Former Presidents George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush issued a statement in support of freedom and rejecting "hatred in all forms" Wednesday. The statement came amid the increasing tensions following the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday.
Time's White House correspondent, Zeke Miller, had the Bushes' full statement:
America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms. As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.
Joint statement from former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush: pic.twitter.com/3WIn5I4orc
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 16, 2017
GOP leaders have a long history of denouncing racism and bigotry. Ronald Reagan, at a Colorado NAACP speech in 1981, drew a clear line against those who resort to hatred based on racial differences:
To those individuals who persist in such hateful behavior … you are the ones who are out of step with our society, you are the ones who willfully violate the meaning of the dream that is America, and this country because it does what it stands for will not stand for your conduct.
The Bushes weren't the only ones to denounce hatred and extremism following the weekend's strife. Military leaders took to Twitter to take a stand against vitriol in America.
USMC Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller tweeted that there was "no place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act."
No place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act.
— Robert B. Neller (@GenRobertNeller) August 15, 2017
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley also took to Twitter.
"The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks. It's against our Values and everything we've stood for since 1775," he wrote.
The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks. It's against our Values and everything we've stood for since 1775.
— GEN Mark A. Milley (@ArmyChiefStaff) August 16, 2017
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson posted his thoughts on Facebook. Richardson wrote that "the Navy will forever stand against intolerance and hatred" and that they are "saving violence only for our enemies."