Former President Jimmy Carter condemned racial injustice amid large-scale protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death but said violence is not the means of demanding justice and law enforcement reforms.
“We all must shine a spotlight on the immorality of racial discrimination. But violence, whether spontaneous or consciously incited, is not a solution,” the former president said in a statement on Wednesday.
Carter is the third former president to urge protesters to remain peaceful as some turn to violence and looting.
“We know that lasting justice will only come by peaceful means. Looting is not liberation, and destruction is not progress. 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,” former President George W. Bush said in a statement on Tuesday.
Former President Barack Obama said the riots are undermining what peaceful protesters are fighting for.
“The small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk, compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment, and detracting from the larger cause,” Obama wrote in a piece published on Medium on Monday.
All three have supported the message of peaceful protesters while decrying the alleged killing of George Floyd by a white police officer who knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
“People of power, privilege, and moral conscience must stand up and say ‘no more’ to a racially discriminatory police and justice system, immoral economic disparities between whites and blacks, and government actions that undermine our unified democracy,” Carter said. “We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.”