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George W. Bush Urges Us To 'Listen' And 'Examine Tragic Failures' In Rare Statement

Gettyimages | Pool
By Clark Sparky

Former president George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush issued a rare public statement this week to address the killing of George Floyd and the protests that it sparked. Bush wrote that he and his wife are "anguished" by what they called the "brutal suffocation" they witnessed in the video released last week.

He went on to call it a "shocking failure" that African-Americans in our country are still being harassed and killed.

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"Yet we have resisted the urge to speak out, because this is not the time for us to lecture. It is time for us to listen. It is time for America to examine our tragic failures -- and as we do, we will also see some of our redeeming strengths," the statement said.

Floyd was killed on May 25th when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the back of Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes while he was laying face down on the pavement with his hands behind his back.

George Floyd protests
Unsplash | Julian Wan

Bush went on to wonder what we can do as a nation to end this institutional racism and police brutality.

"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," Bush wrote.

Unsplash | Koshu Kunii

The former president also seemed to take a jab at some comments Donald Trump has made: "Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America -- or how it becomes a better place."

On Monday, Trump voiced his desire to snuff out the protestors during a speech in the Rose Garden. He said he will use the military to end the demonstrations and called himself the "law and order president."

To date, Chauvin is the only person who is facing jail time for Floyd's death. There were three other officers present at the incident, two of which actually put their knees on Floyd's back, but none of them have been charged.

Since his killing, protests have raged across the country for eight days and nights. Floyd is a native of Texas, and in Houston there was a gathering over more than 60,000 peaceful protestors seeking justice in his name.

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