George W. Bush is selling an art book full of—there’s no way you’ll guess this—portraits of immigrants. This may sound like the set-up to a probably not-so-funny joke at a stand-up set, but in an even more disappointing twist, it’s actually real. That’s right, the man who is responsible for the Iraq war has decided that what we need from him as a nation isn’t an apology, it’s a bunch of paintings.
I would laugh if it wasn’t so disgusting to see a former President who should be tried for war crimes being treated as if he’s just a harmless old man. Although it’s true that Bush had a much more liberal stance on undocumented immigrants than most Republicans today, that fact does not remotely negate the fact that he started a war under false pretenses that led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraquis and Americans. As my colleague Ashley Reese so elegantly put it in a piece last year, former President George W. Bush is not your fucking grandpa.
A statement from the book’s publisher elaborates on its ‘purpose’:
“Through powerful four-color portraits—personally painted by the President himself—and their accompanying stories, OUT OF MANY, ONE reminds us of the countless ways in which America has been strengthened by the individuals who have come here in search of a better life.”
Do you know what would’ve been better than painting pictures of immigrants? Not creating a political environment that empowered racists to physically attack brown people across the United States.
In the introduction to “Out of Many, One”, a name so awful I could not have even made it up, Bush wrote some fluffy nonsense about immigration.
“While I recognize that immigration can be an emotional issue, I reject the premise that it is a partisan issue. It is perhaps the most American of issues, and it should be one that unites us,” he wrote, adding that “my hope is that this book will help focus our collective attention on the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country.”
.... I was just waiting for a spiel on how America is the ultimate melting pot (or is it salad bowl?), but maybe the editor was smart enough to cut that part out.
Immigration is a partisan issue. Refusing to acknowledge that reality doesn’t make Bush progressive, it makes him delusional.
Besides, the paintings aren’t even that good.