Kayne West On George Bush

I finally got a chance to view the video of Kayne West’s televised dissent during a New Orlean’s hurricane relief fundraiser. If you missed it, here’s the Washington Post story and a link to a video clip.

West departed from the scripted comments prepared for him and delivered his own anti-Bush, anti-media, anti-oppression rant … well at least what was possible in the short air-time given. And perhaps my favorite part is to watch Mike Meyers’ stunned expression as he realized what was going down. Ahhhh, gotta love live television.

Related:
Various stories relating to the Potemkin photo op. Interesting to say the least.

Related #2: Open Source blog asks some very important questions related to Katrina, the gov’s handling of the situation, race and poverty.

So the largest question, and the one that perhaps would demand a sooth-sayer as much as a truth-teller: If Katrina has changed the way you view race, or poverty, or the role of government in America, what — if anything — will change as a result of it?

It’s worth thinking about.

Related #3: D’Arcy Norman poses some excellent commentary/critique to the Katrina story.

Update: The talk about Kayne West, his remarks, and the debate around systemic racism continues. And, I am horrified to hear the remarks of Mark Williams, C-List Talk-Show Host, as he spoke about the incident on Show Biz Tonight.
Some of Williams comments include:

..they didn’t have the necessary brains and common sense to get out of the way of a Cat 5 Hurricane and then when it hit them- stood on the side of the convention Center expiring while reporters were coming and going..

The only role race plays in this is that the American black population has been the prototype for an entire race of people being, being turned into a group of dependents of the government–trapped there, I’m using that word very loosely are screaming we want help, we want help..

Blacks are too stupid to get out of the way of a hurricane…

OMG, seriously, I’m shocked … even to hear this on American television, and from a radio personality. See the entire video here.

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  • Alec

    Hmmmm … thanks for the comment, Melissa, I appreciate it, but don’t agree.Whether someone *throws* in race or not, race is always an underlying issue, as is dominance. I am happy that West took that stand that he did … by pointing directly to what the media often ignores. The government mis/handling of this affair has been a total fiasco … a very sad affair. How would the disaster relief have looked had it happened in an affluent community?

  • nice

    This story irritates me in that it wasn’t only african americans who were left behind, who are affected, etc. and before you say “well, it was mostly african americans” let me stop you. Are you saying therefore that the majority rules and that people in the minority should be disregarded? Thank you.

    Also, it’s hard to listen to people from a certain race, ethnicity, etc. to claim that another race, ethnicity, etc doesn’t care. That statement is racist in itself. Do you honestly think that no european americans care about african americans? Also, why is it “african american” instead of “black people” but it’s ok to say “white people” instead of “european americans” … don’t get me started.

    Plus, I may look “african american” but my parents are from Haiti so what should I be called?

    Just let it go. It sounds like ancient speak, “well, we can’t explain a solar eclipse so we say it’s a dragon eating the sun.” Well, we can’t figure out what happened so it had to be that whites hate blacks. lol … and we pay millions to listen to this cat speak on his records.

  • jessica dankwah

    I feel that a African- Canadian person who hating on a person who is saying freedom of speech is disguesting. People need to realize that the world is dying and people who are thinking about stupity about a speech a person said is sad… He was saddened that the lack of help and the media is making black people whole as bad people is sad… and people need to think that if you were in that situation, what will you do? Just remember the world is dying, Africa is dying, Asia is dying, America is dying, everywhere is dying, the whole world is dying, and people need to stop hating and come together as one. And for people who are dissing Kayne West, what have u done for the world, think about it.

  • Errol

    I have to somewhat agree with Nice’s comments. I think Kanye spoke more out of frustration than he did out of a complete and accurate knowledge of the circumstance. But at the same time, It’s very true what Kanye’s said. The media did focus on blacks as being the looters while those who were non-blacks were “survivors” fighting for their lives.
    The real issue is that people did not take the media’s warnings of the Hurricane’s severity very seriously. It the focus of the news many nights straight! The honest truth is no one thought it would be this bad and people are suffering because of that. Even now, folks are refusing to leave their homes, disregarding the dangers assocaited with swimming in bacteria infected water and much worse. At some point, we must hold people accountable for their own actions and not try to pass the buck convienently to the goverment.

  • Andrew

    Some of your comments are ridiculous. Race DID play an issue in the evacuation and help of hurricane victims. As people have stated…what if this were to happen in Los Angeles? New York? Do you think the government would have waited SO long? We can blaim the governor and mayor, as many Republicans have done. Why is it that even after Bush states to the nation that he messed up, Republicans still defend the government? How similiar the attitude Republicans have now to the attitude conservatives had back in the ’50s dealing with segregation.
    Congrats Republicans! You have the Presidency, House and Senate- now when you mess up…like we have with Iraq, Katrina, etc who else can you blame?!?

  • Dee

    I LOVE KAYNE WEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO HEAD BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Many people can’t believe what happened was racist because they have no idea what it’s like. Many people can’t believe it’s socio-economic because the have no idea what that’s like. You must try to walk in other’s shoes. I agree we didn’t take the warnings seriously, and we still aren’t. Global Warming and our inability to deal with our environmental slaughter will, unfortunately, continue to cause natural disasters of even worse proportions.
    To Nice – Kanye didn’t accuse “white people” of not caring, he accused Bush. Isn’t it obvious that Bush doesn’t care about anything other than politics? And we can’t let race “go” in this country because it still affects the daily lives of so many. Lastly, it’s OK to say “white people.” I prefer that over any other term.

  • Hutch

    Kayne’s comments are a Pathetic reflection of a certain group of people who feel everybody owes them more than everybody else in this country. He is a LOSER who doesn’t realize the benefits and rights he enjoys in this country! IF HE DOESN’T LIKE – DO US ALL A FAVOR AND LEAVE! People of ALL COLORS SUFFERED! BE AN AMERICAN and HELP ALL!

  • Alec

    Hmmm … Hutch. I am doing my best to keep all of the responses available for others to see, but yours is close to being tossed. Your comment “a certain group of people who feel everyone owes them” is sadly stereotypical. At the very least, I respect the passion in your argument … but do us all a favour and spend some of that energy attempting to better understand the inequities we find in our society, whether it is due to race, or due to poverty, etc. Yes, “people of all colors” suffered, but that wasn’t the point of Kayne’s rant. People are treated differently in this society due to factors they cannot control, and criticism of government policy/politicians is at the very least, healthy. If anything, Kayne’s words got people talking about these issues. These are real issues that need to be discussed. We all have “our say”, but do your best to understand the power imbalance in the society in which you reside.

  • Sal Macaluso

    How convenient. A terrible tragedy politicized by a race, a political party and the willing hollywood left. Hmm, as usual, unless your name is Clinton or you’re a darling in the media everyone else is stupid, racist and cruel. Hollywood has made dozens of films in N’orleans, have they ever bothered to make light of the poverty and education levels in that community? The State of Louisiana has a great caucus of Black political leadership throughout and most of it is Democratically controlled. Where have all of these people been when it comes time to elevate this State from its dependancy of welfare, its failed schools and revolting crime statistics? Overall, the leadership of Louisiana has been ineffective, over the years, to say the least. Now comes a devestating hurricane and viola!, it’s everyone elses problem! I have a question for the critics….Why wasn’t Mississippi affected in the same manner, when actually that area received the brunt of the storm. There is, quite frankly much more damage there than in NO. Better leadership, perhaps? The first responders to any natural or un-natural disaster is always local, followed by State. This is fact. The Federal Government must be called in at the request of the State Government. This, unfortunately for the poor stricken people of NO did not happen in a timely manner. Also, for those who just like to take cheap shots at our President, please keep in mind that the Federal Government, because of its sheer size is not easy to move quickly from a dead stop. It’s called red tape. Anyone who has spent time in any Government knows what I am talking about. As for all of this terrible ” racism” which the Feds are accused of , let’s go back to Florida, 2004. Four hurricanes and one tropical storm ravaged this area in 10 weeks. I may be wrong but doesn’t Florida have a large minority population, including Cubans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans? Where was all of the racism there? Mississippi has a very large Black population, where was the racism there? How about Alabama?…..This argument may carry on for quite some time but it really appears that the breakdown in Louisiana occurred at the State and local levels and no one can face the blame for this. It is too easy to blame the Feds first, and then of course call the rest racists. Convenience is the easy way out….Shame on those who blame instead of trying to make things better. And, for those of you that actually beleive most of the phony actors and musicians please turn off the TV set and start acting like a clear thinking adult instead of one in a herd of lemmings.

  • A

    A report just released courtesy of the Louisianna Department of Health and Hospitals on Hurricaine Katrina’s damage and it’s effect on the people of New Orelans. Fewer than half the victims of Hurricaine Katrina were black. whites died at a faster rate than any other races in New Orleans. Also, gender was practically split down the middle regarding fatalities 50 % male, 49% female and 1 % undetermined. I am quite positive this wasn’t run by “Big Media”.

  • Alec

    and this report can be found where???

  • A

    Why? Are you actually interested in the truth?

  • A
  • Alec

    Thanks for the link … it helps out. I see that a lot of bodies will not be identified anytime soon, so that could tip the scales either way. Of course, in my initial post, this was not JUST about race, but poverty as well. The article does address both to some extent.

    What is NOT addressed, however, is the very last portion of my post. Note that a certain television personality actually said that “Blacks are too stupid to get out of the way of a hurricane…”. How is that for a racial stereotype? Yes, that was ONE incident, but it certainly was not an isolated occurrence.

    Months after this tragedy, at the very least, the issue of race and poverty did come to the forefront, and I hope that in any future events like this, people will have learned from Katrina.

  • A

    By the way, this is a great blog…keep up the good work

  • A

    Alec, who actually said that of blacks, the “Too stupid” comment? Was it a media personality, a private citizen or what? Just curious.

    I will cede to you the point that Big Media did tow a line of showing a predominantly negative image of blacks during the Katrina issue. However I would argue that Hurricaine Katrina brought not only race to the center stage for those who think it is still a relavent issue, more importantly it also brought a perfect example of why government dependence and liberal “Great Society” programs are the most damaging public policy implementation set against the poor particularly and blacks in Louisianna. A system whose only end has been to destroy the human spirit, the notion of self-determinence as well as ripping families apart. Long gone are the days of rugged individualism. In their stead one finds the true victims of the welfare state who have been systematically convinced that they are far better off leaving their destiny and livelyhood in the hands of government. I will get off my soapbox now.

  • Alec

    It was Mark Williams, radio personality (http://www.marktalk.com/). And you’ve raised a good point on social dependence, and said it much better than I could. We have the same issues here in Canada, and although I am supportive of a welfare safety net, I have seen the destruction that over-reliance causes, not only to individuals but to the entire system.

    Wow, over 4.5 months after posting this stuff, it keeps rolling along. These issues are obviously close to the heart of many.

  • brian

    kinda late on this. I was impressed that Kayne had the guts to do that. you saw what happend to the dixie chicks when they spoke out against bush. Respect to him, i think what he said is right on. For those of you who think that he was just making up the racism in the media and in the way the government handled the hurricane disaster, i urge you, PLEASE pull your head out of the sand. (or maybe your ass?)

  • Helena

    I’m sorry but on reading some of your comments I have to say I was completely discusted. I’m a 19 year old from the U.K, and would just like to say that the majority of the Western world could see that what Kayne West said on national TV was a complete truth. As one of you wrote, America is supposed to have freedom of speech. Kayne should be allowed to say whatever he wants. The fact that the news network cut the feed for the West coast showing, should tell you that your so called freedoms are being limited. Why do you not realise this is it not obvious? You seem to be disbelieving in the fact that the relief effort was not as important to the military and police as i was to stop people ‘looting’.

    The rest of the world can see the truths that arose from Katrina. Why can’t you?

  • MDA

    race is always going to be an issue in the world because people like to feel superior. i doubt kanye has ever had to even deal with racism before but there are always people who like to use that as an excuse. thank god barack is president now we as a people dont have that excuse anymore. i know bush doesnt care but theres atime and place for everything and that wasnt it.

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