George Bush in Michigan in 2009. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush (R) wrote in a statement Tuesday that he and his wife, Laura, are "anguished" by the death of George Floyd, and said that "it is time for America to examine our tragic failures."

Why it matters: It's a stark juxtaposition when compared to fellow Republican President Trump's response to current civil unrest. While Trump has called for justice in Floyd's death, he's also condemned violent protestors and threatened to deploy military personnel if demonstrations continue.

  • The former president, however, made no mention of the current administration in his statement.
  • Bush writes that he and his wife over the past week actively "resisted the urge to speak out, because this is not the time for us to lecture. It is time for us to listen."

What he's saying: Bush argued Americans best serve their neighbors when they "try to understand their experience."

  • "It remains a shocking failure that many African Americans, especially young African American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country...," Bush wrote.
  • "How do we end systemic racism in our society? The only way to see ourselves in a true light is to listen to the voices of so many who are hurting and grieving. Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America — or how it becomes a better place," he added.

The bottom line: Bush said "lasting justice will only come by peaceful means," condemning looting and destruction that's occurred in some demonstrations.

  • But "we also know that lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system."

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