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Alaska congressman refers to Latinos using racial slur

Don Young

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska

WASHINGTON — Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, referred to Latinos with the the derogatory term “wetbacks” during an interview with a radio station in Ketchikan, Alaska, The Washington Post reported.

“My father had a ranch. We used to hire 50 or 60 wetbacks and — to pick tomatoes,” Young said in the interview with KRBD. “You know, it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.”

In a statement released late Thursday,  according to the Post, Young said that during the KRBD interview, “I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in central California. I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect.”

In his statement, Young said 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.”

Young, 79, has represented his House district since 1973.

8 comments

  • Debbie

    The. way we were brought up in the is different from now. We are not allow to say word what is term bad words, but these same people who ever.when it comes down to it alot of bad things are being shove down my throat, things that we were taught were wrong. you say it right. is not so nor is the behavior or our younger generation. To me you all are slamming my past, and you all are supose to be our future! when I was young I was not allow to be heard( I am a women) and I am old (5o+) I get verbel abuse by these young people!

  • Say What?

    @ Anonymous so because you guys were allowed to discriminate people when you were growing up we should allow that to continue? I agree that many kids are disrespectful, but please don’t act like none of the kids within your generation weren’t bad. It’s not an excuse for the bad kids today by any means, but don’t sit there and pretend that your generation was filled with the best and brightest.

  • nancy albin

    Debbie I to am 50 + & as far back as i can remember there has been the "bad words" for "people" we all need a better education to break away from these hypocritical words of slander, because the bottum line is key word "PEOPLE" we are all built the same I understand that our cultures are all different but to label races is pretty "Ignorant" if you ask me ….. OH and by the way rep. don young … nice save for an a——–.

  • World Citizen

    Ahh the good old days of when Debbie and Don Young used get away with being openly racist. Now they're upset that they have to actually treat to people with respect. Let me tell you Debbie, it was just as wrong and shameful to use such language back then as it is today no matter how you grew up. Capiche?

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