During a discussion about ongoing challenges to the economy Thursday, Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young referred to Hispanic workers as “wetbacks,” an ethnic slur used to describe migrant workers. He has since apologized.
“My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” Young told Alaska public radio station KRBD. “It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.”
Rep. Don Young of Alaska apologized for using a racist term but not before GOP leaders jumped all over him publically. According to Latinofoxnews.com:
“I apologize for the insensitive term I used during an interview in Ketchikan, Alaska,” Young said. “There was no malice in my heart or intent to offend; it was a poor choice of words. That word, and the negative attitudes that come with it, should be left in the 20th century, and I’m sorry that this has shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration reform.”
His remark brought a rare rebuke from U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and other high-ranking party leaders, who called his comment “offensive.”
“Congressman Young’s remarks were offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds,” Boehner said. “I don’t care why he said it – there’s no excuse…”