George P. Bush Urges Fellow Republicans To Maybe Denounce Some of the Anti-Hispanic Rhetoric, OK?

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It's hard out there for a George P.

Recently, the nephew of former President George W. Bush and Republican candidate for Land Commissioner chastised his party members for their predilection towards xenophobic, racist, anti-Latino rhetoric. Well, sort of.

As George P. told the Texas Tribune at a recent campaign stop (emphasis mine):

“If we're going to be successful and be considered credible in the Hispanic community, we've got to denounce some of the ignorant statements that are made about Hispanics and the contributions we make, whether it's to the military, our nation's economy or to the history of Texas.”

Bush's comments come on the heels of Denton County Republican Party County Chair Dianne Edmonson sending an email warning about “the super women ticket of Abortion Barbie with Hispanic Sen Leticia Van De Putte as her running mate.”

So George P. would like it if at least some — not necessarily all — of the anti-Hispanic rhetoric from the Republican Party would cease, you guys.

More below the jump.Now maybe I'm parsing this a bit too closely, but the fact is, this is a pretty milquetoast criticism from George P. On the one hand, he's correct — the vehemently racist, anti-Latino rhetoric used by some members of the Republican Party absolutely drives away Hispanic voters, and it needs to stop. On the other, he's in no way condemning the overtly anti-Hispanic public policies perpetuated by his party, nor is he really taking much of a stand here.

The Republican Party absolutely has a problem with Hispanic voters, as they should.

It's a result of a lot of intentional actions on their part — everything from the efforts of folks like Ted Cruz to derail any sort of immigration reform, the constant calls to “build a wall” or have Hispanic Americans “self-deport,” to Republican efforts to enshrine photo voter ID laws that have a disproportionately negative impact on minority Texans, to years of passing redistricting schemes specifically designed to reduce or dilute minority voting power at the ballot box.

It's the result of folks like Congressman Kenny Marchant openly stating that he doesn't want more Latino voters in his district. It's when Congressman Michael Burgess refers to “11 million undocumented Democrats,” as if the immigration policy debate should be solely grounded in Republicans' electoral future.

And frankly, the anti-Hispanic Republican elected officials in Texas largely represent the right-wing primary electorate that puts them in office. Recall that in 2010, incumbent Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo lost a primary to an unfunded nobody named David Porter. Carrillo rightly called out the probable cause of his defeat — Republican voters choosing an Anglo name over a Hispanic one.

Speaking about the Denton Chair's email, George P. said “I just think that it's disappointing that people resort to those types of tactics.”

Personally, I think it's disappointing more Republicans — especially non-Hispanic Republicans — don't come out swinging even harder against this rhetoric. More importantly, Republicans need to actually stop advancing overtly and subversively anti-Hispanic policies in office. That would be perhaps an even bigger improvement than simply stopping their public racism.  

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About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

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