UN Ambassador turned Wal-Mart PR flak stumbles with diplomacy

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest