Lots of folks have been weighing in on Kanye.. I definitely have my thoughts, but I also wanna share the thoughts of my good friend and fellow Adrienne Marie Brown.. She penned an Open Letter to Kanye …Below is one of the highlights.. You can and should peep the entire article at http://adriennemareebrown.net/blog/?p=1667
you stepped back from the single most awesome scandalous thing you have ever done. when you stood there after katrina and spoke the truth, that “george bush doesn’t care about black people”, and you spoke about racist media coverage of those trying to survive in new orleans, it was a powerful and necessary action. you spoke for many of us – i was so proud of you, using your access to millions to speak a truth that wasn’t to benefit yourself.
and you apologized?
In other news.. Kanye west pulled the rug from under the Today Show by cancelling his scheduled concert on Friday Nov 26th. he announced that for obvious reasons.. He was out.. He really feels Matt Lauer and the Today Show set him up and he’s not having it.. I wanna give Kanye props for taking a stand against main stream outlets, but this cat is likely to change his mind and show up just as everyone is cheering for him.
In any case, I’m glad Kanye is beefing with Matt Lauer and not another rapper, but who knows what’s really going on.. Wouldn’t it be something if this beef was manufactured
Peep the story here Kanye Cancels Today Show Concert
There’s an old saying that goes; ‘everything is political and to not be political is political’. I couldn’t help thinking this when I saw Kanye West on the Today Show the other morning apologizing and offering an olive branch of sorts to former President George W Bush for the stinging remarks he made in August 2005 during a Hurricane Katrina telethon.
West is quoted as saying to host Matt Lauer “I would tell George Bush in my moment of frustration, I didn’t have the grounds to call him a racist.”
For those who don’t remember, during that telethon Kanye asserted that ‘George Bush doesn’t care about Black people‘. It was the remark heard all around the world and unlike the Dixie Chicks who suffered a huge backlash 2 years earlier, for saying they were ‘ashamed of George Bush’, Kanye was greeted with open arms. For those watching the telethon and juxtaposing it with images of stranded mothers and grandmothers on rooftops while plane loads of abandoned dogs and cats were shipped away from the flooded city, Kanye’s remarks were cheered rather than jeered. They resonated. He was a source of pride and a hero to those sitting on rooftops watching loved ones being swept away, who had no voice.
Kanye became even more of a hero, with each passing day as more information about the horrors that went on New Orleans surfaced including; vigilante killings of fleeing Black residents in the Algiers section of the city and rogue police shooting and killing unarmed residents as they attempted to cross the Danzinger Bridge. He was the who spoke truth to power at a time when it was surely needed. His words became the chorus in songs and the centerpieces for audio sound collages like the one we did a few days after spoke out. (Kanye West vs George Bush the Katrina Mix) http://www.swift.fm/mrdaveyd/song/60030/
For many who watched Kanye’s apology on the Today show, it may have seemed like a gracious gesture and a sign of him maturing especially in the aftermath of the Taylor Swift controversy where he interrupted her acceptance speech during last year’s VMAs.
It may have also seemed like a wise thing to do because President Bush seemed really angry 5 years after the fact. He said Kanye’s remarks were the most disgusting thing he had to endure during his presidency.
Bush when shown the video of West apologizing from a soon to be aired Today Show interview of Kanye, Bush seemed to lighten up and said he appreciated Kanye reaching out. The former president said he wasn’t ‘a hater’.
It’s easy to see while one would see the apology as good thing,unfortunately, George Bush and for that matter Kanye didn’t sit through 5 days of excruciating testimony during the one year anniversary at the Hurricane Katrina and Rita International Tribunal. They didn’t hear the tales and see the tears as people told these horrific stories of mistreatment, violence and neglect that left us wondering if we were actually living in America.
Had Bush heard some of these stories that were the result of his oversight and slowness to act being mad at Kanye should’ve been the least of his concerns. Instead of lambasting the rapper, he should’ve been on TV offering an olive branch to the people of Katrina.
Hell had he really bore witness to the Katrina horrors he might’ve been moved to offer all proceeds of his book Decision Points to Katrina survivors. And just on GP, Bush should’ve apologized for the insensitive remarks his mamma Barbara Bush made when she met survivors who had fled to Houston. Upon on meeting them she suggested that staying in the Astrodome was a good thing since they were underprivileged.
Had Kanye sat through the tribunal, he would’ve still been mad and upon hearing Bush was disgusted with him for suggesting he was a racist he might’ve been inclined to stick to his guns and give the former President and war criminal the middle finger with no regrets.
Kanye apologizing to Bush, let him off the hook which is too bad because George Bush never let any of the folks he smashed on off the hook. As Governor of Texas he never let those he allowed to be executed off the hook, even when there were mass protests and compelling questions around their innocence
He didn’t let any of the innocent Iraqi’s killed in an unwarranted war off the hook and we had even bigger protests around that. He didn’t let any of those tortured at Abu Ghraib off the hook even when it was pointed out to be a violation of international laws. Bush noted that he always stuck to his decisions.
Bush as a former president clearly understood the importance of symbolism and how his every word and gesture would have meaning. He admitted to that during his Today Show interview. Apparently in his mind letting folks off the hook would be a sign of weakness and him being indecisive versus him being thoughtful. Because George Bush had tunnel vision a whole lot of folks paid a heavy price both here and abroad.
Folks forget that Bush refused to allow photographs of returning dead soldiers. His people and his supporters were real quick to shut down and label anyone who spoke out counter to the narrative they offered after 9-11 and later at the start of the Iraq war as unpatriotic. Bush was the type of cat who would not shake the hands of a foreign head of state like Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro, because he knew such a gesture would symbolize his support.
One would assume that Kanye being in the music industry would also understand symbolism. After all, he’s already been on a rampage about the interview noting that Lauer made him look bad in the way he set up the questions and framed the conversation. Kanye said hes done with media.
With all this in mind, including his outburst, which may be or may not be calculated he had to know, like it or not that when he spoke out against Bush in 05, he was giving voice to a whole lot of folks who really needed it.. This was a good thing. It forced a dialogue and may have helped push things along, primarily because his words were captured all over the world and raised important questions. While it’s true, nobody asked him to speak on our behalf that fateful day, but since he did jump into the arena, many feel he needed to take the weight and NOT signify to an oppressive former president everything was all good when Bush hasmade no move to repair the damage done.
Something to Ponder
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He definitely let him off the hook with that apology. Even though Kanye spoke the truth when he called out G.W. he’s ultimately an Entertainer, not an activist. And at the end of the day Entertainers want to be loved/liked no matter how much they profess they don’t care what people think.
Yes Kanye should have apologized because like he said he spoke from emotion, and made a statement that was not based on fact….but I think the bigger picture is this. President Bush chose not to speak out on the Anti-Muslim issue…he chose not to ease the minds of millions of Americans who fear Muslim Americans. President Bush chose to keep silent because he says he’s out of politics. What a selfish act. We’re suppose to get all choked up because he was painted as a racist, but forget about the millions of Muslim Americans, who are being targetted everyday by HATERS… Go back to Texas Mr. Bush, you are a very selfish man. Kanye West showed more humility than you ever have in your entire existence. I think Mr. Bush’s refusal to apologize to America is down right shameful. All he wanted to do is sell his book.
HELL NO he should not have apologized! “F” bush!
No Kanye should have NOT apologized. He should of showed some dignity instead of appearing to be intimidated. Young folk need to see courage in our grown folk.
Bush Jr, executed more black men than any other politician in the history of the United States – a history which includes slavery. That is a fact no liberal has the courage to say. Kanye had the courage even if it was brief. He briefly had courage, lol!
While I’m at it, I’m bored to death hearing about the woes of being a rich celebrity in Kanye’s music. And … Obama does not like Latin@ People.
Kanye has had a history of making some controversial statements, like what he said in “All Fall Down” and “Diamonds Are Forever”, but what happened today for me was a major dissapointment.However, I guess I have to understand that despite his ability to rap or produce, he is lacking in his able to speak and articulate.
Take for example how he has handled the Taylor Swift thing. He allowed it to become all about what he did. He was not capable of addressing some of the ways that black artists are treated by the music industry and channels such as MTV. I know that was what he was getting at with the Taylor Swift thing. However, he didn’t really have a way to communicate that, so his message fell flat, and it became about him.
Like Bush many times, Kanye was caught in a “deer in headlights” moment. He was at a loss for words, even irrationally creating distractions that were not there. If Bush has Kanye’s comment to whine about as his lowest moment, Kanye has this, another in a series of low moments. I wish it would have been Chuck D, KRS One or even Ice T there rather than him. He looked to me like that Wacka Flocka Flame kid did last month when asked about voting on 106th and Park! Sad.
When Kanye pulled the stunt with Taylor Swift, I have to admit I was proud of him. This had been the week of RUDE wherei0n some asshole reactionary republican had called President Obama a liar, and there had been other instances of public rudness just as shocking.
I thought that Kanye was doing this to “make a statement” because everything IS POLITICAL and even being not political is political. So I agreed with Kanye because his statement to Taylor Swift was true – Beyonce’s video kicked butt and was 10 times more visually worthy of an award than Swift’s was. And since evrybody had been being rude that week I wanted to believe that Kanye was being astute in his rudeness and using the shock and awe approach to voicing what was actually a real and worthy concern (if not that video quality is a worthy concern, then the possibility of unfairness in the awarding, whether based on race or nepotism surely is).
Alas, Kanye apologized saying he was having a melt down and never even alluded to either of the real issues which was the issue of prevailing rudeness (remember the president) and the issue of the inaccuracy of the award for whatever the reason.
Now he’s apologizing for his other relevant statement, that Bush doesn’t care about black people. Sadly, Kanye is not relevant at all in his statements. He is just a buffoon who can’t control his mouth, which is in no way connected to his brain. Kanye is being political by not being political, which means he is little more than just in the way.
Are people still talking about Conway West?
C’mon people. The guy is like a 13 year old girl on twitter with the ego of a small planet.
Robert and Zahieb u both make good statements.. where were u when I wrote the article? I had forgotten abt homeboy shouting down the president
What was Kanye thinking? Who cares? Most likely he was thinking the same thing Jordan was when he famously said “Republican’s buy sneakers to”
This is called burying the lead. Bush writes a memoir in which he admits to approving illegal torture (aka. a war crime) and this idiotic country is spending his book tour talking about what he said about his hurt feelings. This guy wipes his ass with our constitution and we’re letting him. Future presidents have zero reason not to do the same.
The real story should be Obama being such a wimp that not even a written hard cover admission to war crimes will prompt him to say BOO to these fascists. With Bush the historians will argue whether he was stupid or evil. With Obama it will be was he a coward or complicate. Remember he was in the senate when these things were happening and did nothing to even question it.
The irony is the new republican lead congress will start investigating everything Obama has ever done the first day they get their subpoena powers January 1st. So what is Obama gaining by taking the high road and not looking into real crimes committed by his predecessor? He’s about to be hounded for the rest of his one term in office by a pack of tea baggers and bankers.
Get Bush in a court room read his book to the jury and it’s a wrap. Anything less than justice and Obama is an accessory.
@ Dave Yeah it was the very same week I believe. That’s what, to me, had given Kanye a little bit of plausibility beyond the issue of Beyonce’s video being better than Taylor’s. I was hoping he was doing a lesson in RUDE. He never mentioned Obama. It really would have been great had he done it.
kANYA WEST is and entertainer. His understanding of the use of language is weak and his fear of the powers that control him is large. He’s just a silly young lost afrikan who has no real commitment to anything other then being a clown. He is now being played like the fool he is. Matt Lier and Bush are both using this idiot as a punching bag. His balls are gone and so is any serious considerations of anything this meally mouth clown could say.
That interview on the Today Show was tasteless. Lauer had the nerve to put Kanye on the spot to sympathize with a war criminal, and even go as far into making the dude apologize for what he said about the war criminal. I wonder would Lauer have the nerve to pull that BS by making the victims of Katrina sympathize with that monster Bush considering the fact of what agony they went through to get a simple response. It wouldn’t surprise me. The mainstream media proves over and over again what unethical trash they are.
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@ Nik. What you say about Bush notwithstanding, it’s time to express what hasn’t been said. They shoot horses don’t they? Spitting on this line about Bush’s evils is like beating a dead horse. Speaking truth to what, if anything is expected from Kanye is a horse of a different color. You forget that Kanye West is no more or no less the unethical trash mainstream media that they all are.
The power that people expect Kanye to speak to is the power that made him and to which he is beholden to. Rappers ought to stay grimy if they want to be FUBU (For U By U) or they got to have big ass balls to challenge their employer like any other worker. Who do you think Kanye is in business to feed?
Most philanthropy on the part of so many of these “artists” is simply a result of charities getting spill over ’cause mother fuckers cups are running over and their eyes are bigger than their stomachs. Either that or they need tax shelters to cover their handlers.
Kanye don’t give a fuck about black people.
Just like when old Dick Cheney popped a cap in his homeboy and didn’t apologize, Bush never said he was sorry to the people of the Gulf Coast and the N.O. for dragging his feet, even after all these years (and never will). But don’t worry in 2012 we will have more of those with his mind-state back in office running this country and the good old way of doing business will be back in effect…
@ Zahieb Mwongozi – really so you know the intent of every artist who has done philanthropic work? Unless you know these individuals intimately its pretty disingenuous to say they only give money “simply a result of charities getting spill over ’cause mother fuckers cups are running over and their eyes are bigger than their stomachs. Either that or they need tax shelters to cover their handlers.” You only know how they spend their money based on what’s reported, I work in the nonprofit field and I can say for a fact that many wealthy people give sizable donations without any public relations or press releases involved.
Newsflash, everyone can donate money to lower their taxable income and take advantage of a tax write off whether you make $40k or $40 million a year. You also said “who is Kanye in the business to feed,” but again why should Kanye be ostracized for doing what everyone else does which is being in the business to feed themselves? I work in a school and while I love what I do and know I’m making a daily impact in the lives of the students, their parents and the surrounding community part of the reason why I do what I do is to keep food on my table.
@ Damion –” I’m making a daily impact in the lives of the students, their parents and the surrounding community.”
Absolutely! And good for you, but at the same time THERE IS AN EXPECTATION FROM YOU THAT YOU DO MAKE AN IMPACT BECAUSE THIS IS THE JOB YOU HAVE CHOSEN . Also at work here is the extrapolation of expertise, because if we justify what you had to say for example on matters related to your field, education, it would be expected that you knew what you’re talking about.
Kanye’s criticism of Taylor Swift and the ranking of her video when juxtaposed to Beyonce’s would be valid because that is his field. His statements about Bush are less important from the standpoint of whatever expertise he is supposed to have.
Was it accepted as valid because he has placed himself in the position as spokesman for the people as a so-called ‘conscious rapper/producer’ (Why he has been deemed as such I don’t know. He doesn’t appear to be the sharpest knife in the drawer from any thing I have heard or read of him; word play on the records notwithstanding), or because the media, WHO KANYE IS A PART OF AND WHO IS KANYE’S EMPLOYER has elevated him to such a status? Or who said this? The fans?
What I am saying is I would rather have you as a spokesman to power as an educator and someone who works for a non-profit organization than Kanye West and of course everyone of us should speak to power WITHIN OUR OWN POWER no matter whether we, as you say, “make $40k or $40 million a year”.
Which also goes to the root of my other point, kind of like Matthew 25:13: I know where your heart is by what you give of what you truly have. In times like these mofos who are supposed to be progressive should give commensurate to what they have. Anything else aint nothing but a fucking token. If you really think that shit don’t work like that then you probably believe in the same kind of regressive taxation we hear about in the media – talk of cutting programs and cutting taxes at the same time. That shit is ridiculous and can’t work. If I had $50 million dollars and there are thirty million hungry people and I give each one one million dollars have I solved the problem of hunger? If I give thirty million people an acre of land each, or 500 thousand dollars worth of education and a 500 thousand small business loan have I solved the problem of hunger? Have I created security for myself and the rest of my money?
I know the difference between a tax shelter and trying to work on social problems.
Kanye West don’t care about social problems. Kanye West, and his handlers care only about tax shelters. But, no bad. That aint Kanye’s job and I don’t expect that from him.
That’s a job for writers and teachers.
I am over that but lets talk about the the current administration and its lact of action on Haiti thay are making bush look very generous with the New Orleans Katrina situation. at leest those peeps got debit cards…still awiaitn funding for Haiti as they makie excuses more Haitians die and the disease is on the rampage there…past an urgent need sign on to theis petition to demand that haillary clinton take action she has somped over the Haitians rights and needs…they would have done better to put jimmy carter as special envoy for shame!!! http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_crisis_needs_an_immediate_response
@sabrina4mumia I just have a couple of quick things to say about your post. You enter the discussion stating you’re “over” with it but I don’t recall you even being a part of it so in essence what you have done is re-direct the whole thing to gain attention for what you’re talking about. Bad form, rude and impractical. I’m sure Dave has created many a thread devoted to this but since the can of worms is open now I am going to say that I have no intention of jumping on some of these ban wagons and use these calamities to point fingers at people. That was an earthquake. Bush or Clinton aint necessarily responsible for what happens there because of that; you would be giving them too much credit for having too much power by doing so. Before much is said about how I am laying this down, watch out for the knee jerk reaction, unless a person knows what I was doing when Papa Doc or Baby Doc were in power there and were doing the same thing, I don’t care to hear late comers to anything. When I helped to organize and perform in Amsterdaam in 95 to get a stay of execution for Mumia, I wondered what Clinton would do about Mumia and he was in Haiti at the time trying to do stuff. Haiti is not a protectorate of the U.S. or another Puerto Rico, nor is it Hawaii…some people put too much on stuff or hijack stuff for whatever their aim is without knowing that people are paying attention to who’s talking and what’s being said or who they are talking to in the first place. Folks don’t want to be stepped over or pushed aside by other people just because they got on the newest pair of sneakers or waving the flag for the latest cause.