Radio host suspended; blamed Mexican "primitives" for flu

Boston-area host Jay Severin is off the air indefinitely after having described Mexicans as "millions of leeches."

Published May 1, 2009 3:21PM (EDT)

The rhetoric on talk radio about Mexicans and swine flu has been getting pretty nasty, and now one Boston-area host has taken it so far that he's been indefinitely suspended.

WTKK-FM isn't disclosing what comments led to Jay Severin's suspension, but they certainly had plenty of material to choose from. In a broadcast this week, Severin said:

Now, in addition to venereal disease and the other leading exports of Mexico -- women with mustaches and VD -- now we have swine flu... When we are the magnet for primitives around the world -- and it's not the primitives' fault, by the way, I'm not blaming them for being primitives, I'm merely observing they are primitives -- and when you scoop up some of the world's lowest of primitives in poor Mexico and drop it down in the middle of the United States -- poor, without skills, without language, not share our culture, not share our hygiene, haven't been vaccinated... Millions of leeches from a primitive country come here to leech off you...

Now, at this particular moment in history, they are exporting to us a rather more active form of disease, which is the swine flu.

Severin also referred to "crimaliens" and "criminaliens" and said he's surprised this is the first time Mexico has been responsible for unleashing disease on the U.S. (Audio, via ThinkProgress, is below.)

The host's lawyer, George Tobia, said he expects his client back on the air at some point. "It would certainly be unfortunate if someone was suspended because some people didn’t like what he said,” Tobia told the Boston Globe.

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By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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