On Saturday, an opening ceremony was held for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. What makes total and complete sense is that President Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, was in attendance. Also in attendance at the ceremony was former President George W. Bush, who also spoke at the event.
The ceremony, which should have been celebrating African-American history, was full of irony, however. Along with Chief Justice John Roberts, destroyer of the Voting Rights Act, speaking briefly, Dubya pulled off a facepalm-worthy gaffe that has to make people wonder what went through both his and President Obama’s head.
When Bush was asked by a family of guests at the event for a photograph, he needed someone to snap the photo as he completely failed at taking a selfie. What better idea than to utilize the black guy standing around to do so. Problem is, that black guy was the current president of the United States who will leave the presidency with a far higher approval rating than Baby Bush could have ever dreamed of.
OK, so maybe the intention wasn’t racist; however, the optics, which were caught on video, are absolutely terrible. With such a heavy atmosphere as racial tensions grow tighter throughout America, Bush should have attempted to find anyone else. Then again, it’s Bush (Dubya). We’re just proud he didn’t try to operate the smartphone anymore and prove to us just how woefully behind he is.
— CNN (@CNN) September 24, 2016
President Obama, to his credit, graciously stepped in though, with no hesitation to snap the photo. Obama gave a beautiful and emotional speech in which he reflected that one day he would bring his own future grandchild to the new museum.
‘It is in this embrace of truth, as best as we can know it, in the celebration of the entire American experience, where real patriotism lies. It is an act of patriotism to understand where we’ve been, and this museum tells the story of so many patriots.’
He also used the opportunity to reflect on the current tensions within America regarding race.
‘This is the place to understand how protest and love of country don’t merely coexist but inform each other, how men can proudly win the gold for their country but still insist on raising a black-gloved fist, how we can wear an “I can’t breathe” T-shirt and still grieve for fallen police officers.’