Black Excellence

41st George H.W. Bush 1989-1993 Republican

  • Running for president, George Bush stoked racial tension with the famous Willie Horton ad – which focused on a convicted murderer who committed a rape wile out of prison
  • Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act, which transformed much of America into a place more accessible for the disabled.
  • Elevated Colin Powell as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Nominated Clarence Thomas, black but a civil rights foe, to Supreme Court
  • Vetoed the 1990 civil rights act – this would have made it easier for litigants in race or sex discrimination cases to win
  • Signed the 1991 civil rights act -It provided the right to trial by jury on discrimination claims and introduced the possibility of emotional distress damages and limited the amount that a jury could award.
  • Continued the war on drugs calling for 1.5 billion increase in drug related federal spending to law enforcement. Saying we need more prisons, more jails, more courts, more prosecutors.

I would say that George H.W. Bush was the last of a dying breed of Republicans. He did some things for civil rights and had some good policies on immigration but ultimately he carried on too much of the Regan administration for me to give him a thumbs up: mass incarceration and trickle down economics. 

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