Colbert told the panel that “we all know there is a long tradition of great nations importing foreign workers to do their farm work.”
“After all,” he said, “it was the ancient Israelites who built the first food pyramids. But 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.”
“My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants,” he declared. “He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That’s the rumor.”
I hope the Irish great-grandfather shows up in the middle of the night and pulls Colbert’s foot for casting aspersions on his ancestors. But I digress.
Much to his credit, Democrat Rep. John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, had asked Colbert to leave prior to the testimony.
Conyers must have remembered that Congress is enough of a situation comedy these days that they don’t need any pinch-hitters from Comedy Central.
What makes Stephen Colbert an expert on migrant labor? He worked in a farm for all of one day. In the unforgiving sun. Oh the humanity.
Of course, Congress could have called National Humanities Medal honoree Victor Davis Hanson, who not only was born and raised on California a farm, but has continued to operate the family farm to this day. Hanson has had more than one day in the unforgiving sun out at the farm picking grapes, day in and day out, and can offer first-hand testimony on migrant labor.
No, instead, we get to hear Stephen Colbert moan about his one day. In the unforgiving sun:
Colbert appeared before Congress the day after “The Colbert Report” showed video of him packing corn and picking beans on a farm as part of a challenge from a pro-immigrant-labor group.
“I’ll admit I started my work day with preconceived notions of migrant labor,” Colbert said. “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.”
Comedian, or a horse’s ass? You decide.