On Thursday, Former President George W. Bush said that “bigotry seems emboldened” in the United States. He also gave a warning that Americans need to reject “white supremacy.”
Although he did not specifically mention President Donald Trump, Congress, or any other politicians in office, Bush criticized the “governing class.”
At a New York City forum focused on security and sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute, Bush said, “discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts” in recent years.
He went on to say, “Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seem more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”
Bush also claimed that public confidence in America’s institutions have declined in recent decades, and warned against “a new era of cyber threats” including Russia’s attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election.
He said, “Ultimately this assault won’t succeed, but foreign aggressions including cyber attacks, disinformation, and financial influence should never be downplayed or tolerated.”
“We cannot wish globalism away,” Bush said, noting that the United States must sustain “wise and sustained global engagement” for the future of the country.
“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, and forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America,” he lamented.
“Bigotry seems emboldened, our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication,” he said. “There are some signs that support for democracy itself has waned especially for the young.”
Fears about a rise in bigotry across the country have increased over the last year, following protests in Charlottesville, Va., in August between white supremacist groups and counter-protestors. One woman was even killed when a man drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters.
Bush continued, “Bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.
One of Bush’s spokespeople denied that the former president was criticizing Trump in Thursday’s speech.
According to the hill, Freddy Ford said, “This was a long-planned speech on liberty and democracy as a part of the Bush Institute’s Human Freedom Initiative. The themes President Bush spoke about today are really the same themes he has spoken about for the last two decades.”
For a brief overview of Bush’s speech, check out the following video…
You can watch the entire speech in context below:
What are your thoughts? Do you side with Bush?
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Credit: The Hill