Bush Presidents: Americans Must Reject Racism After Charlottesville

The statement, however, failed to mention Donald Trump.

Javier Rojas/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend