Remember when George Bush made a hurricane hit New Orleans, and everybody was ticked off at him for making a hurricane hit New Orleans? Also because he didn’t make everything better instantly with a wave of his hand. He was mean and bad! And oh my goodness, did he ever hear about it:
Kanye West might’ve blown his shot at ever being in an Austin Powers movie, but he spoke for a lot of people of all colors who are prone to magical thinking.
Bush didn’t have a response at the time, because there wasn’t really anything to respond to. What was he supposed to say, “Nuh-uh”? But after all these years, he finally addressed it in an interview with Matt Lauer to be broadcast on Nov. 8:
President George W. Bush says that when he heard Kanye West say, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” “it was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency…”
“He called me a racist,” Bush tells 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 then tried to twist this into Bush saying he cares more about Kanye West’s opinion than about the suffering in New Orleans, because Matt Lauer is not particularly smart.
Kanye has responded, and it may surprise you:
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, you know, where I got accused of being racist, and with both situations it was basically a lack of compassion that America saw. 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 nonetheless 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…
Putting aside the fact that Kanye is comparing a president’s response to one of the biggest disasters in American history to a rapper bumrushing the stage during an awards show… Hmm, you’re right, it’s kind of tough to put that aside. But still, right? He’s trying, isn’t he?
If you think it’s dumb of Bush to acknowledge some silly child’s ravings at all, maybe so. But at least he waited until after his presidency to do it. It’s not like he sent out one of his underlings the next day to call Kanye West the leader of the Democratic Party.
(Sorry about the hacky headline. I’m sure everybody else has used that headline. I’m very tired, but at least it’s a good kind of tired.)