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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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.

In theory. LOTS of people are on the right side when it comes to sweet talking and using it as a political stepping stone to "win" the hispanic vote. But no one (not even Obama) has had the gumption to come out and say they are going to fight for immigration reform.

I do not believe that even if immigration reform were granted that hispanics would move out of the ghettos. Our ghetto is their suburbia and their "ni modo" attitude towards education and their "chingale" attitude towards working hard is what prevents them (collective them, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule) from moving up socioeconomically.

Immigration reform will change however, the fact that families will no longer be divided and separated by the ambiguous, injust, torturous hell we currently call our immigration laws. Currently, they are simply not being able, either intellectually or financially wade through the bullshit bureacracy that currently keeps them from BECOMING legal residents and therefore they are living as slave refugees, having as many US citizen children as possible to make up where their paychecks cannot....I'll stop or I'll continue to go off...

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.

In the house I initially rented when we first moved to Mexico, we had a next door family, a mom, dad, and a son my oldest daughter's age. The boy spoke perfect English without any trace of an accent, his parents spoke not a word. I asked him how he had learned the language - he answered with the honesty of a child: cartoons!

I remember thinking after Obama’s second election that Jeb Bush would be the only potential nominee to challenge Hilary the next time but only if he could get the Hispanic vote. It was only a fleeting idea but is there any merit to it? I think the Rep. Party has left it too late and at its very foundation has no grasp of how it needs to reform.

The only thing that prevents me from agreeing with you entirely, is the absurd brevity of the collective American memory.

Agreed considering that now bush as an almost favorable polling ratings. How sad

The Republicans can't change enough and can't learn how to speak to racial minorities quick enough and can't purge the bigots completely enough to win any minority vote. I doubt if they even have achieved a majority of the Asian vote and the Asians have a lot more affinity with Republican ways of thinking than Hispanics and blacks.

Let us dispense with some assumptions here. The immigration Jeb Bush is referring to is both broad spectrum (all immigrants, not just hispanics) and is in regards to legal immigrants. 

Here : On average, among 100,000 non-business owning immigrants, 620 of these immigrants are likely to start a business each month. Among those born in the U.S., only 280 new businesses are likely to be started monthly.

In fact, legal immigrants to the US from almost anywhere are more likely to start businesses than us lazy Americans. Perhaps by having the courage to move away from their families (or by being forced to) they self select for a higher tolerance for risk taking. 

Regarding "fertility", immigrants have more children on average than Americans, but that does not really translate into ability to have children. I think he could have chosen better words in that regard, but by definition he is right (definition #3). 

I am not a Republican either, but I think he is usually the smart Bush. I don't think he'll run, I think his brother would advise against it.

"Prolific" would have been a better word than "fertile," which most usually refers to how healthy and productive the gonads are.

I think if Jeb decided to run, Barbara Bush would bite his head off. She's on the record against any more Bush boys running for President.

WASHINGTON - Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a bit of an "oops" moment today when he mistakenly referred to the administration's response to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi as occurring in Lebanon instead of Libya.
"I fear where we've come to in America, where our administration won't make one phone call to save our men and women in a embassy in Lebanon," Perry said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.


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