In the wake of George Floyd’s murder by police on May 25, 2020, the Leader of the Free World continues his egotistic mission to bring fear, hate, and xenophobia into the United States of America. And now, when the nation is grieving and peacefully protesting against a history of police brutality against civilians, President Trump needs to take a knee instead of playing golf, posing for photos, and tweeting.
This is America. This is not a reality TV show. It’s unfortunate that Trump neither knows nor cares how to treat a broken heart. Thankfully, our nation’s living past Presidents do and they are speaking out.
May 30: Bill Clinton suggested we need to ask hard questions.
June 1: Barack Obama offered ways to bring about change.
June 3: Jimmy Carter demanded the end of racial discrimination.
June 6: George W. Bush argued for justice through peace.
There’s a growing chorus on social media for the four former Presidents to come together in solidarity and speak out against hate.
This could be historic because ex-Presidents are typically only seen in the same room for inaugurations and funerals. Though, they reunited in 2017 for a hurricane relief concert and in 2013 for GWB’s presidential library opening.
With everything else going on, Trump now wants to be dictator and command the U.S. military to enter American cities and towns. If nobody is willing to stand up to him, that’s another reason for Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to collectively say, “No! We do not support this.”
This is not a new idea. Last fall, Newsweek published an opinion column by Cornell William Brooks, a past president of the NAACP, for the four men to “declare a National Emergency on Hate and convene a National Summit on Hate and Democracy.” The summit can come later. America’s immediate need is a declaration by the four private citizens who share the same elected job title. Their bipartisanship can help rebuild the human bridges that are being torn every minute of every day.
Video would be ideal, such as prerecorded statements by each man that are pulled together into a single media file for TV and radio stations to air and for social media users to play. The impact could be equally felt through words, such as a joint letter published in major newspapers.
Trump has the worst disapproval rating in the history of U.S. presidential polling. His legacy is one thing, but his (in)actions since the death of George Floyd are causing rebellion from citizens and friction from allies. The Prime Minister of Australia, for instance, is pissed off that federal law enforcement attacked its media.
It’s not normal for past Presidents to unify against a current President. However, as we already know, we are not living in normal times.