"The era of rampant lynching is a shameful chapter in American history," Bush said in an event marking Black history month. "The noose is not a symbol of prairie justice, but of gross injustice," the president said. "Displaying one is not a harmless prank, and lynching is not a word to be mentioned in jest."
As a civil society, Americans should agree that noose displays and lynching jokes are "deeply offensive," Bush said. "They are wrong. And they have no place in America today."
For decades, the noose was a symbolic part of a campaign of violence, fear and intimidation against Blacks, the president said. Sometimes, he added, it was orchestrated by the law enforcement officers charged with protecting them. Bush also said the noose was a tool for intimidation and killing that conveyed a sense of powerlessness to millions of Blacks throughout the country.
"Fathers were dragged from their homes in the dark of night before the eyes of their terrified children," he said. "Summary executions were held by torchlight in front of hateful crowds. In many cases, law enforcement officers responsible for protecting the victims were complicit in their deaths."
George Bush showed me today that he had the potential to be a compassionate conservative. I'm sorry that the type of insight and compassion that he showed in his remarks today have been absent over the past seven years of his presidency.
Today, the drumbeats are for President Bush. What say u?