David Alexander Bullock
Host, The People's Show
I understand the grief and pain experienced at the death of a loved one. My deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to the family of former President George H. W. Bush.
I recently lost my father. I lost my mother in 1993. I understand the strength it takes to remember your parents and move on with your life after they are gone.
However, we must remember that George H. W. Bush wasn’t just a private citizen. He was a public figure. He was president of the United States of America. We must think critically about how his life and legacy are being interpreted in the wake of his recent demise.
I was born in 1977. I remember Ronald Regan and George H. W. Bush with the imagination of child shaped by the words of the adults in my world. I can remember my late father talking about how Ronald Regan broke the air traffic controller strike. I have a vivid recollection of Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., speaking to the Democratic National Convention instructing America to stay out of the bushes. I can hear the voice of George H. W. Bush promising no new taxes. These are my childhood recollections of George H. W. Bush.
As an adult, I keep wondering if the news coverage will talk about the war on drugs. Will any commentators talk about the way crack cocaine was pumped into black communities across America by a complicit government that included George H. W. Bush? I keep waiting for the kind of sober and critical assessment of his presidency and this country now and then to be legitimately included in the dialogue about his life and legacy.
As I watch the television, I realize that a eulogy is not political commentary. He definitely deserves a eulogy, but what we need is deep and critical political commentary. Donald Trump has mined an America the mainstream media ignores and the cult of political correctness denies. As we lift George H. W. Bush into the great pantheon of the gods of Olympus, let us remember that on the ground our country is hurting, divided and confused. George H. W. Bush was apart of shaping the culture that has become the chaotic landscape of our current American politics.
The sons and daughters of privilege, the powerful plutocrats and the zookeepers of the leviathan of government have created an America where freedom is under fire, poverty is on the rise and hate no longer lives in the shadows. We must trace the path that got us here, if we are to find a route to greener pastures. This requires us not to revise a life, but rather stare deeply into the real life George H. W. Bush.