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More headlines: George W. Bush on Civil Rights

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


Condemns anti-Semitic comments of Dallas NAACP president

A Bush spokesman made it clear that Bush did not agree with the statements from Dallas NAACP President Lee Alcorn, who had raised questions about Lieberman’s Jewish faith during a local radio interview. “In the strongest terms, the Bush-Cheney campaign condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made against Senator Lieberman. When it comes to fighting anti-Semitism, Governor Bush and Secretary Cheney stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all Americans in condemning such foolish utterances.”
Source: CNN.com Aug 9, 2000

Enforce civil rights, reform education, help people achieve

Strong civil rights enforcement will be a cornerstone of my administration. I will confront another form of bias - the soft bigotry of low expectations in education. Raise the bar of standards. Give schools the flexibility to meet them. Insist on results. Blow the whistle on failure. Provide parents with options to increase their influence. A central part of my agenda is changing Title One to close the achievement gap. I have proposed a New Prosperity Initiative. We must provide a Family Health Credit that covers 90 percent of the cost of a basic health policy for low-income families. We’ll allow low-income families to use up to a year’s worth of Section 8 rental payments to make a down payment on their own home - then use five years of those payments to help with the mortgage. I will lift the regulations that hamper private and faith-based programs.
Source: Speech to NAACP, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose” Jul 10, 2000

Apologizes for anti-Catholic appearance at Bob Jones U.

Some have taken-and mistaken-[my visit to Bob Jones University] as a sign that I approve of the anti-Catholic and racially divisive views associated with that school. I want to erase any doubts about my views & values.

I encourage tolerance and respect for the religious views of others. [I reject] guilt by association. I reject racial segregation-in our laws, in our hearts and our lives. And I reject religious intolerance-because faith is defined by grace and hope, not fear and division.

In my speech, I emphasized that I am a uniter not a divider and that Americans can work together for the good of all. On reflection, I should have been more clear in disassociating myself from anti-Catholic sentiments and racial prejudice. It was a missed opportunity, causing needless offense, which I deeply regret.

I am offended by any suggestion that I tolerate anti-Catholic bigotry. I hope that you, and all Catholics, will accept this assurance of my good faith.

Source: Letter to Cardinal John O’Connor Feb 25, 2000

Rejects anti-Catholicism and racial segregation

Some have mistaken [my visit to Bob Jones University] as a sign that I approve of the anti-Catholicism As a public official, I take seriously my duty to encourage tolerance and respect for the religious views of others. As a Christian, I see Catholics as my brothers and sisters in Christ-sharing the same ancient creed and core beliefs. I reject racial segregation-in our laws, in our hearts and our lives. And I reject religious intolerance-because faith is defined by grace and hope, not fear and division.

I have profound respect for the Catholic church-a sympathy beyond mere tolerance. I hope and intend that anyone closely examining my agenda will see reflections of a much greater tradition-a tradition of social justice defended and represented by the Catholic Church.

This is why I am offended by any suggestion that I tolerate anti-Catholic bigotry-and resent any attempt to create that impression. I hope that all Catholics will accept this assurance of my good faith.

Source: Letter to Cardinal O’Connor of New York Feb 25, 2000

Repudiates anti-Catholicism despite Bob Jones University

Let me make it crystal clear, Mr. Bush said loudly. “I reject bigotry, I reject prejudice, I repudiate anti-Catholicism and racism.” His proclamation had a specific prompting: thousands of telephone calls reminding voters that Bush had visited Bob Jones University in South Carolina and recounting some of the anti-Catholic sentiment associated with the institution. Bob Jones University [is] an extremely conservative Christian school with a well-known policy against interracial dating. Bush did not acknowledge that controversy as he addressed thousands of students there. “I repudiate the phone calls that came in accusing me of being an anti-Catholic bigot,” Bush said. What about the Bob Jones visit? “I don’t make any apologies for what I do on the campaign trail,” he said.
Source: Frank Bruni, New York Times Feb 24, 2000

Should leaders face racial bigotry, or ignore it?

KEYES [to Bush]: Does leadership consist in going into Bob Jones University-where serious questions exist about racial & religious bigotry-and taking the applause, risking nothing because you refuse to raise the issues? Or does it consist of carrying a message of integrity about this country’s moral principles and saying, if you can’t deal with the demons of bigotry & cast them out, you’ll accomplish no good? Which is the better leader?

BUSH: I was asked, do I support their policy of no interracial dating. I said of course not. I talked about how the principles of conservatism can lift the spirit of America. How we can improve peoples lives, that’s what I talked about.

KEYES: In your speech, you said nothing about the and racial bigotry that had to be dealt with. On an if-asked basis, these questions are not enough. What I did was look folks in the eye and tell them. I’m willing to lose every vote over the issue of standing with integrity against religious and racial bigotry.

Source: (X-ref from Keyes) GOP Debate on the Larry King Show Feb 15, 2000

Respect Spanish heritage, but conduct government in English

KEYES [to Bush]: [A Texas town] passed an ordinance saying that all business is to be conducted in the Spanish language. A lot of us look at that sort of thing as an assault on our linguistic unity that is dangerous to the future union of this country. What action do you plan to take to show the people that you stand for one nation, one language rather than a nation linguistically divided?

BUSH: No es la verdad.

KEYES: Es la verdad, se¤or.

BUSH: One, I expressed concern about it-I don’t want this town’s business being conducted in Spanish, it ought to be conducted in English. Secondly, I’ve talked to [Texas’] attorney general to make sure that this town was conforming to all the laws of Texas.
I’m for what’s called English Plus. English is the great language that provides freedom and opportunity. Plus we respect other people’s heritage in this country.

Source: (x-ref from Keyes) GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Bush supports Texas Religous Freedom Restoration Act

Governor Bush signed into law the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects Texans’ right to free exercise of religion against government encroachment. The act restores the “compelling state interest” test a governmental body must meet before restricting religious freedom. Previously Bush signed a series of laws in 1996-97 encouraging faith-based organizations to play a central role in addressing problems facing needy citizens in the state.
Source: GeorgeWBush.com/News/ “REFRA” Jun 10, 1999

Affirmative access means a fair shot for everyone

Q: Do you support the hiring and contracting preferences based on race and sex that are inherent in affirmative action programs?

A: I support what I call ‘affirmative access’-not quotas, not double standards, because those divide and balkanize, but access-a fair shot for everyone. For example, I signed legislation in Texas requiring the top 10 percent of graduates from Texas high schools to be automatically accepted in any public university in Texas. As president, I will strip bureaucratic regulations, such as high permitting and licensing fees, which disproportionately hurt minority-owned businesses. I will break up federal procurement contracts to allow minority-owned businesses to compete for or partner with more experienced firms as subcontractors. And I will reward companies making aggressive efforts to involve minority-owned businesses through subcontracting and mentoring programs.

Source: Associated Press Oct 25, 2000

Affirmative access good; Gore’s affirmative action bad

Q: What about affirmative action?

BUSH: I’ve had a record of bringing people from all walks of life into my administration, and my administration is better off for it. But quotas are bad for America. It’s not what America is all about, which is equal opportunity and the opportunity for people to realize their potential. So to answer your question, I support affirmative access.

GORE: I don’t know what affirmative access means. Affirmative action isn’t quotas. I’m against quotas. They’re against the American way. Affirmative action means that you take extra steps to acknowledge the history of discrimination and injustice and prejudice.

Q: Are you opposed to affirmative action?

BUSH: No. If affirmative action means quotas, I’m against it. If affirmative action means what I just described, then I’m for it.

GORE: He said if affirmative action means quotas, he’s against it. Affirmative action doesn’t mean quotas. Are you for it without quotas?

BUSH: I may not be for your version.

Source: St. Louis debate Oct 17, 2000

Bush courageously speaks to NAACP, yet offers few specifics

In his latest bid to show that he is a different kind of Republican, the Texas governor quoted Abraham Lincoln’s warning to a divided nation that “we cannot escape our history.” Bush added, “140 years later, that is still true. For our nation there is no denying the truth that slavery is a blight on our history. And that racism, despite all the progress, still exists today.” Bush, to a large extent, simply retailored his stump speech for the thousands of delegates to the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He did not cover several topics of interest to the delegates, including the death penalty, Supreme Court nominees and affirmative action. But his appearance provided a contrast with four years ago when Bob Dole, the Republican nominee, refused to speak to the group. After his speech, a few listeners spoke of his courage in addressing a skeptical crowd. But many more listeners complained about the lack of specifics.
Source: Alison Mitchell, NY Times Jul 11, 2000

GOP to reach out with goal of prosperity for all races

I am here today because I believe there is much we can do together to advance racial harmony and economic opportunity. For my party, there’s no escaping the reality that the Party of Lincoln has not always carried the mantle of Lincoln. Recognizing and confronting our history is important. Transcending our history is essential. We are not limited by what we have done, or what we have left undone. We are limited only by what we are willing to do. Our nation must make a new commitment to equality and upward mobility for all our citizens. This is a great moment of national prosperity. But many still live in prosperity’s shadow. We cannot afford to have an America segregated by class, by race or by aspiration.
Source: Speech to NAACP, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose” Jul 10, 2000

Against quotas; for affirmative reaching out

Gov. Bush concurs that state government agencies should not take race and sex into account in any sectors. A spokesperson said, “Governor Bush opposes quotas, but supports affirmative efforts to reach out and recruit qualified Texans from all ethnic backgrounds for public employment, state contracting and college and universities.”
Source: Vote Smart NPAT 1998 Jul 2, 1998

Reject quotas, double standards & “group thought”

We must say to each and every person, we want you to succeed. We must actively affirm access to the American dream. We must reject the politics of those who want to lump people into groups, those who insist on quotas or double standards. Quotas balkanize America. Group thought provides a convenient excuse for bigotry, a convenient excuse for failure.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

Celebrate diversity but don’t put people into boxes

Our diversity gives Texas new life, new energy, new blood and we should not fear it but welcome it. No debemos temerla sino recibirla con los brazos abiertos. We should be proud of our various heritages; we should celebrate them in festivals; we should enjoy their traditions in our homes. This genuine appreciation of heritage stands in stark contrast to those who would divide people into groups for political purposes. There’s a trend in this country to put people into boxes.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

No gay anti-discrimination laws; no same-sex marriages

When asked, “Do you believe that the Texas government should include sexual orientation in Texas’ anti-discrimination laws?,” Bush responded, “No.”

When asked, “Do you believe that the Texas government should recognize same-sex marriages?,” Bush responded, “No.”

Source: Vote Smart NPAT 1998 Jul 2, 1998

Other candidates on Civil Rights: George W. Bush on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts