Friday, September 24, 2010
Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert testifies in front of congress on the conditions facing migrant farm workers. He delivered quite the sarcastic remarks and angered several legislators who feel the comic disrespected their work on an important issue.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif, invited Colbert to testify at a hearing on giving undocumented farm workers the right to earn legal status by continuing to work in agriculture. Colbert talked about what he called his "vast experience" on the issue after spending a day as a migrant worker on a farm in upstate New York.
The video of his opening statement is above. Here are a few highlights:
"This is America. I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan, and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."
"America's farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables.... "Now, the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And if you look at the recent obesity statistics, many Americans have already started."
"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants. He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
"I'll admit I started my work day with preconceived notions of migrant labor, but after working with these men and women ... side by side in the unforgiving sun I have to say -- and I do mean this sincerely -- please don't make me do this again. It is really, really hard."
"Maybe we could offer more visas to the immigrants, who lets face it, will probably be doing these jobs anyway."