On the ‘Today’ show, which is still on believe it or not--I guess the unemployed are good for the economy by keeping daytime television workers in business--Kanye West recently apologized to former president George W. Bush for making Mike Myers extremely uncomfortable during a live Hurricane Katrina fund raiser.
The fund raiser, which featured a variety of celebrities performing, manning phone banks or delivering PBS-style “give money” pitches, aired five years ago. It became an overnight sensation. Here’s why it did not become an overnight sensation: a poignant performance of Randy Newman’s song ‘Louisiana 1927.’
Here’s another reason why it did not become an overnight sensation: random shots of a malicious-looking Jack Nicholson answering phone calls from obliging pledgers (“Hi. I’d like to donate money to the Katrina fund,” some poor housewife in Omaha might’ve said. “Weeell. Let’s see. For every article of clothing I’m able to guess you’re wearing, what say you give 10 dollars. Howsaboutthat? We’ll start with... panties. You wearing panties, Midge?” “...Yes.” “Well that’s 10 dollars, isn’t it. Now let’s see what else I can guess you have on.”)
Here’s the actual reason the fund drive became an overnight sensation: Kanye West, standing next to a clearly terrified Canadian actor, calling then-president George Bush a racist.
A lot of people, in the weeks and years after that moment, have had an opinion about what Kanye said. And Bush’s opinion came out recently. “It was,” Bush told NBC’s Matt Lauer in an interview, “one of the most disgusting moments of my presidency.”
Which isn’t true, obviously--the most disgusting moment of George Bush’s presidency was the moment he was sworn in in 2001.
Anyway. Kanye apologizing to Taylor Swift: appropriate.
Kanye apologizing to George Bush: inappropriate.
When Kanye said what was on his mind in 2005, he was reacting to observations he’d made. When Kanye said what he said, it really did seem as if George Bush cared more for one brain-dead white chick than he cared for thousands of suddenly-homeless, suddenly-lifeless Black people.
And what Kanye West said made Bush’s administration a bit more sensitive to the racial undertones of Hurricane Katrina--I mean, Bush’s mom had just given an interview where she said this:
What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.
After Hurricane Kanye hit the airwaves, there were no more comments like that from any Bush.
There’s not a person alive who should apologize to George Bush. Not even Kanye. For two reasons.
1.) He didn't call George Bush a racist--his only mention of Bush is, "George Bush does not care about Black people." Not caring isn't racism. Not caring is simply not caring. Until Kanye said what he said, it had never occurred to the Yalie grad to care about minorities, or that some members of a minority group might need care.
2.) Most of what Kanye West criticized had nothing to do with GWB. Kanye started off this infamous Mike-Myers pants-shitting moment by criticizing the media, which did in fact do what Kanye says they did: "We see a Black family, it says they're looting. See a White family, they're looking for food."
Here's the iconic picture of Katrina, from the media:
Kanye West might apologize a lot, for good reason.
For any reaction he might've had during Katrina, tho, no apology needed. Unless he wants to apologize to Mike Myers.
Inappropriate sharing, incomprehensible ramblings, uncalled-for hostility: yup, it's a blog.
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