George W. Bush releases uncommon public assertion on George Floyd protests

“This isn’t the time for us to lecture. It’s time for us to pay attention,” he wrote.

In a uncommon public statement, former President George W. Bush mentioned he and former first woman Laura Bush had been anguished by the killing of George Floyd and disturbed by the injustice and concern.


“But we’ve resisted the urge to talk out, as a result of this isn’t the time for us to lecture. It’s time for us to pay attention. It’s time for America to look at our tragic failures — and as we do, we can even see a few of our redeeming strengths,” the assertion mentioned.

In a video that went viral, a Minneapolis police officer, recognized as Derek Chauvin, pinned Floyd to the bottom on Memorial Day after apprehending him exterior a comfort retailer for allegedly utilizing a counterfeit $20 invoice. As his knee was on Floyd’s neck for practically 10 minutes, Floyd may very well be heard saying, “I can not breathe.”

Chauvin was charged with third-degree homicide. All 4 officers concerned have been fired and investigations are ongoing.


Protests that started in Minnesota have multiplied across the country and world wide. Whereas many have featured peaceable demonstrators marching — generally with cops — some have grown violent and destructive, prompting cities to ascertain curfews and governors to name up the Nationwide Guard.

On Monday, as protesters in Lafayette Park subsequent to the White Home had been being cleared from the area, President Donald Trump got here to the Rose Backyard to name himself the “legislation and order” president, saying “home terrorism” was accountable for the unrest.

“As we converse, I’m dispatching hundreds and hundreds of closely armed troopers, army personnel and legislation enforcement officers to cease the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and the wanton destruction of property,” he mentioned. “We are going to finish it now.”

Earlier that day, he additionally called on governors to make use of their Nationwide Guard army police items to “dominate the streets” and threatened to deploy the active duty military if governors failed to make use of the Nationwide Guard extra forcefully.


In his five-paragraph assertion, Bush went on to speak concerning the “stunning failure” that many African Individuals, particularly younger males, are harassed and threatened within the U.S.


“It’s a energy when protesters, protected by accountable legislation enforcement, march for a greater future. This tragedy — in a protracted collection of comparable tragedies — raises a protracted overdue query: How can we finish systemic racism in our society? The one solution to see ourselves in a real gentle is to hearken to the voices of so many who’re hurting and grieving. Those that got down to silence these voices don’t perceive the that means of America — or the way it turns into a greater place,” Bush wrote.

Former President Barack Obama published an essay Monday on Medium addressing the continuing protests and the way he thinks folks can transfer ahead. The “backside line,” he wrote, is that “if we need to result in actual change, then the selection isn’t between protest and politics. Now we have to do each. Now we have to mobilize to boost consciousness, and we’ve to arrange and forged our ballots to make it possible for we elect candidates who will act on reform.”

The following second in American historical past may be “an actual turning level,” Obama wrote, if “we are able to channel our justifiable anger into peaceable, sustained, and efficient motion.”


Bush wrote, “America’s biggest problem has lengthy been to unite folks of very totally different backgrounds right into a single nation of justice and alternative. The doctrine and habits of racial superiority, which as soon as practically cut up our nation, nonetheless threaten our Union.”


“Many doubt the justice of our nation, and with good cause. Black folks see the repeated violation of their rights with out an pressing and ample response from American establishments,” he continued. “We all know that lasting justice will solely come by peaceable means. Looting just isn’t liberation, and destruction just isn’t progress. However we additionally know that lasting peace in our communities requires really equal justice. The rule of legislation finally will depend on the equity and legitimacy of the authorized system. And reaching justice for all is the obligation of all.”

“This can require a constant, brave, and artistic effort. We serve our neighbors finest once we attempt to perceive their expertise. We love our neighbors as ourselves once we deal with them as equals, in each safety and compassion. There’s a higher means — the way in which of empathy, and shared dedication, and daring motion, and a peace rooted in justice. I’m assured that collectively, Individuals will select the higher means,” he concluded.

Read the statement in full on the George W. Bush Presidential Middle web site.