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DC Forces The Pug to Rename 'Marion Berry's Dirty Asian Summer Punch'

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Photo: @mikedebonis

Shockingly, it turns out to be a bad idea to satirize a racist statement by using the words "dirty Asian" in a drink name and illustrate that with a stereotypical drawing of an Asian person. The Washington Post's Mike DeBonis reports that The Pug has been forced to remove the "Marion Berry's Dirty Asian Summer Punch" from its menu after a receiving a letter and threat of action from the DC Office of Human Rights. The drink was also accompanied on a chalk board with a drawing "featuring an Asian caricature — bald, with slanted eyes and buck teeth. 'No tickee, no punchee,' the sign says."

The H Street bar's owner Tony Tomelden explains he named the drink as a rebuttal to former Mayor and current DC Council member Marion Barry and his recent comments about "these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops" in DC. But it turns out the sign is in violation of DC's Human Rights Act, which prohibits businesses from posting signs that indicate "an individual's patronage of, or presence at, a place of public accommodation is objectionable, unwelcome, unacceptable, or undesirable." Therefore, Tomelden "was given 72 hours to remove the 'Dirty Asian Summer Punch' sign, lest the agency pursue a 'formal charge' against him with the Commission on Human Rights."

In the end — and perhaps with the involvement of additional city inspectors threatening sanctions — the sign was erased and there will be no formal charges against the dive bar beneath Toki Underground. Per the bar's Facebook page, the drink is apparently now the Mayor For Life Punch — and the page also declaring: "Must be easier to go after a small business than a councilman."

· D.C. Orders 'Dirty Asian' Punch Off Bar's Menu [WaPo]
· Marion Barry widely rebuked for comments about Asian business owners [WaPo]
· All Coverage of The Pug [-EDC-]

The Pug

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