Bush Presidents: Americans Must Reject Racism After Charlottesville

The statement, however, failed to mention Donald Trump.

Javier Rojas/ZUMA

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President George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush released a statement on Wednesday urging Americans to combat racism and hate groups in response to the white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. The brief remarks from the 41st and 43rd presidents came short of denouncing President Donald Trump by name, as the White House continues to attract intense criticism over Trump’s repeated insistence that multiple sides were responsible for the violence in Charlottesville. 

“America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms,” the statement read. “As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded  of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights.”

“We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.”

On Tuesday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who lost to Trump in the Republican presidential primary, went slightly farther than his father and brother with a statement directly calling on the president to heal the country after Charlottesville, rather than equivocate over who was to blame for the violence.

Since Trump’s initial muted response to Saturday’s protest, several Republican members of Congress have attempted to distance themselves from the president. His explosive press conference Tuesday made it clear that he intends to stay his course and ignore the criticism.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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