Forever Young: Alaskan Member Apologizes After Discussing How His Family Used To Have “Wetbacks” To Do Their Work

220px-Don_Young,_official_photo_portrait,_color,_2006On the very heels of the GOP pledging to reach out to hispanics and repair the damage of the last election after an array of anti-women and anti-hispanic comments, Alaska Rep. Don Young stepped forward to show that such a face lift is not likely to occur with party leaders speaking from the eighteenth century. Young has long been a liability for the GOP with a long line of allegations of unethical and corrupt practices.


The 79-year-old Young is the second-most senior Republican in the House. He insisted that he “meant no disrespect” in referring to the workers on his father’s farm in central California as “wetbacks.” It appears that he was entirely unaware that the term was derogatory.

He made the comments on the radio station KRBD in Ketchikan, Alaska, in observing that “we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes . . . It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.” It seems doubtful that this is the first time Young called such workers “wetbacks,” which means that he has likely used the expression previously without anyone objecting or informing him that it is viewed as an insulting and derogatory term.

Young is a leading anti-environmental legislator who has long been condemned for his close connections to lobbyists and industry groups. His latest allegations of misconduct has him under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for the alleged failure to report gifts on his annual disclosure forms, misuse of campaign funds and false statements to federal officials. He was recently also placed under investigation by the Justice Department over other gifts that he allegedly accepted in return for political patronage.

Young was also the chair of the committee that approved the “bridges to nowhere,” two proposed Alaska construction projects costing hundreds of millions that became the very symbol of congressional waste.

What is remarkable is that Young just treated his continual role as the subject of corruption charges as his unique signature as a public servant. Indeed, complaining about such corruption in Don Young is like complaining about the weather: “I’ve been under a cloud all my life. It’s sort of like living in Juneau. It rains on you all the time. You don’t even notice it.”

Despite years of congressional excess and self-dealing, the GOP has continued to support Don Young who is preparing for yet another run for office. His service to lobbyists in Washington results in massive campaign contributions that keep him as one of the principal “rainmakers” of waste and corporate windfalls in Congress. However, remember his wise words, complaining about Don Young or the weather is useless. He is just part of the permanent front of corruption that hangs over the Capitol.

Source: Fox

56 thoughts on “Forever Young: Alaskan Member Apologizes After Discussing How His Family Used To Have “Wetbacks” To Do Their Work

  1. I delivered mail to a woman in her 80s. She had meals on wheels deliver lunch to her.
    In the warm weather she would sit on her enclosed porch. I often spoke with her. Across the street lived a young couple with two young children. Beautiful couple beautiful children. He was a cop, she took care of family the house and did part time work. My conversation with the woman in her 80s often turned to the qualities and awesomeness of the couple across the street. One day she said to me, “David can you ask them Nigg**s across the street to come visit me”. As smooth as pie she said this. I still am dealing with this statement of hers, trying to understand it.
    This was about the year 2000. I am in the northeast. Upstate NY. I never suggested to the couple to visit her. ….. Now I wish I had. I’m sure she would have been inspired by the children and the husband and wife. But the way she said it shocked me. She acknowledge the quality of the family, yet as sweet as pie she called them N-word.
    Being a mailman can be interesting. ….and humbling,….. as so many experiences I have had delivering mail 35 years, shocked me, astounded me, depressed me, and yet on so many occasions given me faith and hope in the human spirit.

  2. @ Dredd,
    Treating them as freaks, when the much larger culture is the freak that produced them, is a dogma that comes from bully worship.

    !!!!!!!!! WOW !!!!!!!!!!

  3. I live in the southern part of Texas. My parents and friends have used the word “wetback” many times We do not see any problem with the word because it simply means that they crossed the river illegally. For the most part, they have always been treated well while looking for work.

  4. “I live in the southern part of Texas. My parents and friends have used the word “wetback” many times We do not see any problem with the word because it simply means that they crossed the river illegally. For the most part, they have always been treated well while looking for work.”

    So, you check for immigration papers before you refer to a person as a wetback? Forgive me if I find that hard to believe.

    Also, even if you just use a slur against the “bad” members of a ethnicity, it’s still a slur.

  5. If you have never lived on the border then you won’t understand the word “wetback” and how easy it is to know one. When you hire someone to do work it is very easy to know their status. The word is not a slur but rather a meaning of one who is here illegally. If I remember correctly, last year there was a debate on whether we should even call someone illegal. Now that is stupid.

  6. So no, you don’t check their status. Instead you make an assumption based in large part on their ethnicity? One that reflects negatively on them?

    Yup, nothing bigoted about that, and referring to a group of people by a shared “negative” trait is the exact opposite of a slur.

  7. By the way, If a person who is here illegally doesn’t like that word then do not come here illegally. It sure odd that people who are wanting equal rights on the gay marriage thing also do not respect our laws on immigration.

  8. Gyges

    I ask them and they tell me they are here illegally. I am sure you have never lived on the border.

  9. Carlito,

    You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t really believe you when your story suddenly changes from, “If you have never lived on the border then you won’t understand the word “wetback” and how easy it is to know one. ” to, “I ask them.”

    If thinking that referring to people as a group by a negative trait isn’t a slur, makes you feel better, I guess you’re probably going to keep rationalizing it away. Just don’t expect me to buy it.

  10. I and many of my friends hire them to do work around our property. Anybody that has lived along the border knows where to look for them for work. Like I said, you wouldn’t know because you haven’t lived here. If every American would spend one month along the border and see what goes on then this comment by this congressman would not have been in the news.

  11. Wetbacks. Derogative. Not as bad as calling someone a Communiist. There was some twerp voiced itchBay on Fox News just now who specifically called Cesar chavez a Communist. Chavez had been featured in the middle of the Google page in honor of his 86th birthday and the Fox News people were ranting about Google giving anyone other than Christ attention on Easter. This McCarthyism on television needs to be seen for what it is and we need to boycott Fox and its advertisers. I dont know who twerp voice was but she is a Nazi.

  12. The real problem for RepubliCons on the immigration saga is that they have so many constituents who hire illegal aliens to do their work. They want to keep em illegal so that they can keep the wages down. The RepubliCons are the biggest hypocrites on this issue.

  13. I suppose… His family coming over to the US when it did makes him a Salt Back…. Not to take away from the flavor of good salt back….

  14. David Blauw 1, April 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    @ Dredd,
    Treating them as freaks, when the much larger culture is the freak that produced them, is a dogma that comes from bully worship.

    !!!!!!!!! WOW !!!!!!!!!!
    =============================================
    I did not intend to absolve Rep. Young of his participation in racism, nor did I intend to absolve the culture from its much-larger-in-scope participation in racism.

    Using the concept of efficiency, the larger problem obviously must be solved to make the larger change to racism.

    Hypothetically, then, focusing on a little will result in a little change, but focusing on a lot will result in a lot more change.

    Thanks for your challenging comments.

  15. Where would THE FIRST non-segregated high school prom take place … certainly not in the U.S. … right?

    Wrong:

    A group of high school students in Wilcox County High School, GA., are taking a stand against their school’s practice of holding racially-segregated proms by organizing the first-ever integrated prom in the school’s history.

    (First Ever Non-Segregated Prom).

    This is a group dynamic that has been happening a long time.

    It is not individual racism, though it will perpetuate racism in individuals.

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