George W. Bush criticizes “systemic racism” in the United States
The former US president is dismayed by George Floyd’s “brutal suffocation”. It is a failure that young blacks in the United States are threatened and harassed.
After the death of black George Floyd and the subsequent riots, former US President George W. Bush addressed the nation with a message for the first time: In a written, one-sided statement, he called racism a “threat” to the unity of the United States. He and his wife were dismayed by Floyd’s “brutal suffocation” and the injustice and fear that stifled the country.
He is only now speaking, Bush said, because it is not his time to give lectures. Instead, it has to be about listening. It was time to question your own tragic mistakes.
George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis last week. It has been one of many cases of police violence against unarmed blacks in the United States in recent years. Since then, there have been violent riots all over the country.
Bush writes that it is a shocking failure that young blacks in the United States are harassed and threatened. How, he asks, can this “systemic racism” be overcome? The solution to the problems facing the United States was to live by the country’s ideals – “by the fundamental truth that all people are equal and have God’s rights.” An allusion to the American declaration of independence. The heroes of America – he explicitly called the black civil rights activist Martin Luther King – were always heroes of unity.
Many people, Bush continued, rightly doubted that the country was doing justice. Black people see their rights regularly violated. At the same time, he opposed the violent riots: “Looting is not liberation and destruction is not progress.”