Former President George W. Bush pays tribute to immigrants with a book of moving paintings

Former President George W. Bush and current president Donald Trump may both be Republicans but they have contrasting views when it comes to immigration.

Trump has been one of the most anti-immigrant presidents of recent memory. His Administration separated undocumented families at the border, placed bans on travelers from majority-Muslim countries, and he's proudly proclaimed, "Our country is full."

George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

Unfortunately, that bill did not pass.


Bush has alluded to his disagreement with Trump over immigration policies in an interview with People in 2017.

"I don't like the racism and the name-calling, and I don't like the people feeling alienated," Bush said. "I didn't feel like speaking out before because I didn't want to complicate the job. However, at the Bush Center, we are speaking up ... through actions defending the values important to Laura and me."

via Crown

Bush is celebrating American immigrants with a new book of paintings "Out Of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants" which will be published on March 2. It includes 43 portraits by the 43rd president. Many of the subjects are people he knows personally.

It's hard not to notice the political statement the book makes coming out at time when the current Republican president, and party at-large have, made anti-immigrant sentiment a big part of their collective identity.

"While I recognize that immigration can be an emotional issue, I reject the premise that it is a partisan issue. It is perhaps the most American of issues, and it should be one that unites us," Bush writes in the new book's introduction.

"My hope is that this book will help focus our collective attention on the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country," he adds.

The book will serve as a companion piece for Bus's upcoming art exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.

"Both 'Out of Many, One" and the exhibition of the same name will include bold, principle-based solutions that comprehensively address the current debate on immigration," Crown, the book's publisher, says.

"At the heart of the recommendations is the belief that every year that passes without reforming the nation's broken system means missed opportunities to ensure the future prosperity, vitality, and security of our country," the statement continues.

A portion of the proceeds from "Out of Many, One" will go to help immigrants resettle.

Bush's persona as president was a tough-talking Texan, so his love for painting has been a rather surprising development in his post-presidential life.

He was inspired to paint after learning of Winston Churchill's love of the art. His passion for painting became public knowledge after his sister's email was hacked in 2013, revealing some of his artwork.

Since, he's been very public about his hobby, publishing a book of paintings of military veterans, "Portraits of Courage," in 2017.

"It keeps me active, so I'm not on the couch chewing potato chips all the time," Bush said according to CNN. "It's one of the great learning experiences."

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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