Likely presidential candidate and former governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) on Wednesday appeared to take a dig at protesters who have recently organized in Ferguson, Missouri and other cities across the country over tensions between police and minority communities.
Instead of demonstrating in support of “things that might be important to them,” Bush said protesters should focus on education policy reform — a pet issue for the former Florida governor and his budding presidential campaign.
“I would like to see more people marching in the streets for rising student achievement,” he said in a speech in Detroit on Wednesday. “Less people marching in the streets for things that might be important to them, but rising student achievement should be the highest calling for all of us and we should be outraged that it’s not happening to the degree that it should.”
While Bush did not specify which “people marching in the streets” he would like to see less of, the most prominent protests over the past year have focused on police brutality and racial profiling. In recent months, protests have grown across the country in the wake of the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. Many protesters organized around the rallying cry “Black Lives Matter,” creating a movement centered around the value of black lives.
Immediately after the grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who shot Brown, millions of protesters took to the streets in more than 170 cities, including Detroit, where Bush made the comments. One march in New York City alone drew tens of thousands of people into the streets, making it the single largest post-Ferguson protest.