ATLANTA-"I recently made some comments about former storeowners in my neighborhood that were completely and utterly inappropriate. Those comments run contrary to everything I have dedicated my life to. I apologize for those comments. I retract those comments. And I ask for the forgiveness of those I have offended.
"Let me make it very clear: My comments also run contrary to everything that Wal-Mart is and means to communities. Wal-Mart has provided more opportunity to more people from diverse backgrounds than any company in existence today. My comments in no way reflect on Wal-Mart’s record, progress or role as a diverse employer and community citizen.
"I took on the position of chairman of Working Families for Wal-Mart
because I believe so strongly in the good that Wal-Mart does to lift up
the lives of the working poor. The last thing I would want to do would
be to distract from that good. Therefore, effective immediately, I am
resigning the chairmanship of Working Families for Wal-Mart.
"I wish to thank the tens of thousands of members of Working Families for Wal-Mart for their support of the organization. I also wish to thank the many leaders who have joined our steering committees for their hard work and devotion. I urge them to continue to speak out and stay active. The good that Wal-Mart does for America’s working families is worth fighting for."