FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
CONTACT: Julie D. Soo / (415) 538-4429 or Les Jin / (202) 775-9555
NATIONAL ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN ATTORNEYS DISTURBED BY
ANDREW YOUNG’S OFFENSIVE RACIAL COMMENTS
Washington, D.C. – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), representing the interests of over 40,000 Asian Pacific American attorneys, today announced its disappointment at long-time civil rights leader, former Atlanta mayor, and former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young for his disparaging and offensive comments about Jews, Koreans, and Arabs. NAPABA believes that Young’s decision to step down as the head of Working Families for Wal-Mart is a first step in appropriate corrective action.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel, the largest paid African-American newspaper in the West, 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 groceries, “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.”
NAPABA President Amy Lin Meyerson said that her organization is appalled.
“I am shocked that a man of Andrew Young’s background and stature, who has spent a lifetime fighting prejudice and bigotry against African Americans, could harbor that very same prejudice and bigotry against other ethnic minorities,” said Lin Meyerson. “NAPABA strives to work with other civil rights organizations to eliminate racial and ethnic stereotypes. It is not constructive for such distinguished leaders and advocates to make such insensitive remarks.”
NAPABA is hopeful that its efforts to eradicate prejudice will send a strong message to those who disparage Asian Pacific Americans. NAPABA is always willing to engage in a constructive dialogue with all groups to fight intolerance and bias. To that end, NAPABA welcomes the opportunity to meet with Mr. Young to discuss more constructive means to address concerns and foster greater understanding.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents over 40,000 attorneys and 47 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.