Sunday, August 20, 2006

Andrew Young's racist remarks

I must comment on this story before more time passes. Former mayor of Atlanta and also former ambassador Andrew Young got into hot water over some remarks he made that were perceived as racist. Here's an excerpt from the attached article:

"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."

Very interesting, eh? What's especially interesting is the uproar over other anti-Semitic remarks that Mel Gibson made about a couple of weeks ago. The difference between Young and Gibson is that Gibson was drunk at the time. What's Young's excuse, and why aren't they giving him an even harder time over his remarks than what they gave Gibson?

Understand that what Gibson said was indeed offensive, and he deserves the grief he got for saying them. But the man was drunk! Young made his statements while stone sober, so one can surmise that, since he said them while in possession of all his mental faculties, then he must really feel that way about Jews. Gibson, meanwhile, may indeed feel that way about Jews, but until he got drunk, he had the good sense to keep his anti-Semitic attitudes to himself.

So again, why isn't there an even greater uproar over Young's remarks? It's not because the media has a liberal bias; nor is it that they tend to frown upon public expressions of faith. Nah, they wouldn't do that, for it would be petty. It couldn't be that.

Added to this is that Young is a former ambassador, so such stupid, thoughtless comments are inexcusable. Ambassadors, like few other occupations, train to learn how to say the right thing at the right time, and even more importantly, they train to learn what NOT to say - and they train especially to not say those things at the wrong time. Political correctness, in other words, is their second language, and anti-Semitic (and other comments that he made) are definitely not in the "Ambassador's Handbook of Proper Speech and Behavior".

If Gibson deserved grief over his remarks even though he was drunk (and he DID deserve grief), then Young deserves even more grief for saying his offense comments while sober, and also because he happens to be a former ambassador. If the media is going to go after Gibson, then they should at least be consistent and go after Young as well with equal -and actually greater- gusto.

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