Young slams mom and pop stores
Why I just had drinks with Mel Gibson the
Wal-Mart Image-Builder Resigns
By MICHAEL BARBARO and STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Published: August 18, 2006
The civil rights leader Andrew Young, who was hired by Wal-Mart to improve its public image, resigned from that post last night after telling an African-American newspaper that Jewish, Arab and Korean shop owners had “ripped off” urban communities for years, “selling us stale bread, and bad meat and wilted vegetables.”
In the interview, published yesterday in The Los Angeles Sentinel, a weekly, Mr. Young said that Wal-Mart “should” displace mom-and-pop stores in urban neighborhoods.
“You see those are the people who have been overcharging us,” he said of the owners of the small stores, “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.”
Mr. Young, 74, a former mayor of Atlanta and a former United States representative to the United Nations, apologized for the comments and retracted them in an interview last night. Less than an hour later, he resigned as chairman of Working Families for Wal-Mart, a group created and financed by the company to trumpet its accomplishments.
“It’s against everything I ever thought in my life,” Mr. Young said. “It never should have been said. I was speaking in the context of Atlanta, and that does not work in New York or Los Angeles.”
His remarks drew forceful condemnation from Arab, Jewish and Asian leaders.
The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham H. Foxman, called the comments “very hurtful.”
“The sad part,” he said, is that “even people of color and even minorities who suffered discrimination and prejudice are not immune from being bigoted and racist and even anti-Semitic.”
In the six months that Mr. Young was under contract with the Wal-Mart-financed group, he traveled the country promoting the retailer, meeting with community groups and writing opinion pieces for local newspapers.
“I am more of a spokesman than the chairman of Wal-Mart,” he remarked, referring to his work on behalf of the company.
And that's a crock of shit on many levels.
Wal Mart has nowhere else to go. They need to expand into black and latino neihgborhoods, because there is no place for them to expand.
If he had bothered to visit New York, he would know that most of the supermarkets are owned by Dominicans, not Jews, not Arabs and not Koreans.
Wal Mart has often been accused of shitty produce and meat sales as well.
What he doesn't say is that blacks often own clothing and dry goods stores which would be affected as well.
In the mid-1990's Abyssinian Baptist Church, over the objections of Dominican supermarket owners, got backing for a Pathmark to be built on 125th Street. It is a thriving store, with union employees and fresh goods. That's the kind of public-private partnership which can happen, without union busting, crap selling Wal Mart.
Andy Young was a good corporate puppet for Slave Mart until he went a comment too far.
posted by Steve @ 8:05:00 AM