Don Young issues second, slightly better apology for “wetbacks” comment
House Republican Don Young apologized for a second time on Friday for using a racial slur to describe migrant farmworkers. Earlier this week, Young told an Alaskan radio host that when he was a child, his father "used 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes" on their California farm.
When news of Young's comment broke, Republican leaders (newly-committed to having Latino voters and immigrants like them) issued strongly-worded statements disavowing the remark. House Speaker John Boehner called Young's use of the word "offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds." Other House GOP leaders joined Boehner in his criticism, saying there was "no excuse" for Young's language and that it warranted "an immediate apology."
On Thursday, the 21-term congressman issued a statement explaining that he "used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in central California." Young said that he that he "meant no disrespect," but did not apologize for the slur.