The original George Bush – president from 1989-1993 – campaigned by running a racist Willie Horton ad to make his then opponent, Gov. Michael Dukakis, look like he didn’t care about “crime.” He did so by playing into dangerous stereotypes about Black men being criminals.
The Bush Administration even STAGED a crack deal, just so they could manipulate people into believing their racist narrative about the war on drugs. Bush held up a bag of crack on television that his people had tricked a teenager into selling near the White House.
One more: Bush refused to fund programs that would fight the HIV/AIDS crisis at a time when it was desperately needed. He even banned people with the virus from entering the U.S.! His inaction is directly tied to the death of thousands of Black people who bore the brunt of this outbreak.
Remembering former President George H.W. Bush requires honesty about what he did. Bush made deadly, lasting choices that we can’t just forget in the name of politeness or the next politician’s scandal. Because even after politicians are no longer “relevant,” their legacy continues to hurt us.