We're seeing something of a Friday apology dump. Rep. Don Young apologized last night for calling his father's tomato-pickers "wetbacks," and he has apologized again today, apparently feeling that his first attempt didn't cut it.
"I apologize for the insensitive term I used during an interview in Ketchikan, Alaska," said the congressman. "There was no malice in my heart or intent to offend; it was a poor choice of words. That word, and the negative attitudes that come with it, should be left in the 20th century, and I'm sorry that this has shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration reform."
Young's comments inspired passionate debate over whether "wetback" is a serious ethnic slur. Some have compared it to the "N-word." "'Wetbacks' has come to [be] for some to be almost the same as using the n-word for African Americans, or the old k-word for Jews," writes Joe Gandelman at the Moderate Voice.
High-profile Republicans including John Boehner and John McCain have condemned Young and insisted he apologize.