Yesterday, Colorado state Rep. Douglas Bruce — known for kicking a photographer earlier this year — blasted a proposal to aid migrant farm workers, saying on the state House floor, “We don’t 5,000 more illiterate peasants in the state of Colorado.” Though his speaking privileges were stripped for the rest of the day, he defended his remarks:
“I looked up ‘illiterate’ in the dictionary and it means somebody who is lacking in formal education or is unable to read and write,” he said. “I don’t think these people who are planning to come over here and pick potatoes or peaches are likely to have much of a formal education. I looked up the word ‘peasant.’ The word ‘peasant’ means a person who works in agricultural fields. These people, most of them, don’t speak English. Most of them haven’t had any formal education, that’s why they’re coming over here. I don’t blame them for trying, but I don’t think we should pave the way for more aliens to come here.”
The Denver Post reports that Bruce’s remarks “could leave him with a second censure penalty or worse.”
“I am so offended by Bruce and his racism. He knows and I know that Colorado was built and maintained by migrant workers. This whole country was/is built with the blood sweat and tears of migrant workers. I did not hear any complaining about migrant workers as the housing boom was at its peak and the homebuilders and mortgage companies were raking in the money. Who does Bruce think was building all of these beautiful homes?
My Mexican grandfather worked on the railroad, in the Steel Mill and on the farms. He was neither illiterate nor a peasant and neither are those working today.
Migrants are only used as scapegoats in tough economic times and thanks to the neocons and their economic ‘policies’ everyone is looking for a scapegoat.”