APS Candidate Byron Amos Responds to UGK Youtube Controversy
(APN) ATLANTA — Byron Amos, a candidate for the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education District 2 Special Election, responded to the controversy surrounding his appearance in Youtube videos related to UGK Records, in a statement issued to Atlanta Progressive News.
Previously, WSBTV Channel 2, CBS Channel 46, two Atlanta-Journal Constitution blogs, and the Atlanta Progressive News reported on Youtube videos showing Amos promoting rappers and referring to them as “my n*gger,” as the rappers proceeded to engage in profanity, homophobic commentary, and drug references.
Candidate Donald Walker called on Amos to resign and the Georgia Federation of Teachers withdrew their support of Amos.
However, Amos did not respond last week to inquiries from Channel 46 or APN regarding the videos, promising to release a statement. Here is the statement in full:
“The fact of the matter regarding the recent Internet postings is that I have served the Hip-Hop community in a positive way for well over a decade. I have done nothing to and intend to do nothing to tarnish the image or reputations of the voters and stake-holders in the 2nd educational district. The release of those posting were and are an attempt to distract my campaign, the community and those who continue to place their faith in me and my ability to proudly represent my constituents,” Amos said.
“Byron Amos has fought and will continue to fight for that which he thinks and believes is right. He is running on a record that is steeped in service, leadership and commitment. Moving forward it is his full intent to run a hard, issue centered victorious campaign and will not allow this to continue to be a distraction to the campaign nor the voters of the 2nd district,” the Amos campaign said.
“We all know that entertainment serves various purposes to appease and appeal to targeted audiences. Byron Amos is not a composer of, promoter of, or solicitor of violent, criminal, or deplorable acts. His association and connection to the music industry should not deter voters or the education arena tosupport him in his endeavor to make positive change within the community. UGK Records complies with the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) Parental Advisory Guidelines and includes warning labels on all of its products. UGK Records caters to an adult clientele that understands that its music is intended for entertainment purpose only. UGK Records doesn’t promote illegal behavior any more so than hundreds of the films released by MCA or Orion Pictures (i.e. Scarface and Terminator),” the campaign stated.
“Hip Hop is unfairly held to a different standard where the mainstream is able to separate the actor from the character in movies; they don’t to the same thing for hip hop. Art imitates life, good, bad and indifferent. The sub-culture of Hip-Hop and R&B and the reality that it represents cannot be ignored, that is the real life to many people and I have the vantage point of being on both sides of the equation and have gain invaluable experiences that I will be able to use to help move a people that have been overlooked, underestimated, and thrown to the side because of the culture they’ve adapted. There is a growing segment of District 2 that relates to the Hip Hop culture and need a voice to show the city, the state and the Nation, I am somebody too. Byron Amos plans to be that voice and help to build better bridges of communication between the Hip Hop Community and the rest of the world,” the campaign said.
(END / 2011)