Well, here we go again. The AP story has already been picked up by The Seattle Times and The Houston Chronicle, just for starters:
COLUMBIA, S.C. — An African-American lawmaker in South Carolina said Tuesday that stricter illegal immigration laws would hurt the state because blacks and whites don’t work as hard as Hispanics.
State Sen. Robert Ford made his remarks during a Senate committee debate over an Arizona-style immigration law, eliciting a smattering of nervous laughter in the chamber after he said “brothers” don’t work as hard as Mexicans. He continued that his “blue-eyed brothers” don’t either.
Once his ancestors were freed from slavery, he said, they didn’t want to do any more hard work, so they were replaced by Chinese and Japanese.
“We need these workers here. A lot of people aren’t going to do certain type of work in this country,” said Ford, D-Charleston. “The brothers are going to find ways to take a break. Ever since this country was built, we’ve had somebody do the work for us.”
He recalled to senators that four workers in the country illegally showed up on his lawn and finished mowing, edging and other work in 30 minutes that would take others much longer, and only wanted $10 for the job. He went on to say he recommended the workers to his neighbors, and one local lawn care businessman lost work — a story one senator remarked was hurting, not helping, his case.
Both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Association for the Advancement of White People — no wait; that second one should be the GOP — are less than pleased by the remarks. The latter is even less pleased than the former.
For my part, the senator from Comic Relief provokes several thoughts:
- He just really says what he thinks, doesn’t he? I think he’s bucking for the Fritz Hollings Appalling Outburts Award, but he’s trying too hard. (And he’s not nearly as funny.)
- After those immigrants did all that hard work on his land for a pittance, did they break out in a stirring rendition of “Cielito Lindo,” to let the boss man know how happy they were? That’s about all that’s missing from that anecdote, to make it complete.
- Illegal immigrants have a warm-enough time of it with all the enemies they have in SC politics. They really, really don’t need a friend like Robert Ford.
- Of blacks and whites, he said “Everybody in America finds ways to take a break.” Maybe it’s time that Sen. Ford took a permanent break from service in our Legislature.
Robert Ford, of course, has been causing both blacks and whites to roll their eyes for years. Remember his proposal to keep the Confederate flag atop the State House, but add to it a Black Liberation Flag? Nothing like that for unifying our state — a flag for the white folks (or some of them) and one to keep the black folks happy, too. What joy. (As he put it, “They would keep their flag, we would get a flag and we would keep our mouths shut.”) Oh, and how about when he and fellow senator Glenn McConnell did their act where Robert would wear a dashiki and Glenn one of his many Confederate uniforms? Those crazy cutups.