Robert Kittle, WSPA-TV (Spartanburg, South Carolina, February 9, 2011
During a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Ford [State Senator Robert Ford of Charleston] said the state needs Mexican workers who are willing to do jobs that blacks and whites are not willing to do.
An audio recording of the committee reveals that Sen. Ford said, “I know brothers, and when I’m talking about brothers I’m talking about based on race. Talking about black guys and they’re not going to do that work at Boeing with all that dirt and stuff to be hauled to build that plant. Ain’t no brothers gonna do that. Not like a Mexican will.”
“A brother gonna find ways to take a break. They’re gonna find some breaks,” he added. He continued to talk about some Mexicans who did yard work at his house and did it quickly and cheaper than anyone else.
“Now you know my blue-eyed brothers, pale-skinned brothers ain’t gonna do no work. They ain’t gonna do that kind of work. And rightfully so. We have already paid our dues. Ever since this country was built, somebody came in and did the work for us. That’s America. It’s a country of immigrants,” he said during the meeting.
Sen. Ford told News Channel 7 Wednesday morning, “I said that, in most cases, about 99 percent of the time, the people who are doing the hard, hard, dirty work are Mexican immigrants. Because I said now as a black man, I’m not going to be doing what they do. I’m not going to be laying no foundation for no building, because I can’t do that kind of work. I’m not going to get on top of no roof in 100-degree temperature. I don’t do that kind of work. But they do it and now we should accept the fact that they’ve done more so than anybody else and make them citizens like everybody else that worked their way to American citizenship.”
He said he’d be willing to apologize to anyone who was offended, but says his comments were not a “racial thing.”