The Heat’s On Andrew Young

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[New York News]


New York City Council Member (42 District; Brooklyn) Charles Barron and other community leaders gathered outside City Hall today to demand an apology from Andrew Young for comments he made about Illinois senator and presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

“It is disgusting, disgraceful, and he should be ashamed of himself,” Barron said. “We are demanding a public apology to the Black community, Black women and to Barack Obama for those disgusting statements.”

Young, a former U.S. Congressman, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and mayor of Atlanta, Ga., said former president Bill Clinton is “every bit as Black as Barack.”

“He’s probably gone with more black women than Barack,” Young said before adding the disclaimer, “I’m clowning.” Young also said he wants Barack Obama to be president, but in 2016.

“It’s not a matter of being inexperienced, it is a matter of being young. I think if Maynard Jackson had waited another eight years, he probably would be alive today. If Bill Campbell had not rushed, he wouldn’t be in jail. There’s a certain level of maturity . . . You got to learn to take a certain amount of shit,” Young said, drawing cheers and applause from his audience. He further said that Obama lacks the adequate “protective network” around him which he needs to run the country if he were to be elected president.

“It’s like somebody saying they want to be the next Martin Luther King, I wouldn’t want to wish that on a friend of mine,” Young said, supporting his comment with numerous examples of atrocities King Jr. experienced as a result of a lack of a protective system.

Young made his comments in an appearance on “Newsmakers Live,” an urban media forum that interviews prominent Black figures in Atlanta. He was responding to a member of the audience who asked his opinion on “one word, ‘Barack Obama’”. Excerpts of the interview can be found on The Newsmakers Journal Web site (

Young’s comments, even with the disclaimer, enraged Barron, who also disagreed with statements Young made about Obama’s youth. Barron says the civil rights movement was spearheaded by a young Martin Luther King Jr., who must be “turning in his grave to hear one of his young disciples talk like that.”

“Martin Luther King was 26 years old when he led that movement. Andrew Young was young himself when he came into leadership,” Barron said. “I don’t know if it’s self-hatred, or whether he wants to go with somebody else, well go ahead, but don’t insult our community.”

Young’s office did not return calls from The Black Star seeking comment.

Viola Plummer, chief of staff to Councilman Barron, added: “This idea of Black women being so promiscuous that white men and Black men have their way with them doesn’t appear to be any different than all these lil’ rap folks calling Black women bitches and ho’s,” Plummer said. “Andrew Young is in that vein, that’s what he called us.”

Barron said the Black community should unite around Obama’s presidential campaign. “Black people should give the only Black man in the race a play because he’s Black,” Barron said. “But he’s not just Black, he’s intelligent, he’s experienced, he’s sharp, he can run the country, and those are the reasons why our community should support him.”

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