beyond the offense to the group that is singled out. Racially cloaked language deflects attention from the underlying issues of concern. Such language also carries special danger when it comes from elected officials to whom people look for guidance and remedies, and as African-Americans have learned over hundreds of years, can lead to racial scapegoating. Norton called Barry, but wasn’t able to reach him by phone.
Published: April 26, 2012