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. SwM,

    I have followed ol’ Tucker through many career morphs … he never seems to completely disappear … he just continues in one long fade-out.

  2. SwM,

    My loss though the pictures were lovely without him.

    Just got a cryptic call from the city that trash will not be picked up. I just now found out that the sanitation engineers have gone on strike.

  3. Blouise, And you would have the added benefit of working for Tucker Carlson. 😉

  4. Scott Supak (@ssupak) 1, April 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Dredd, I got the jist of what you were talking about, and I’m trying to say that the idea that this applies to Rep. Young seems like a bit of a leap. Sure, we all tend to gloss over bad things in the past, and sure, much of that is an unconscious decision to help us deal with guilt, or whatever, as with the neo-confederates trying to say the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, or like Ron Paul trying to say we could have bought the slaves from the south (completely ignoring basic facts, like the Cornerstone Speech). But why subscribe this to some unconscious act when you don’t have any proof that this man is actually doing that?

    Let me put it this way… Unless you can sit Don Young down and talk to him, and delve into his psyche, you have no way of knowing if he’s just reaching back into his mind and grabbing a word from under his hood that he no longer realizes is racist (or maybe he never thought it was racist). This would be a stretch, since we know that Don Young has a history of this kind of crap, that he was alive and well during “Operation Wetback,” and that a US congressman who is almost 80 years old hasn’t ever been told that the term “wetback” is racist. He’s a rabid anti-immigration GOP dinosaur who’s fought against equality all his life and depends on the votes of like-minded people to keep getting re-elected. Why assume that it’s some deep-seated psycho pathology or something when the most obvious answer is that he knows damn well what he’s saying, and he does it on purpose as a dog whistle?
    ============================================
    SORRY … the above post lacked HTML …

    Let me again quote a part of my quote:

    A southern, romanticized version of slavery took shape thanks to a proliferation local Civil War museums and the desire of political and cultural elites to forge reconciliation between the North and the South.

    The denial dynamic is a cultural dynamic bereft of vision, and what Young did is popularly called a “Freudian Slip”, a pop psychoanalysis that reveals we understand intuitively that all of us “inadvertently let things out that are down there in the subconscious.”

    Your comments read like an approach to convert the overriding cultural phenomenon into an individual phenomenon.

    It is not an individual phenomenon, it is a product of “groupthink” or “ruling group mind” (RGM) a la one type of many types of group insanity:

    “Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

    This is one of those mysterious things downstream from our failure to focus on groups, thinking that individualism is both a source, cure and disease.

    Individualism is first and foremost subject to and subservient to society, to culture.

    Our culture is the problem, therefore, focusing on individuals who act according to the culture that made them is incoherent in the sense of being a remedy to a cultural problem.

    Sadly, we have never moved beyond Freud’s gateway statement:

    “I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness.” – Sigmund Freud

    That is, we have never developed a dynamic that would require laws to be sane through an analysis based on a notion of cultural sanity.

    Until we do we cannot guarantee that what we are doing as a culture is sane, because we are left with analyzing individuals as if they were the culture.

    In that context, since individuals are victims of the culture, to focus on punishing individuals as a technique of a social remedy is nothing more than victimization by denial masquerading as social enlightenment.

    We must develop a way to fix the culture of racism, and not focus on individual manifestations of what they picked up from their culture.

    Once that is done, focusing on the wrong Freudian slips of people like Young, who obviously have no clue of the brew bubbling below their eye-sockets, can be done without victimizing them.

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

    It is like beating up a 4 year old kid for mouthing what his culture, in the form of his parents at that age, taught him.

    I submit that you are still trapped in 18th century logic worship, which is know to be a myth in current cognitive science:

  5. Blouise, I had not been for a year but now I will have at least four appointments. It is too bad Perry was not standing by the capitol in Austin the day I sent you the pictures.

  6. SwM,

    Re: Daily Caller … I have always longed to be part of a “news publication providing its audience with original reporting, thought-provoking commentary and breaking news.”

  7. Scott Supak (@ssupak) 1, April 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Dredd, I got the jist of what you were talking about, and I’m trying to say that the idea that this applies to Rep. Young seems like a bit of a leap. Sure, we all tend to gloss over bad things in the past, and sure, much of that is an unconscious decision to help us deal with guilt, or whatever, as with the neo-confederates trying to say the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, or like Ron Paul trying to say we could have bought the slaves from the south (completely ignoring basic facts, like the Cornerstone Speech). But why subscribe this to some unconscious act when you don’t have any proof that this man is actually doing that?

    Let me put it this way… Unless you can sit Don Young down and talk to him, and delve into his psyche, you have no way of knowing if he’s just reaching back into his mind and grabbing a word from under his hood that he no longer realizes is racist (or maybe he never thought it was racist). This would be a stretch, since we know that Don Young has a history of this kind of crap, that he was alive and well during “Operation Wetback,” and that a US congressman who is almost 80 years old hasn’t ever been told that the term “wetback” is racist. He’s a rabid anti-immigration GOP dinosaur who’s fought against equality all his life and depends on the votes of like-minded people to keep getting re-elected. Why assume that it’s some deep-seated psycho pathology or something when the most obvious answer is that he knows damn well what he’s saying, and he does it on purpose as a dog whistle?

    ============================================

    Let me again quote a part of my quote:

    “A southern, romanticized version of slavery took shape thanks to a proliferation local Civil War museums and the desire of political and cultural elites to forge reconciliation between the North and the South.”

    The denial dynamic is a cultural dynamic bereft of vision, and what Young did is popularly called a “Freudian Slip”, a pop psychoanalysis that reveals we understand intuitively that all of us “inadvertently let things out that are down there in the subconscious.”

    Your comments read like an approach to convert the overriding cultural phenomenon into an individual phenomenon.

    It is not an individual phenomenon, it is a product of “groupthink” or “ruling group mind” (RGM) a la one type of many types of group insanity:

    “Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

    This is one of those mysterious things downstream from our failure to focus on groups, thinking that individualism is both a source, cure and disease.

    Individualism is first and foremost subject to and subservient to society, to culture.

    Our culture is the problem, therefore, focusing on individuals who act according to the culture that made them is incoherent in the sense of being a remedy to a cultural problem.

    Sadly, we have never moved beyond Freud’s gateway statement:

    “I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness.” – Sigmund Freud

    That is, we have never developed a dynamic that would require laws to be sane through an analysis based on a notion of cultural sanity.

    Until we do we cannot guarantee that what we are doing as a culture is sane, because we are left with analyzing individuals as if they were the culture.

    In that context, since individuals are victims of the culture, to focus on punishing individuals as a technique of a social remedy is nothing more than victimization by denial masquerading as social enlightenment.

    We must develop a way to fix the culture of racism, and not focus on individual manifestations of what they picked up from their culture.

    Once that is done, focusing on the wrong Freudian slips of people like Young, who obviously have no clue of the brew bubbling below their eye-sockets, can be done without victimizing them.

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

    It is like beating up a 4 year old kid for mouthing what his culture, in the form of his parents at that age, taught him.

    I submit that you are still trapped in 18th century logic worship, which is know to be a myth in current cognitive science:

  8. SwM,

    You spend far too much time at the dentist!

    And yes, stupid men, armed to the teeth, have always been my weakness. Is there a picture of Perry in camo I can hang on my wall?

  9. smom:

    there are many religious republicans who do not want gay marriage. he was just vocal about it.

  10. Blouise, You could get hired by Breitbart of the Daily Caller.

  11. Blouise, Got ya… just got back from the dentist. Now I know that you truly love Rick Perry.

  12. SwM,

    Eat your heart out kiddo, I’m on the path of being identified as a partisan Republican so don’t mess me up.

    Seriously (as to your post) … I doubt we’d find a democrat that stupid

  13. Scott Supak:

    so people who want to cut taxes, reduce spending and limit government are racists?

  14. rafflaw:

    was I right? Yep. Get rid of this idiot and all the others like him. We dont need bridges that only 50 people use which cost 250 million dollars. you could buy each of them a nice boat and a car for 10 million.

  15. “@Blouise… Sigh.” (Scott Supak (@ssupak)

    I love it! I’m being chastised for not seeing the difference between a racist from Alaska and one from West Virginia. Both expressed regret but of course Byrd, being a good Democrat, meant his (needing to do it several times), but the awful Republican naturally didn’t.

    Dear Scott Supak … you have no idea how truly delicious this is! Please tell me more about the goodness of the Democrats for I long to be cured of insensitivity and ignorance and I’m certain a Democrat can lead me down the proper path.

    Delicious!

  16. You know, further, Blouise, I don’t know what the percent of a population has to do with how racist it is. WV is 37th, with a lot of states, like HI, OR, and VT, which are not usually thought of as racist havens, having lower percentages of their populations as blacks. And, the states with high percentages of blacks are generally thought of as more racist, like Alabama and Mississippi.

  17. Odd, the Lee Atwater quote didn’t come through…

    Questioner [Bob Herbert]: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

    Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

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