Rep. Don Young apologizes for racial slur

Facing a growing chorus of Republicans urging him to offer a more full apology for his use of racial slur, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) has obliged.

"I apologize for the insensitive term I used during an interview in Ketchikan, Alaska," Young said in a statement posted to his Web site. "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 in an interview posted Thursday by a local radio station called Latino ranch-workers on his father's farm "wetbacks."

Shortly after the interview was posted, Young tried to justify the remark by noting that the term "wetback" was tossed about freely when he was a boy growing up in central California. He said he "meant no disrespect" but didn't quite apologize -- until Friday afternoon.

 

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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