Friday, August 18, 2006

Andrew Young's controversial remarks

source: AOL news
Andrew Young Resigns From Wal-Mart Post

Civil rights leader Andrew Young, who was hired to help Wal-Mart Stores Inc. improve its public image, said early Friday he was resigning from his position as head of an outside support group amid criticism for remarks seen as racially offensive.

Young, a former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador, was hired by Working Families for Wal-Mart in February.


"Well, I think they should; they ran the 'mom and pop' stores out of my neighborhood," the paper quoted Young as saying. "But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us, selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs; very few black people own these stores."

Young, who has since apologized for the remarks, said he decided to end his involvement with Working Families for Wal-Mart after he started getting calls about the story.

I'm hardly up to commenting about this, but that doesn't mean I find it unworthy of commentary. I'm just tired. But anyway...

Basically, I can easily see how he might've been misquoted and/or misinterpreted. Heck, just the way the media printed the story (i.e. where they chose to end paragraphs) leads the reader to a certain interpretation. However, I believe there's "wiggle room" in there and that he may have meant that certain groups have been more likely to own the "mom and pop" stores than others.

But, as I said about the (former?) Mexican president's remarks about immigrants taking jobs that "even Blacks" don't want, if it's a misunderstanding, then it'd make a helluva lot of sense for the misunderstood person to, not only say "I was misunderstood," but to also say what he actually DID mean.

This story is still new, so hopefully Young will do just that. If not, though, it gives folks little reason to believe his tale about being misunderstood.

Sidenote: I was a kid living in Atlanta when Andrew Young was the mayor. I went to elementary school with his son, Bo Young (who definitely wouldn't remember me).

Basically, I've got a positive association with and impression of Andrew Young and am really hoping he clears this up, soon.


Jaimie said...

i didn't know about this story.

i don't really see anything wrong with what he said, except that he said it publicaly. he probably just said aloud what a lot of people are thinking anyway.

West said...

Jaimie, what do you think he meant by what he said?