March 29, 2013

A long-time Alaska congressman uses some 'colorful' language in a radio interview. And Republicans wonder why minorities don't like them.

via Shannyn Moore

In an interview with Ketchikan’s KRBD, Alaska’s one and only Congressman, a Republican, Don Young in comments regarding the economy and employment, was able to include a racial slur. Congressman Young said, “My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” he said. “It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.”

Congressman Young is again under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. The fresh charges are that he failed to report gifts, misused campaign contributions and lied to investigators.

Young's office later released the following statement:

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

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.

Diane Sweet adds:
Roll Call:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced a $10 million outreach initiative Sunday to better convey the party’s message to voters, particularly minorities.

Priebus said the GOP’s “unprecedented” self-evaluation has shown that it has a “quality of context” problem with relating to voters, largely because of “parachuting” into communities months before an election rather than building grass-roots support.

"Quality of context" sounds pretty vague...I suppose it could include being racist asshats.

Heather reported just recently that Rachel Maddow said that this new "outreach" program was going to be "easier said than done":

As she noted, if what we saw in reaction to the nomination of Thomas Perez for Labor Secretary from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin or Rand Paul and his incorrect assumptions about Latino voters are any indication, it's probably not going to go very well for them.

If Congressman Young is any indication at all, no, the GOP doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell.

And be sure to read BuzzFeed's article on the Republican minority outreach. Here's a snippet:

One former RNC field staffer, who is Hispanic, described a culture of cynicism among his predominantly white colleagues when it came to minority outreach. He said that in his office, whenever they were notified of a new Republican outreach effort, they would pass around a Beanie Baby — which they had dubbed the "pander bear" — and make fun of the "tokenism."

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