“I goofed,” former Mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young, has now said of recent racial remarks he made in an interview about Wal-Mart. He was defending the giant retailer against the accusation – that never seems to go away – that Wal-Mart “invades” urban neighbourhoods, driving out “Mom and Pop” shops.

Here’s what Young actually said:

“Well, I think they should; they ran the ‘Mom and Pop’ stores out of my neighborhood, … But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they’ve ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it’s Arabs; very few black people own these stores.”

But don’t accuse Young now of apologizing. All he said was something to the effect that he shouldn’t “lose his cool,” which apparently involved confusing something he called “complex social issues” with simple ethnic diversity.

So that’s what happened to Mel Gibson. His recent drunk-driving rant was just a confusion of Jewish diversity with “complex ethno-social commentary.”

What a mother lode of a load!

Some background in some old black-Jewish social history might help y’all here.

Consider this old one. The Good Lord Himself, in a rare good mood, once asked three guys what, above all else, they desired in life. There was your basic white guy, a black guy, and a Jewish fellow. The white guy asked for piles of dough. The black man: ditto. Then came the Jewish guy. He asked for a bucket of cheap jewelry, and – here it comes – “the address of that little black fellow.”

I first heard that one in the ’70s, living in the black ghetto and doing graduate work at a black college back East, Stateside. And even back then the joke was old. And blacks did relay it as a joke. It goes deep into black perceptions of Jewish store owners, particularly in the ghetto, dating all the way back to the Depression and segregation.

The joke came up in response to questions I posed about black storeowners in the ghetto where I lived. There was not a single one. In fact, the only such owner I remember was a Vietnamese woman, one of the “boat people,” as they called such refugees back then.

Years later, from Los Angeles to New York, tensions exploded between blacks and Asian storeowners in the ghetto. A black girl was shot dead by a Korean woman storeowner in L.A. Blacks organized boycotts of Asian stores in Harlem, the famed black section of New York. A black Economics schoolteacher led a school trip to try to break the boycott.

So there you have your “complex social issues”; a pained and painful social history that Andrew Young so shamelessly mined with his remark. It is in terms of such disturbing details that we must analyze what he said. This is what Andrew Young has stirred up.

Makes ol’ Mel sound like a mere sound-off, eh? Yet look who immediately rebounded – and who still has not. 

But that’s the mainstream media difference between a white, Christian Conservative and that life-long race-baiting specialist in ethnic extortion. I already said that Mel will be condemned to produce blood-soaked docu-dramas about what happens to women when Christian influence leads us to question abortion-on-demand. If Mel even balks at the idea of such “new directions” he will be subjected to liberal howls from sea to shining sea.

The loon-left will yell: “Mel’s continued intolerance!” “Mel’s unremitting bigotry!” “The Passion of The Man who could not be rehabilitated from Conservative Neanderthalism Syndrome”!

So Mel will call the abortion – oh, excuse me – the “womb-cleansing” dramas, “The Passion of The Womb”; next, “The Passion of The Wombly Condemned”; then last in the trilogy, “The Passion of The Wombless Self-Righteous.”

Andrew Young will suffer no such fate. Over the past few days since his “goof,” all media have repeatedly reminded us of Young’s credentials as a veteran of “The Movement.” The Civil Rights era. Translation: “You better not treat an Apostle of the Oldest old Left like some right-wing drunk.”

So all that will happen is that Young will be forgiven for his – er – “goof.”

That is why, though Mel apologized instantly and unequivocally, he has nothing to show for it. The good Reverund on the other hand is entangled in a Clintonian elaboration of exactly what it is that he supposedly seemed to apologize for. In fact, Young flat-out said it was the jumbling of ethnic reference with, again, “complex social issues,” that was the problem. In other words, he apologized for a mix-up in language. In other words, he apologized for exactly nothing at all.

Sure, Young had to “quit” his cushy job as Chairman of lobby group, Working Families for Wal-Mart. He’s had to quit before. In 1979 he left his post as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations on having a secret, illegal (by U.S. statute at the time) rendezvous with Middle East terrorists (the PLO, Palestinian Liberation Organization).

That didn’t stop Young. The very next year he assessed Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign for President in these chilling terms: “it’s going to be all right to kill niggers when he’s President.”

The very next year he became Mayor of Atlanta. Quite some reward for such a run at unspeakable speech.

Then there’s Mel. Still sealed off in face-saving obligatory rehab. But my “sources” assure me he’s adapting just fine to those “New Age Deconstuctivist Script Re-education Lessons in Dialectically Advanced Abortionistic Articulations.” Mark my unwritable words. You oughta know by now that I’m quite the Wordlord myself!