GOP congressman uses ethnic slur to describe laborers

Posted in the Mexico Forum

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#1 Mar 29, 2013
A Republican congressman from Alaska on Thursday used a slur referring to immigrants, particularly Mexicans, in an interview with a public radio station in his home state.
Amid a hot-button debate in Washington over how to overhaul the nation's immigration laws, Rep. Don Young, a 21-term lawmaker, referred to immigrant workers as "wetbacks" — a term that could threaten to inflame the debate about immigration reform.
"My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes," Young said in an interview with radio station KRBD. He was discussing the number of jobs that have been made irrelevant due to advances in automation.
Advertise | AdChoices

"It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine," Young added.

While the veteran congressman wasn't referring directly to immigration reform, his remarks certainly cut against the broader Republican effort to repair the party's dismal image with Latino voters.

Becky Bohrer / AP
U.S. Rep. Don Young addresses a rally in front of the state Capitol on Thursday in Juneau, Alaska.

"Wetback" is a derogatory term for migrant workers, particularly Mexicans or Mexican-Americans who now reside in the United States.
In a statement, Young said he "meant no disrespect" in using the word.
“During a sit down interview with Ketchikan Public Radio this week, I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in Central California," the statement said.
"I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect.
“Migrant workers play an important role in America’s workforce, and earlier in the said interview, I discussed the compassion and understanding I have for these workers and the hurdles they face in obtaining citizenship. America must once and for all tackle the issue of immigration reform.”

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Mexico Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Mattel to introduce 'Mariachi Barbie' 6 min fmer505-1951 82
Mexican Men, Do you like white girls? (May '11) 1 hr TheDude 1,263
Pacific storm blast pushes rain into Arizona Wed Phoenix 1
Experts say Mexico, Canada border region has we... Wed Sirius 13
As migrants flee eastern Cuba, a town mourns th... Wed WE JUST DONT CARE 2
Weakened Odile heads over Mexico toward Arizona Sep 17 USA 1
Pacific storm blast pushes rain into Arizona Sep 17 Odile 1

Mexico People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE