One very public person who has stayed largely silent on political issues of the day is former first lady Laura Bush. While her husband was often criticized and even reviled, Mrs. Bush has always been well-liked on both sides of the aisle.
With an op-ed in The Washington Post, Laura Bush poured out her heart on Trump’s cruel and inhumane policy of separating children and parents at the border to be detained in tent cities and abandoned buildings. She decided she could not keep silent anymore.
‘On Sunday, a day we as a nation set aside to honor fathers and the bonds of family, I was among the millions of Americans who watched images of children who have been torn from their parents. In the six weeks between April 19 and May 31, the Department of Homeland Security has sent nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers or foster care. More than 100 of these children are younger than 4 years old. The reason for these separations is a zero-tolerance policy for their parents, who are accused of illegally crossing our borders.
‘I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.’
“ …this zero tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart…
can we not find a kinder, more compassionate, more moral answer to the current crisis? I, for one, believe we can.” Former First Lady Laura Bush. https://t.co/wUcLbTqqkF
— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) June 18, 2018
While Mrs. Bush is certainly not the first to publicly criticize Trump’s disgusting policy, she is certainly a voice who can’t be dismissed as overreacting for political gain. Trump’s supporters insist that Democrats who publicly oppose the policy are simply grandstanding, but Bush is not involved in politics, wrote an impassioned op-ed to speak out when her silence would have gone unnoticed, and has no party line to toe.
‘Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history. We also know that this treatment inflicts trauma; interned Japanese have been two times as likely to suffer cardiovascular disease or die prematurely than those who were not interned.’
I can never remember Laura Bush weighing in on a policy fight like this. Ever. https://t.co/rfCyKotaAp
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) June 18, 2018
Bush has long been an advocate for children, having carried out an initiative promoting child literacy as first lady. She has stated publicly that she learned everything about being a first lady from her mother-in-law, late former first lady Barbara Bush.
‘Twenty-nine years ago, my mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, visited Grandma’s House, a home for children with HIV/AIDS in Washington. Back then, at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the disease was a death sentence, and most babies born with it were considered “untouchables.” During her visit, Barbara — who was the first lady at the time — picked up a fussy, dying baby named Donovan and snuggled him against her shoulder to soothe him. My mother-in-law never viewed her embrace of that fragile child as courageous. She simply saw it as the right thing to do in a world that can be arbitrary, unkind and even cruel. She, who after the death of her 3-year-old daughter knew what it was to lose a child, believed that every child is deserving of human kindness, compassion and love.’
“Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores..These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II” Laura Bush in @WaPo on policy of #FamilySeparation https://t.co/7BACEe7Ci6
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) June 18, 2018
Like many of us, Bush is appalled by what we see on the news with this new policy. Children should not be held hostage for political maneuvers, and it doesn’t seem anyone other than his GOP friends are going to stay silent about it.
‘In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can.’
No matter what @realDonaldTrump says, his administration has made a choice to separate children at the border. For Bush & Obama, the idea of crying children torn from their parents’ arms was too inhumane and politically perilous to embrace. w/@juliehdavis https://t.co/cVD7JBaKsG
— Michael D. Shear (@shearm) June 16, 2018
Unfortunately, those who could force change on this policy have not weighed in and don’t seem to have the same humanity Laura Bush does.
Featured image via Getty/