Kanye on the NBC Concert for Hurricane Katrina Relief:
“I hate the way they portray us in the media.
“If you see a black family it says they are looting if you see a white family it says they are looking for food.
“And you know that it’s been 5 days because most of the people are black and even for me to complain … I would be a hypocrite because I would turn away from the TV because it’s too hard to watch. I’ve even been shopping before giving a donation and so right now I’m calling my business manager what is the biggest amount I can give.
“And just to imagine if I was down there, those are my people down there. So anybody out there who wants to help with the set up, the way that America is set up to help … The poor, the black people, the less well off as slow as possible. I mean, Red Cross is doing everything they can.
“We already realize a lot of the people that could help are at war now fighting another way and they’ve given them permission to go down and shoot us.”
George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
(Video here and post on Hip Hop Music)
Someone should make a gif of Mike Myers’s panicked expression. “You’re ruining my career just by having me associated with you right now! I’m Canadian, I’m neutral!”
It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest Kanye fan, but lately, I’ve got a lot of new found respect for the guy. The average celebrity as rich as he is tends to loathe coming out with a position about anything because their eyes are so firmly entrenched on making the most money possibilty. They are blank slates in order not to alienate anyone. Even their participation in most benefit shows is with the knowledge that they have the potential to increase sales heavily. So, when a best-selling artist recently on the cover of Time comes into the homes of America and actually speaks his mind, you know he’s got balls of steel. Kanye West may have potentially risked career suicide, but he’s a better man than Mike Myers who was gaping like a fool.
Even the criticism he’s facing is typical: “he was overly emotional and inarticulate” “how dare he come to an event with an agenda? he’s hurting relief efforts!” “why do they always have to make it into a black and white thing?” “it’s not even George Bush’s fault…it’s the other government bureaucrats’ fault!” “there’s more white people than black people affected, you know.” “how can he not care about black people? look at his cabinet lately?”
Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. New Orleans as we knew it doesn’t exist anymore. Some of the poorest areas and those inhabitants in the city were the most devestated. The Red Cross is not being allowed to enter. Dead bodies are floating in the streets. People were holed up for days in the fucking Superdome, sick, dying, and hungry. It took days for the federal goverment to show any kind of significant response. If your first instinct on someone famous showing the anger and fruatration that millions around the world are feeling is to play the blame game and undercut his words with charges of him being calculated and illiterate, then not only do you need to check yourself and wonder when you stopped being a human being, but fucking pray that you never have to experience what the people in New Orleans and the Gulf states are feeling right now. Because you are a heartless idiot who probably thinks of all of this as an inconvenience putting a pallor over your Labor Day celebrations and fucking shame on you. George Bush doesn’t care about black people or poor people or anyone who didn’t vote for him or anyone that’s not on his side. Neither do many politicians who went down to New Orleans for photo ops and lip service. Good for Kanye and Ray Nagin and the Congressional Black Caucus and so many others for not being afraid to call it that. If a natural disaster had affected Houston or Atlanta or Washington DC or New York, there would have been aid before the papers went to press. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s our government and they are a disgrace. For an entity supposedly the representatives of the people, our government has been moving in slow motion to help and revealing that they think of themselves as bound only to parts of the population. Even if we didn’t vote them in, they still represent us and it’s a travesty.