SC Lawmaker Under Fire for 'Brothers' Remark
Jokes that we need immigrants because blacks, whites don't work hard enough
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2011 12:56 PM CST
South Carolina state Sen. Robert Ford in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

(Newser) – A black state senator in South Carolina has caused a ruckus with his argument against a law curbing illegal immigration. The US needs these immigrants, said Robert Ford, because they're willing to do hard work that ordinary Americans won't. Except he used far more colorful language: "I know brothers—and I'm talking about black guys—they are not going to do the dirty work at Boeing, to do that hauling and all that building, that dirty work," said Ford. The same held true for white people, or "blue-eyed brothers," he added, according to the Post and Courier.

He drew immediate condemnation, along these lines: "It's unfortunate that he would say something that negative about African-American males," said a local NAACP official. But Ford, who's resisting calls for an apology, said he was just using humor to make a point and that his critics should lighten up, notes AP. "I was talking about the building of America and how every generation of Americans did the hard work," he said. "Americans are not going to do real hard work. Everybody in America knows that." New York's Daily Intel blog thinks he's mostly right: "Ford definitely could have made his point more eloquently and without inflammatory racial language, but what he was trying to say doesn't seem that controversial." Click for more.