Former United States president George W. Bush has broken his five-year silence after being called out by rapper Kanye West over his effort to assist New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Bush believes West painted him as a racist following New Orleans’ disaster.
“He called me a racist,” Bush tells reporter Matt Lauer. “And I didn’t appreciate it then. I don’t appreciate it now. It’s one thing to say, ‘I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business.’ It’s another thing to say, ‘This man’s a racist.’ I resent it, it’s not true.” (“Matt Lauer Reports”)
Bush goes into further detail in his upcoming new book, Decision Points.
“Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust.” Lauer adds, “You go on: ‘I faced a lot of criticism as President. I didn’t like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low.’ (Entertainment Weekly)
The rapper’s comments gained national attention during the live broadcast in August 2005.
West has had several controversies throughout his career. On September 2, 2005, during a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina relief on NBC, A Concert for Hurricane Relief, West was a featured speaker. Controversy arose when West was presenting, as he deviated from the prepared script. Actor Mike Myers, with whom West was paired to present, spoke next and continued to read the script. Once it was West’s turn to speak again, he said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” At this point, telethon producer Rick Kaplan cut off the microphone and then cut away to Chris Tucker, who was unaware of the cut for a few seconds. Still, West’s comment reached much of the United States. (Wikipedia)
West’s manner of conveying public messages has been speculated as the reason he was allegedly banned from the “Hope For Haiti” telethon earlier this year.
“After what he said on the Katrina telethon and the way he behaved at the MTV Video Music Awards, everyone agrees it’s just best that he does not participate,” a producing partner told me. “Kayne has to make everything about himself. He will do anything to steal the spotlight and, well, this night it’s just not about him.” (Pop Eater)
Check out Kanye West’s Hurricane Katrina and George W. Bush comments below: