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.

I am assuming (since it seems he's referring to hispanics) he is trying to create a platform for immigration reform. GOOD FOR HIM!!! However I would still only give him credit for telling a half truth. There was nothing inspiring about his statement.

"Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans...

This is because many of them are not legal to work in the United States.

Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population.

Immigrants from Latin America do not generally divorce as quickly as Americans, but their culture is full of substance abuse, domestic violence, and oppression of women due to their religious roots and male dominated "machismo" vs "marianismo" upbringing. To say they have more in tact families simply means they divorce less often. He fails to address the true needs of the community and the injustices they face for having become the new slave labor of our country.

Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity."

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

I heard no acknowledgment of the "whole truth" and no attempt to rally his own party towards a real solution.

His words were merely a nice gesture, with no real substance.

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.

Exactamente! He's not doing a very good job. We've been promised immigration reform since Obama took office. The Republicans shoot it down every time and think that building a bigger badder fence is the solution instead. I agree he's probably more in tune with the realities than many of his fellow republicans because of where he lives, but he still doesn't have the balls to speak up and advocate the WHOLE truth. Hispanic voters aren't that stupid. We've been fooled too many times. He's going to have to do much better than that. He doesn't have the spine.

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.

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