UN Ambassador turned Wal-Mart PR flak stumbles with diplomacy
Andrew Young, ex-mayor of Atlanta and former United Nations Ambassador, resigned last night from his post at Wal-Mart. Brought in 6 months ago to improve the retail giant's image, this civil rights icon has lost his way. In response to the superstore's displacement of mom-and-pop shops in Atlanta, Young told the Los Angeles Sentinel:
Those are the people who have been overcharging us…I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs.
Certainly a blow to Wal-Mart's image and its already dwindling profits, down 26% in the second fiscal quarter, Young's commentary could bode well for the Democrats' new campaign against the company. Some have reservations—do the Democrats really want to paint themselves as anti-business? But Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) put it this way:
It's not anti-business…Wal-Mart has become emblematic of the anxiety around the country, and the middle-class squeeze.
We can now add ethnic slandering to that happy-faced emblem.