Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

During a radio interview Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) referred to Hispanic farmworkers as “wetbacks.” Young quickly offered an apology that was not technically even an apology. Young claims that he used the term only because he didn’t know it was offensive. From KTUU:

“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. “I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect.”

This inevitably leads the the question: what is more pathetic?

  1. The fact that a member of Congress in the year 2013 would actually use such a racist expression.
  2. The idea that Young is so incredibly stupid/out of touch he didn’t know a term like “wetback” has always been highly derogatory.
  3. Or that Young thinks the American people are stupid enough to buy this excuse.

It will be interesting to see if “wetback” becomes the 2014 election’s “legitimate rape.” The Republican Partyclearly going needs to do more than reluctantly back an immigration reform bill to fix their problematic relationship with Hispanic voters.