Bush at African American Museum: ‘The Price of Our Union Was America’s Original Sin’

Saturday at the grand opening ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, former President George W. Bush said, “This museum tells the truth that a country founded on the promise of liberty held millions in chains, that the price of our union was America’s original sin.”

Bush said, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws, and corrects them. This museum tells the truth that a country founded on the promise of liberty held millions in chains, that the price of our union was America’s original sin. From the beginning some spoke to truth. John Adams called slavery an evil of colossal magnitude. Their voices were not heeded and often not heard, but they were known to a power greater than any on earth. One who love his children and meant them to be free. Second, this museum shows America’s capacity to change. For centuries slavery and segregation seemed permanent—permanent parts of our national life.”

“But not to Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr.,” he continued.  “All answered cruelty with  courage and hope. In a society governed by the people, no wrong lasts forever. After struggle and sacrifice, the American people, acting through the most democratic of means, amended the Constitution that originally treated slaves as three-fifths of a person to guarantee equal protection of the laws. After a decade of struggle, civil rights acts and voting rights acts were finally enacted. Even today the journey toward justice still is not complete, but this museum will inspire us to go further and get there faster.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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