Kelly Osbourne came under fire Tuesday for making a racist comment on "The View" about Latinos in janitorial jobs, but the American labor market does have a diversity problem. Fewer black and Hispanic people work in high-paying management and professional fields than white and Asian people, according to a 2014 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Only one-fifth of Hispanics and 29 percent of black people worked in management and professional occupations, whereas 39 percent of white people and 50 percent of Asians did. Even though Latinos accounted for 15 percent of the total labor force, they were overrepresented in certain positions, like agricultural workers, grounds maintenance workers and maids. Overall, more than a quarter of Hispanics worked in service occupations.
That last statistic was likely what Osbourne was trying to refer to Tuesday on "The View." The co-hosts were discussing real estate tycoon and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who was criticized for calling Mexican immigrants drug dealers and rapists in his campaign kickoff speech. He later boasted about his relationship with Latino voters and said, "I have hundreds and hundreds of Mexicans working for me."
Co-host Rosie Perez said that many Latinos agree that immigration laws must be improved, but that racist comments don't help. Then Osbourne interrupted. "If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?" she said. "In the sense that... you know what I mean?"
When the other women jumped on her, Osbourne tried to clarify, saying she "didn't mean it like that." The hosts smoothed it over by the end of the episode, but her comments went viral online.
Less than half of the employed Latinos in the U.S. are immigrants, a percentage that's been falling since the recession, a Pew Research Center study found last year. Hispanic workers as a group are expected to make up 19 percent of the nation's labor force by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.