From the Cox News Service:
WASHINGTON - Andrew Young, the former United Nations ambassador and mayor of Atlanta, said Thursday he has resigned as head of Working Families for Wal-Mart, a Washington-based group that supports the retail giant.
His resignation followed the publication of comments he made to a reporter about Jewish-, Asian- and Arab-owned businesses that shut down when Wal-Mart stores open in African-American neighborhoods.
``I recently made some comments about former store owners in my neighborhood that were completely and utterly inappropriate. ?Those comments run contrary to everything I have dedicated my life to,'' Young said in a statement.
``I apologize for those comments. I retract those comments. And I ask for the forgiveness of those I have offended.''
Young said his comments ``run contrary to everything that Wal-Mart is and means to communities.''
In an interview published in Thursday's Los Angeles Sentinel, Young was asked to comment on whether he is concerned that Wal-Mart causes mom-and-pop stores to close.
``Well, I think they should; they ran the 'mom and pop' stores out of my neighborhood,'' the Sentinel, a newspaper serving the African-American community, reported. ``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.''
Working Families for Wal-Mart is a group that defends Wal-Mart's business practices. Young became its chairman in February. Many civil rights leaders have criticized him for supporting a company that they say underpays workers.