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Trump should take a cue from George W. Bush

“Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America,” the former President said.

Former President George W. Bush released a statement on June 2, 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests taking place across the country. Our current president, who is considering unleashing the United States military against its own citizens, would do well to take a cue from both of his predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush. You can read Obama’s response here. Bush’s statement begins:

Laura and I are anguished by the brutal suffocation of George Floyd and disturbed by the injustice and fear that suffocate our country . . . It remains a shocking failure that many African Americans, especially young African American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country. It is a strength when protesters, protected by responsible law enforcement, march for a better future.

This tragedy — in a long series of similar tragedies — raises a long overdue question: How do we end systemic racism in our society? The only way to see ourselves in a true light is to listen to the voices of so many who are hurting and grieving. Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America — or how it becomes a better place.

Continue reading the full statement from George W. Bush.

Once you finish reading it, share it far and wide, particularly with your family members who have been conditioned by the bubble they live in on Facebook, from right wing pundits on Fox News, and further led astray by a power-hungry, divisive president who believes the use of the United States military against its own citizens is on the table as the proper course of action.

Do not be so foolish as to think that using the military against your own people will not escalate this situation to a more dire place than it already is. This is America.

The large majority of protesters are peaceful despite how the media portrays the events or how Trump frames the narrative on his Twitter timeline. Do not suffocate their voices as was done to George Floyd, Eric Garner, and those who perished unnecessarily before them.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday told reporters he does not believe the active duty military should be used to quell nationwide protesters, a highly unusual public disclosure of advice to the president of the United States usually held as closely confidential.

“I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” the Pentagon chief said during a press conference Wednesday.

Watch Esper’s press conference

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By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated,, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.