Thursday, April 2, 2015

Andrew Young Shares His Thoughts and Civil Rights Experiences

Andrew Young Shares His Thoughts and Civil Rights Experiences:

Andrew Young Shares His Thoughts and Civil Rights Experiences



Andrew Young, Jr., former ambassador, civil rights activist, and mayor of Atlanta, spoke to the members of Sacramento's IndiviZible on March 25 in Oak Park. Young was a close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (OBSERVER photo by Robert Maryland)
Andrew Young, Jr., former ambassador, civil rights activist, and mayor of Atlanta, spoke to the members of Sacramento’s IndiviZible on March 25 in Oak Park. Young was a close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(OBSERVER photo by Robert Maryland)


 OAK PARK — Civil rights icon Andrew Jackson Young Jr. has experienced and accomplished many, many things in his lifetime. While he was a close confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Young practically learned the social mentally of America — and he’s not afraid to talk about the good and the bad side of it.

Before Young went on stage early this week in front of members of Sacramento’s IndiviZible group at the Guild Theatre in Oak Park, he engaged in a discussion about the disturbing issues that have emerged in Ferguson, Mo., the Department of Justice report about the city’s police practices, and the killings of unarmed Black men.
Young lamented that these occurrences are disturbing, but in the same regard, the African American community needs to realize that “White supremacy is a sickness,” and having ill-will toward it can create more problems, he said. Black people need to control their behavior, too, he hastened to add.
“In the first place, you need to know that you’re still Black,” Young said in an exclusive interview with The OBSERVER. “This is nothing new. You can go about acting like you’re free and talking like you’re big and bad. But it won’t get you anywhere,” he said.
In the 1960s, when Young was entrenched in the civil rights movement, the practice was non-violence no matter what the situations or conditions were, Young said. Black men who find themselves in any of these positions today must learn how to prevent a fatal outcome.
“You don’t overcome sickness by being sick yourself,” Young said during the interview at Underground Books. “You have to let them know that you are not like them, you are so confident that you are sure of who you are, and let them know you’re God’s child. They are the ones with the problem. Don’t let that get you upset,” he stated.
Young also shared that he dealt with the police all over Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida during the civil rights movement “and never got shot.” Unlike others during the movement, Young did not endure continuous, physical confrontations.
“I only got beat up once,” Young said. “But all I am saying is that if you’re unarmed and have a big-bad mouth you’re liable to get shot. You might as well face that. I knew at four years old that if I was going to survive in New Orleans, Louisiana, I had to be a gentleman, be polite, show myself self-respect, and I had to show my enemies self-respect,” he suggested.
The killing of unarmed Black men concerns Young, though he shared his thoughts about the underlying matters that also plagued Black and White communities.
Young said the real problems have nothing to do with race.
“The thing that worries me more than that (the death of unarmed Black men) is that 93 percent of the Black men killed are killed by other Black men,” Young said. “That’s self hatred. Also, I think, about 86 percent of the White men killed are killed by other White men. So we don’t have a race problem. We have a violence problem. Sometimes we make a mistake when we put everything in racial terms,” he continued.
Born on March 12, 1932, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Young became active in the civil rights Movement, working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Young was with Dr. King when he was slain on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.
In 1972, he was elected to the House of Representatives. Young was the first African American to represent Georgia in Congress since Reconstruction. In his time as a Congressman, he supported programs for the poor, educational initiatives and human rights.
Young left his seat in Congress to take the position to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the Jimmy Carter administration.
In 1979, Young had to resign his ambassadorship and was elected as Atlanta’s mayor in 1981.
Young was successful in a campaign for Atlanta to host the Olympic Games in 1996.
Before Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson introduced Young at the IndiviZible meeting, he reminded 400-plus members of what one of Young’s roles were while traveling with Dr. King during an intense period of the civil rights movement.
“If you look at all photos back then when Dr. King was marching, you’ll see Andrew Young in the Andrew Young Shares His Thoughts and Civil Rights Experiences:

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