Water Official Controversial Comments

February 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Comments made at a recent debate between farm water officials and environmentalists has sparked an uproar.In a televised interview at the event, an official from the California Water Impact Network criticized farm workers and their right to work in this country.

Lloyd carter criticized farm workers saying in short the valley doesn't deserve more water because farm workers are quote "illegal aliens" and "turn to lives of crime." He has since apologized for his remarks.

Despite his apology, the NAACP has written this letter asking for carter to resign his position on several water boards. And, now the agricultural community is fighting back.

Fresno County Supervisor and local farmer Phil Larson was at Fresno State Thursday night. He was participating in a debate over the Valley's need for water and the state's policy on the delta that's keeping it away.

It was there that Lloyd Carter, a board member from the California Water Impact Network, made this statement in a television interview saying "What parent raises their child to become a farm worker? These kids, they're the least educated people in America or in the southwest corner of this valley. They turn to lives of crime. They go on welfare. They get into drug trafficking and they join gangs."

Larson was shocked by those comments. And what he said, it represents. "Is that what he really thinks? Is that what the environmental community really thinks of the ag workers? If that's the environmental philosophy, we got a problem in this country?"

Larson will join several other agriculturists and elected officials on the steps of Fresno City Hall Monday.

In response to Carter's comments, they've organized a rally hoping to shed light on farm worker stereotypes and the Valley's need for water to keep the industry afloat.

This is not focused on Mr. Carter. This is more about the overall broad range of who he represents and the comments in general.

Carter, has since apologized for his remarks. In a statement on his blog, he wrote, "My remarks were intended to focus on the social costs of exploiting an immigrant worker population which is denied adequate pay, housing and education. I now realize I made a terrible mistake in the way I expressed myself and I humbly apologize to all who were offended."

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