Heard on the Hill

Don Young Thinks the Word 'Wetbacks' Is OK

Hey  Rep. Don Young — 1956 called and it wants its racial epithets back.

The Republican from Alaska gave a wide-ranging interview with a local radio station KRBD, which aired Thursday, when he used the term "wetbacks" to describe laborers on what apparently was an extraordinarily large ranch his family owned.

“My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” the 79-year-old Young said. “It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.”

Don't believe us? You can listen to the audio here:

http://youtu.be/fB3ryiR66RE

KTUU in Alaska has since reported that Young issued a statement Thursday night saying he was simply using the vocabulary of his youth.

“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,” Young said in the statement, according to KTUU. “I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect.”

 

 

Topics: overheards