Teachers’ Union Pulls Amos Support over Youtube Videos
(APN) ATLANTA — The Georgia Federation of Teachers withdrew the support of Byron Amos, one of the two candidates who they were supporting in the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education District 2 Special Election, after learning that Amos appeared in several controversial videos on Youtube related to UGK Records.
As previously reported by Atlanta Progressive News, Amos is both a long-time community organizer and concerned parent, as well as a rap promoter and executive in the rap industry.
In APN’s interview last week with Amos, he said, “my involvement started as a favor to a friend, Chad Butler. I do paperwork for the company and security. It has allowed me to see the other side of the entertainment industry, that is able to help with education.”
“It has allowed me to create change from within, to get in front of our kids, when they’re listening to a lot of videos and music,” Amos said.
“It actually allowed me to be freer to do so [be a community organizer]. I found better ways to relate to students and the community,” Amos said.
GFT first announced their support of Amos and Angela Brown in an email sent the morning of September 07, 2011, to all the candidates.
“We are excited and hopeful as to the wonderful candidates whom are seeking District 2 office for the Atlanta Board of Education. Our decision was not easy. We are confident that we can work with any of the candidates and whom should prevail. However, we had a choice to stay out of the race, to endorse or to support,” Mike Axon, Chair of the Screening Committee, wrote.
“As per the recommendations of the Screening Committee etc., the AFT has decided to split its’ [sic] support between two candidates, Mr. Byron Amos and Ms. Angela Brown. Hopefully the city will be able to complete this election without a run-off. Our best to all candidates,” Axon wrote.
However, WSBTV Channel 2 news aired a report the evening of September 07, regarding several videos featuring Amos on Youtube.
According to one video obtained by Atlanta Progressive News, showing a UGK Records Weekend Takeover of Birmingham, Alabama, on September 04, 2010, Amos appeared with several UGK rappers, who spewed copious profanity, amidst gratuitous female booty-shaking as well as drug references.
“First and foremost, RIP to the Pimp,” Amos says, referring to Pimp C, or Chad Butler.
When introducing several of the artists on the UGK label, Amos referred to them as, “My n*gger, Boonie Locc, my n*gger, Herb, and my n*gger, Big Bubb… My homeboy, Herb, holdin’ it down. His name speak for itself, you know what I’m talking about?”
“So if you rapping about that street sh*t, and you ain’t really out here in the streets, hey man, f*ck you in your ass and you need to catch AIDS in your eyeball, man, cause you watching too hard and you off your accord,” Big Bubb added.
“Smoke some, bitch,” Tony Snow, a manager for UGK, said.
“We will be doing that in the club, smoke some, bitch, we gonna be elevatin’,” Big Bubb said.
“I did not post these, and I thank you for bringing these to my attention,” Amos told Channel 2 when showed this and other videos.
Then, on September 08, CBS 46 did a story about the Amos videos. On September 09, CBS 46 showed the videos to members of the GFT, who immediately withdrew their support.
“Mr. Amos stood out as the only candidate with children in the race, and he has been very actively engaged,” Verdallia Turner of AFT told CBS, adding AFT was not aware of Amos’s career in the rap business until that day.
Turner said she wanted to know, “Why didn’t he tell us about the record company? And what does he consider acceptable and unacceptable for our children?… We certainly don’t want to send a message to children that we’re condoning certain lifestyles.”
“Mr. Amos has every right to engage in any business enterprise of any legal nature that he so chooses to invest his time, talent, and resources,” candidate Dwanda Farmer said. “If the voters disagree with what he does for a living, that’s for the voters to decide.”
Candidate Donald Walker issued the following press release in regards to Amos: “As we struggle to restore confidence and trust in the Atlanta Board of Education for our children, parents and the community, I am appalled to hear of the latest denigration of women by Candidate Byron Amos.”
“His negative portrayal of women on Face Book is just another case which shows his lack of respect for women and brings into question whether he is qualified to represent you as a candidate for the Atlanta Board of Education. This is not the role model that our children need or deserve. In addition, it clearly suggests that this candidate is not right for District 2, and certainly not right for the City of Atlanta. For this reason, I believe that Mr. Amos should voluntarily remove himself from the election today!”
APN attempted to reach Amos several times by phone since the WSBTV and CBS reports. He called APN to state that he expects to release a statement early next week, but that he has no plans, thoughts, or intentions of dropping out of the race.
“If anything, this has only strengthened our resolve,” Amos said.