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date: 04 March 2021

Bush, George H. W., Administration of.locked

  • Wayne Dawkins

Extract

The George H. W. Bush administration, from 1989 to 1993, promised to be less oppressive for blacks after eight years of Reaganism, arguably the most racist presidency since the Jim Crow era. Bush, a conservative and Ronald Reagan's vice president, promised a “kinder, gentler” style of governing that suggested a retreat from the mean-spirited rhetoric and policies of 1981–1989. Bush had a track record as a supporter of the United Negro College Fund since his student days at Yale University. As a congressman from Texas from 1967 to 1971, Bush supported the antidiscriminatory Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act) of 1968 and at that time angered many of his white constituents.

Yet Bush's 1988 campaign for president was accused of making racist appeals. Bush campaign advertisements displayed images of the convicted rapist-murderer Willie Horton a black man released on parole by ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.

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