Former Atlanta mayor/congressman/U.N. ambassador Andrew Young hung around the apron of the state Capitol on Tuesday after endorsing former Gov. Roy Barnes.
The man who once served as top lieutenant to Dr. Martin Luther King was asked about the nasty legal fight for control of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Truth be told, Young sounded more than a little bit like the AJC’s Cynthia Tucker, who has argued that it’s past time to shut the organization down.
“I have said that the SCLC that I worked with was a movement. And that movement ended somewhere — a little after the early ’70s. Dr. King always resisted forming an organization and selling memberships.
“They are fighting over an organization. I didn’t have any interest in an organization when I was working for SCLC. I have an interest in a movement.
“If anybody is doing anything that is a movement, or the possibility of a movement, I would be glad to support it. But I’m not interested in organizations. None of them,” Young said. “Except the NAACP.”
There was also the matter of Young and the Democratic race for attorney general. Ken Hodges, the Dougherty County prosecutor, has claimed Young’s endorsement.
But the former Atlanta mayor has written a check to state Rep. Rob Teilhet of Smyrna.
“That’s where I am,” Young smiled. Between the two candidates, in other words.
Young said that Hodges came to him “to explain to me his difficulties” – resentment among African-Americans, some of whom blame him for the failure to prosecute a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black motorist in Columbus in 2003. ”
“I took a picture with him. But the picture that I took with him really was at Joe Lowery’s retirement. It didn’t constitute a formal endorsement.
“I didn’t know him very well, but I didn’t want to be against him. When I talked to Rob I realized that he had a good record also, and I have on number of occasions have supported more than one Democrat.”
All that said, the former Atlanta mayor said that Hodges shouldn’t be saddled with baggage from the Kenneth Walker incident.
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