Slap in the face: George W. Bush makes the time to honor Selma, spurned by civil rights ‘leader’

A civil rights activist said to be one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s top lieutenant refused to march with former President George W. Bush on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march in Selma, Ala.

“I refused to march because George Bush marched,” Diane Nash told NewsOne Now in an interview.

Described by NewsOne Now as a member of “King’s inner circle during some of his most significant campaigns, including Selma,” Nash took exception to Bush’s participation because she believes he condones violence.

“I think the Selma movement was about nonviolence and peace and democracy,” she said. “And George Bush stands for just the opposite, for violence and war and stolen elections.”

Bush was the only former president to attend the civil rights anniversary event. Democrat Bill Clinton, the nation’s “first black president,” was occupied with his Clinton Foundation in Miami, and fellow Democrat Jimmy Carter also had a prior engagement.

(George H.W. Bush is in ill health and was unable to attend.)

But Nash would not march with W.

Interestingly, she did not voice similar concerns about President Obama, who was also present Saturday, even though the number of estimated deaths from drone strikes under his administration is more than four times what it was during the Bush administration, according to CNN.

Perhaps she has evolved from King’s vision of judging people by the content of their character to simply relying on the color of their skin.

Nevertheless, Nash said Saturday’s ceremony “was not an appropriate event” for Bush, in part because he “had people tortured.”

“I did not wish to be part of something that included him,” she continued. “I think George Bush’s presence is really an insult to me and people who do believe in non-violence.”

Barack Obama excluded, of course.

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Tom Tillison


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