City Desk

D.C. Human Rights Office Gets “Dirty Asian Summer Punch” Out of H Street Bar

Inspired by a victory-drunk Marion Barry promising to boot "dirty shops" run by Asian-Americans out of his ward in April, H Street bar The Pug has been serving a "Dirty Asian Summer Punch." Until now.

After Post reporter Mike DeBonis tweeted a picture of the sign advertising the drink, the District's Office of Human Rights sent bar owner Tony Tomelden a letter calling the sign "racially offensive." Facing a formal complaint, Tomelden agreed that the sign would be erased.

So what's on the controversial sign? DeBonis explains:

Drawn on a chalkboard behind the bar was an advertisement for the punch featuring an Asian caricature — bald, with slanted eyes and buck teeth. “No tickee, no punchee,” the sign says.

Oof. Whatever your thoughts on Barry's comments, that sign's hard to defend.

Photo by Flickr user used under a Creative Commons license

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  • IMGoph

    hard to defend taste-wise, but what happened to freedom of expression?

    "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."


  • Missing the Point

    IMGoph is totally right. Offensive speech is the most important speech to protect.

  • Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich

    This is offensive, however, I support free of speech. D.C. is the land of liberism and political correctness.

  • Alum

    Hang in there, Tony T! A fellow escapee from A&C!

  • lovessoldier

    Really? This is how far we've come? One thing to have a drink, but then to add a cartoon with offensive language from a bubble. I don't think that is free speech I think it is OFFENSIVE. Yeah we are sooooo liberal that we have team named REDSKINS that was started by a known racist. Yet we have done nothing to change its name. The Bullets thought to be too violent got a name change, the Redskins (even though they have faced MULTIPLE lawsuits and can not even profit off of the merchandise sold) have not even polled the fans to see if we would like to change the name.

    Had it been picture of a Jewish man picking up a line of pennies over and advertisement for a drink entitled Cheap Bastard, I bet that would have been offensive to more. This city is going to....

  • Jeni

    Wow. Ridiculously offensive.

  • Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich

    I bet the ACLU will not defend this business owner. The Washington Post has over 210 comments on this news story.

  • Sally

    Wow. I didn't realize city paper readers had such a huge stick up their ass. Did any of these people comment on how offensive it was when that Moron Marion said those things? I bet not. Bigger picture people!!! How os this racist bigot crackhead voted in year after year after year?! Maybe city paper should do something useful and look into that. But that would be real news reporting and all their bobble head readers would be really confused. Guess why any idiot can voice their opinion on stupid platforms like this? First amendment. Get rid of all of these comment sections, get rid of yelp, get rid of anything where anyone can voice an opinion about anything of this guy has to change his drink name or get threatened. You're all a bunch of short sighted hypocrites including the dumbass that wrote this lame piece.

  • elizqueenmama

    I'm with IMGoph here.

    I would actually go even farther though. Sure it wasn't overly tasteful out of context. But there was a very specific context in which this sign was put together. Marion Barry made idiotic comments, and this was a clever response.

  • Brooklandrocks

    Read the article in the post people. The business owner IS PART ASIAN HIMSELF. You all are missing the point.

  • Typical DC BS

    Typical DC political correctness on display! Wish the owner had just said "too bad" and dared the DC Office of Human Rights to do something. They'd be laughed out of court so fast it would make your head spin.
    If this is the type of action the DC Office of Human Rights takes, maybe that office needs to be disbanded.

  • SW

    @Sally: Were you even reading that comments section? I and a lot of other commenters expressed offense at what Marion Barry said. Why he keeps getting reelected is beyond me.

    I agree that what he said was worse than a bar making fun of it -- but yeah, that cartoon was way tasteless.