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Statement by Ambassador Andrew Young

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."