Rebecca J. Kavanagh @DrRJKavanagh New York City Public Defender, @theappeal Media Relations Director, Writer, @nyulaw, @sydneylawschool, @sydney_uni. Views my own. Dec. 02, 2018 2 min read

Willie Horton is not just a footnote in George Bush's otherwise storied career. The 41st president consistently supported racist political positions.

He opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, saying, "It was passed to protect 14% of the people. I'm also worried about the other 86%."

He was a staunch supporter of states' rights, which has always been, & especially then was, racist code for not using federal law (and troops where necessary) to protect the rights of African Americans and other minorities.

In 1990, he vetoed the Civil Rights Act, which was intended to prohibit discrimination in employment, and which had been passed by an overwhelming majority of both houses of Congress, describing it as a "quota bill,"

In the same year, he also vetoed the Voter Registration Bill, which included a voter-registration program that would have added millions of minority voters to voter registration rolls.

Oh & this penchant for racism, as is so often the case, extended into his private life.

In 1959, he & his wife chose to build a house in a Houston housing development that was protected by a restrictive racial covenant (by then unenforceable by law). But still, damn.

The house was at 5525 Briar Drive in the Broad Oaks housing development.

The covenant stated: "No part of the property in the said Addition shall ever be sold, leased, or rented to, or occupied by any person other than of the Caucasian race, except in the servants' quarters."

I could go on, but this would be a tremendously long Twitter thread. And this is just a few examples with respect to race. I haven't touched other issues. Oh let me throw in one example.

The day after the Vice Presidential debate in 1984 with Geraldine Ferraro, George Bush says, "I tried to kick a little ass." Hours later his staff shows up on the press plane wearing buttons that said, "We kicked a little ass."

Which fits so well with what we saw in the last few years of his penchant for disrespecting women.

As I say thread could be 10 times as long. It's just been frustrating to see that, of the media who even mention the Willie Horton ad, it's portrayed as as something that stands alone rather than just part of a life long consistent narrative of racist politics.

You can follow @DrRJKavanagh.


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