I count myself as fairly liberal (when forced, I describe myself as at the liberal end of the libertarian spectrum, like Larry Flynt) and I'm certainly no particular admirer of the Bush family or Republicans. I've never voted for a Republican except on the city or county level when they had been doing good work. However, I must say that Jeb Bush has been getting pilloried for simply telling the truth. In particular, some people are reading racism into some recent remarks. 

Here are the "controversial" remarks:

"Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans... Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity."

Gee. He's even one of that small group of Republicans who is actually for substantive immigration reform.

Now, he was speaking to a conservative group, which by itself would have a lot of liberals reading every line and between, behind, and under every line for anything that might provide some sort of "Aha!" moment. We're always looking for those Republicans to say something typically Republican, which means something ignorant, racist, or sexist. And if they can't find anything as blatant as that, there's always the fall-back position: "It was insensitive." (Liberals always want to look after someone else's dellicate feelings.)

For example, more weirdness on the part of Republican males was revealed this week with Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona) adding yet another superstitious and non-scientific observation about women and rape.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee, dominated by right-wing social extremists, voted to support legislation that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. When an intrepid reporter asked the  congressman why his proposal did not make exceptions for rape and incest, the representative said that the probability of a pregnancy resulting from rape was "very low." (source)

The thing is, Jeb's remarks are actually dead on, and they don't in any way say anything bad about Hispanics (because that is clearly the group he was referring to). They have a higher birth rate, as do other immigrants.

According to 2011 data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate for foreign-born women is substantially higher than that of U.S. born women, at 87.8 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44. (It was 58.9 for women born in the United States.) (source for this quote and more info on Bush's remarks)

They have large and strong families and because even poor Hispanic families—because they tend to stay intact and provide internal support for each other—are less of a burden on the welfare system than, say, the black population which, as a group, has a substantially higher rate of unstable and/or broken families than Hispanics and Asians. Speaking of Asians, they are another burgeoning racial group with strong families.

Now, out in the so-called Twitterverse, in the so-called blogosphere, on Facebook, and in the comments sections of major online political sites like HuffingtonPost.com, there's a lot of chatter calling Bush racist, though the tide seems to be turning to calling his way of expressing the facts "insensitive." I guess as time went by, and they started realizing he was just stating a bald truth, they still needed to find something negative to say.

"Insensitive"? I don't even see that. I also doubt if most Mexican-Americans could find fault with either the content of Bush's comments or his mode of expression. They certainly can't complain about his intentions.

Do you see anything racist about Jeb Bush's remarks?

Tags: Bush, Jeb, racism

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Well depends on how you look at it. If he is using the term "immigrant" has a generic word then there really is nothing inflammatory about it. However if as you say, he is using the word to described a specific group, then that can be somewhat seen as "insensitive", as he is particularly singling out a specific group. Now also the tone of his rhetoric comes into play and what the specific discussion was about. Is he talking to an anti immigrant crowd or pro immigrant crowd? If its the former, then it can have a negative connotation to it. One can infer from that statement that he was berating hispanic immigrants in a "gentle's way".

And what the heck does this mean:  Immigrants are more fertile?


Biologically that makes no sense whatsoever....I believe that is the statement that most people are having trouble with. As I said earlier, that sounds like him saying in his gentleman's way that Hispanics are pretty much "breeding like sewer rats". And Yet his party and Catholic Church (most hispanics are Catholics) continues to limit access to birth control. 

And what the heck does this mean:  Immigrants are more fertile?

He probably simply pulled the wrong word out of his vocabulary. From the context I'd assume he means "prolific," referring to their large families. As a group, their families tend to be larger than typical white families. If it's a sterotype, its a largely true one. It's also not a negative one unless you think large families are necessarily bad.

Or, it could mean he believed that immigrant poop contains more nitrogen, phosphorus and potash --

He probably simply pulled the wrong word out of his vocabulary.

The Bush sons love that move, it's what they do.

At least he didn't say: Them Mexycans have more got-dern babies!

And what the heck does this mean:  Immigrants are more fertile?

Biologically that makes no sense whatsoever....I believe that is the statement that most people are having trouble with. As I said earlier, that sounds like him saying in his gentleman's way that Hispanics are pretty much "breeding like sewer rats". And Yet his party and Catholic Church (most hispanics are Catholics) continues to limit access to birth control. 

It's not inconsistent to believe that access to birth control should be limited and that large families are good. But you seem to see some there. How so? And, quite frankly, I'm not sure what his views on birth control even are, though he is Catholic. But what does that mean? After all, Joe Biden is a Catholic, too. At any rate, he's not a totally mainstream Republican and he's certainly not a rabid Tea Party Republican. If he's like his brother and father, he's more of a business conservative than a religious conservative.

If you knew a bit more about Jeb Bush than I think you do (and about the Bush family in general), you would understand that they are the exception to those Republicans who hate illegals and just wish we could create a giant toilet and flush them south of the border.

By contrast both Bush Presidents have expressed humane views on dealing with immigration, especially George W. Bush. He proposed an immigration bill that may have been short of what Democrats would have wanted (big surprise there), but even that was too generous for the Republican party who shot down the bill proposed by their very own President.

As for Jeb, he has a lot of love for Mexico. He taught English in Mexico and is married to Columba Garnica Gallo, a native Mexican he met there while teaching.

And I must assume that their children are the "Little Brown Ones" Big George once mentioned in a photo op during his administration, as being his grandchildren --

Most probably. Shows he's not blind. The Bush family men have never had a talent for keeping their respective feet out of their respective mouths. We all have ways of referring to our children and grandchildren that are probably best left in the family.

I'm still reeling from learning that a member of the Bush family can even recognize the truth!

The last election was in the bag, Republicans believed - post election analysis revealed that Hispanics in this country played a very significant part in the reelection of Barak Obama. The Repubs reevaluated their strategy, and are now trying to suck Hispanics into their web of deceit, which has worked so well for the uneducated White poor, their political base. Jeb may just be the messenger, or he may be the vanguard, so, avantgarde! The votes of the religious, uneducated poor carry as much weight as those of the wealthiest intellectual elite, but in terms of advertising dollars spent, are much cheaper to buy.

I would look in the future for an Hispanic, Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate, possibly as early as 2016. I would also look for Jeb to be a Presidential candidate in that same year, opting for a Bush family hat trick.

But (IMO), he's not looking for a real solution, except to the problem of how to get Hispanics to help vote him into office.

See, here's the formula - you choose a group, find out what's important to them, imply you can give that to them (without actually promising), never mention that once you're elected, you'll proceed with your original plan to channel as much money out of the pockets of those who elected you and into the pockets of your cronies as you can, and by the end of four years, Human memories will have forgotten what you indicated you'd do, and they're blank slates, ready for new instructions.

They do the jobs no one else wants. In many parts of the US they are treated like slaves. Some actually are.

Those were jobs Americans wanted until the labor market was flooded with people from south of the border who would work for less than minimum wage, with no benefits, under medieval working conditions, and often with a heap of employer neglect and abuse thrown in. But don't blame the Latin American farm workers, blame the farmers. 

If the jobs paid a living wage (by American standards) and had even minimum benefits, there would be more Americans trying to get a chance to work in fresh air.

All or most the things which are wrong in your list of Latin American family problems would go away once their economic situation improves, more of them get educated, and they get more assimilated than they are now by moving out of ghettos and into more diverse communities where they'll be exposed to other ways of living.

Sure, we can criticize Jeb, but he's on the right side of the immigration issue, which is especially impressive given that he's a Republican.

The so-called, "ghetto" is an effort by the Hispanic to recreate the home he left behind and with which he is familiar.

Long after I moved back here from Mexico, I chose to live in Hispanic communities, because there, I was surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells I had grown to love. Give me a neighborhood permeated in the evening by the smell of carne asada on the grill, and I'm home.

In just the minute or so it took me to write this, my imagination conjured up the aroma of corn tortillas heating.

I had a bookkeeper for a while who was a Mexican-American woman in her late 20's. Her mother was born in Mexico and still does not speak much English. But she (the bookkeeper) speaks English without an accent, and while she can cook fabulous Mexican food, she loves hamburgers & hot dogs, kielbasa and kraut, and spaghetti carbonara, too. She lives in a suburban apartment which is not in a primarily Mexican "ghetto." This is the natural progression of things. Once immigrants settle in, they almost can't help becoming adapted to American life as they become familiar with it.

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Posted by Quincy Maxwell on July 20, 2014 at 9:37pm 28 Comments

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