Former President George W. Bush voiced his support Tuesday for demonstrators against the police death of George Floyd, while calling for Americans to examine the "tragic failures" of the United States and to push for equal justice.
"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 said in his first statement about Floyd's death, reports The Hill. "Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America — or how it becomes a better place."
He added that he and wife Laura had initially resisted speaking out because it was "time for us to listen" rather than "lecture," but said he's "anguished" by Floyd's "brutal suffocation" that occurred when a white police officer kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes.
Demonstrators, meanwhile, are showing strength when they, "protected by responsible law enforcement, march for a better future," said Bush, stressing that justice will only come through "peaceful means."
"Looting is not liberation, and destruction is not progress, but we also know that lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice," he said. "The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system, and achieving justice for all is the duty of all."
The former president also called it a "shocking failure" in the United States that many African Americans are still harassed and threatened, and called on Americans to start a "courageous and creative effort" on inequality.
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