Former President George W. Bush pays tribute to immigrants with a book of moving paintings

Former President George W. Bush and current president Donald Trump may both be Republicans but they have contrasting views when it comes to immigration.

Trump has been one of the most anti-immigrant presidents of recent memory. His Administration separated undocumented families at the border, placed bans on travelers from majority-Muslim countries, and he's proudly proclaimed, "Our country is full."

George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

Unfortunately, that bill did not pass.


Bush has alluded to his disagreement with Trump over immigration policies in an interview with People in 2017.

"I don't like the racism and the name-calling, and I don't like the people feeling alienated," Bush said. "I didn't feel like speaking out before because I didn't want to complicate the job. However, at the Bush Center, we are speaking up ... through actions defending the values important to Laura and me."

via Crown

Bush is celebrating American immigrants with a new book of paintings "Out Of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants" which will be published on March 2. It includes 43 portraits by the 43rd president. Many of the subjects are people he knows personally.

It's hard not to notice the political statement the book makes coming out at time when the current Republican president, and party at-large have, made anti-immigrant sentiment a big part of their collective identity.

"While I recognize that immigration can be an emotional issue, I reject the premise that it is a partisan issue. It is perhaps the most American of issues, and it should be one that unites us," Bush writes in the new book's introduction.

"My hope is that this book will help focus our collective attention on the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country," he adds.

The book will serve as a companion piece for Bus's upcoming art exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.

"Both 'Out of Many, One" and the exhibition of the same name will include bold, principle-based solutions that comprehensively address the current debate on immigration," Crown, the book's publisher, says.

"At the heart of the recommendations is the belief that every year that passes without reforming the nation's broken system means missed opportunities to ensure the future prosperity, vitality, and security of our country," the statement continues.

A portion of the proceeds from "Out of Many, One" will go to help immigrants resettle.

Bush's persona as president was a tough-talking Texan, so his love for painting has been a rather surprising development in his post-presidential life.

He was inspired to paint after learning of Winston Churchill's love of the art. His passion for painting became public knowledge after his sister's email was hacked in 2013, revealing some of his artwork.

Since, he's been very public about his hobby, publishing a book of paintings of military veterans, "Portraits of Courage," in 2017.

"It keeps me active, so I'm not on the couch chewing potato chips all the time," Bush said according to CNN. "It's one of the great learning experiences."

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

Keep Reading Show less