Jeb Bush Announces He’s A Fan Of White Nationalist Author’s Books


Likely GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush Thursday night proudly announced he's a fan of books authored by a social scientist the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a "white nationalist," and whose most famous book has been denounced as "racial pornography."

At a forum Thursday night, Jeb Bush proudly announced he is a fan of books authored by a highly-controversial social scientist whose most-read work, The Bell Curve, has been denounced as "racial pornography."

The on-stage conversation was hosted by the National Review, which itself was founded by the late William F. Buckley, Jr., himself a supporter of white supremacism. Buckley in his later years was forced to renounce his earlier racism, but well after the National Review was founded.

National Review editor Rich Lowry asked Bush, "is there any policy or anything public officials can do to help turn back what has been a rising tide of family breakdown crossing decades now?" 

"Absolutely, there is," Bush responded. "It's not exactly the core. My views on this were shaped a lot on this by Charles Murray's book, except I was reading the book and I was waiting for the last chapter with the really cool solutions — didn't quite get there."

Bush did not specify which Charles Murray book his views were shaped by, although The Bell Curve, which argues that Blacks are genetically inferior to whites, is the one for which he is best-known.

Later, Bush patted himself on the back when he again brought up Charles Murray.

Asked what he likes to read, "I like Charles Murray books to be honest with you, which means I'm a total nerd I guess," Bush said.

The National Review tweeted the quote later that evening.

Bush's comments came just 24 hours after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivered her first major policy speech, saying America needs to "come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America."

In 1994, then-New York Times op-ed columnist Bob Herbert, labeled Murray's Bell Curve "a scabrous piece of racial pornography masquerading as serious scholarship," and added, "his book is just a genteel way of calling somebody a nigger."

Ironically, Charles Murray in 2000 wrote this at the National Review:

"Try to imagine a ... presidential candidate saying in front of the cameras, 'One reason that we still have poverty in the United States is that a lot of poor people are born lazy.' You cannot imagine it because that kind of thing cannot be said. And yet this unimaginable statement merely implies that when we know the complete genetic story, it will turn out that the population below the poverty line in the United States has a configuration of the relevant genetic makeup that is significantly different from the configuration of the population above the poverty line. This is not unimaginable. It is almost certainly true."

It's not surprising, perhaps, that Bush would feel comfortable bandying Charles Murray about at the National Review. The publication's history of hosting those who do not support equality continues to this day.

In 2012, after publishing his work for nine years, the National Review finally fired John Derbyshire, after the racist and homophobic author penned a a racist screed titled "The Talk: Nonblack Version," that was published by a different online magazine, also known for its racist writers. 

National Review is also home to anti-gay marriage activist Maggie Gallagher, and senior editor Jay Nordlinger, who in 2012 also, called immigrants "wetbacks," and then defended the slur.

Here's video of Bush talking about Charles Murray's book:


Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
Hat tip: Talking Points Memo


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