After former United States President George W. Bush said Kanye West painted him as a racist for a slow response to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, Ye has responded to the situation.
Rathern than bashing Bush, West sympathized with the former president.
“Well I can definitely understand the way he feels to be accused of being a racist in any way because the same thing happened to me [with Taylor Swift], you know, where I got accused of being racist, and with both situations it was basically a lack of compassion that America saw,” he said in an interview. “With him it was a lack of compassion not rushing, you know, taking his time to rush down to New Orleans. With me, it was a lack of compassion in cutting someone off in their moment, but none the less I feel we’re all quick to pull the race card [in America]. And now I’m more open, and the poetic justice that I feel to go through the same thing that he went [through], and now I really more connect with him on a humanitarian level … the next morning when he felt that, I felt the same thing.” (XXL Mag)
Bush believes West made him appear 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)
Check out Kanye West speaking on George W. Bush below: