Bigotry, white supremacy are ‘blasphemy’ against American creed: Ex-US president


NEW YORK, Oct 20 (APP): US President George W. Bush, who has kept a low profile since leaving office in 2009, has said that bigotry seems emboldened in the United States, warning that Americans need to reject white supremacy.
The former president also criticized the governing class, but did not specifically mention President Donald Trump, Congress or any other politicians in office.
Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts in recent years, Bush said in a rare speech at a forum focused on security and sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute. But his remarks seemed to be a veiled criticism of the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party that has rallied around President Trump.
“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism,” Bush said without directly mentioning Trump. “Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”
Bush said American children need their leaders to be role models of civility. “Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children,” he said.
And he took a clear stand against racism, something Trump’s critics have said he has been unwilling to do.
“Bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed,” Bush said. He called for Americans to reject divisiveness and renew their spirit and institutions.
“When we lose sight of our ideals, it is not democracy that has failed. It is the failure of those charged with protecting and defending democracy,” he said.
Later, Bush added, “We need to recall and recover our own identity. Americans have great advantage. To renew our country, we only need to remember our values.”
“Our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs,” Bush said. “The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy.”
The 71-year-old former president pointed out the hypocrisy with how some Americans and politicians react to terror or tragedy all the while ignoring their own issues.
We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty, Bush said, adding, Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions, forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.
Earlier this year, Trump faced criticism after the comments he made following the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying there was fault on “both sides” the white nationalists and the counter-protesters who opposed them for the violence that led to the death of one counter-protester.
Three days ago, Republican Senator John McCain gave a speech similar in tone to Bush’s remarks, calling for a return to American ideals and rejecting bigotry.
“We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil,” McCain said a reference to the Nazi slogan that the nation was built on the purity of its blood and soil. “We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.”
The senator praised Bush’s speech in a tweet.