Former president George W. Bush delivered a speech Thursday in New York where he denounced white supremacy and bigotry and praised America’s founding values.
Speaking at his namesake institution, Bush reiterated the things that make America great, namely that people are judged by their character and their adoption of American values rather than by their ethnic background or their skin color.
“Our identity as a nation, unlike other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood,” Bush asserted. “Being an American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility.”
“We become the heirs of Thomas Jefferson by accepting the ideal of human dignity found in the Declaration of Independence, we become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U.S. Constitution, we become the heirs of Martin Luther King Jr. by recognizing one another not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” he continued.
Bush also sharply denounced the rise of white supremacist and nationalist groups in the United States, calling the views they hold “blasphemy.”
“Bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed,” he said to crowd applause.