Location: New York, New York

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Limbo Lower Now!

President Vicente Fox has not formally apologized for saying that Mexican immigrants to the United States accept jobs that "not even blacks want to do", but has said he regrets that he offended anyone. Jesse Jackson called the remarks "a spurious comparison" with "ominous racial overtones." State Department spokesman Richard Boucher labeled Fox's comments "a very insensitive and inappropriate way to phrase this." Mr. Boucher could have been a little more clear in exactly what he meant.

Mr. Boucher's interesting phrasing "inappropriate way to phrase this" apparently means he doesn't consider the sentiment itself wrong, just poorly stated. After all, President Bush stated the exact sentiments himself in late January by saying "I do want to recognize a system (illegal immigration) where a willing worker and a willing employer are able to come together in a way that enables people to find work without jeopardizing a job that an American would otherwise want to do." There was no hue and cry when Mr. Bush made his statement. He repeated these remarks in his February 3 State of the Union Address " is time for an immigration policy that permits temporary guest workers to fill jobs Americans will not take," President Bush had already assured all Americans that Mexicans did not threaten their jobs. President Fox was just backing him up by assuring black Americans that Mexicans didn't want their jobs either.

The larger question here is, why were president Bush's remarks, doubly stated, allowed to stand with little comment, while President Fox's remarks are being regarded as an international incident?


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