August 18, 2006

Now ... Andrew Young?

Mel Gibson. George Allen. Now ... Andrew Young?

Young, who was a close associate of Martin Luther King Jr., former ambassador to the U.N. and former mayor of Atlanta, was hired to assist Wal-Mart to "improve its image." I'm sure the retail giant was thrilled by the following remarks uttered by Young in an interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel -- when he asked if Wal-Mart puts "mom and pop" stores out of business (my emphasis):

"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."

What makes this ... "worse" than Gibson's or Allen's remarks, in my opinion, is that Young is a major figure in the civil rights movement. OK, OK, so is (was) Jesse Jackson, but he lost much of his credibility long ago. Not so with Young. Unfortunately, now he's sounding too much like "Hymietown" Jackson, and even worse, "Freddie's Fashion Mart" Al Sharpton. But to Wal-Mart's most likely-obvious relief, Young has resigned from his position.

What the hell is it with folks like this who're in the public eye? Gibson at least had a semi-excuse in that he was inebriated (however minutely). What's George Allen's excuse? Young's? How stupid can you be?

"Kudos," for lack of a better term, to MSNBC for actually covering this. Why do I say that? Look at Gibson and Allen, first. They're conservatives and/or Republicans. Gibson's situation was covered everywhere ad nauseum. Allen's gaffe saw front page treatment in the Washington Post for two consecutive days. Young, on the other hand, is a liberal Democrat ... and a minority. That's why I was actually amazed MSNBC.com had the story as one of their "Top Stories." Wonder what other MSM outlets will say.

Posted by Felix at August 18, 2006 11:01 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

This is the kind of comment a lot of people would shrug their shoulders at but there is no excuse for it. Young is a liberal public figure who should be given the same, full brunt of press accountability that any conservative bigot would get....I expect there will be more news about this.

I worked for the University of Delaware Development Office through the tenures of four UD presidents in five years.

Trabant retired and in came Russel Jones. Jones went about making nice with local developers and bought up Newark city properties without giving the UD trustees a chance to weigh in, a big no no in Delaware. Jones ended up getting fired, not for the property/development issues but for making a statement that casually dismissed a prejudiced point of view as "normal".

He was fired after telling a group of black students that "when he was growing up in a PA coal-mining town, they did not have any blacks there to hate so they hated polish people".

The cruel assumption that blacks, poles, anyone different is a fair target for prejudice or stereotype may not have been his intended message but as UD president, he failed miserably as a leader. The trustees dumped Jones on the spot (I was not sure for which reason). Trabant filled back in and then Roselle was hired.

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