Comment of the Day: Apropos of George W. Bush’s claim that not 911 but, rather, Kanye West saying that he did not care about Black people was the worst day of his presidency:
Rick McGahey: “Here is the original Kayne West video (full of extraneous junk, typical You Tube, but look past it)…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIUzLpO1kxI People ‘misremember’ this as a clear, planned statement by West. The video shows his West’s anger and confusion, his own self-criticism (saying he hadn’t given any money), his groping for answers (where are the troops? in another war.
Police are shooting black people, calling them looters. Etc.) Then Mike Myers rather hilariously returns to the teleprompter and keeps reading, and West then blurts out ‘George Bush doesn’t like black people.’ It’s as if he STILL can’t figure out how these horrors could be happening in New Orleans, and defaults to that explanation.
I use this to discuss structural racism in a course; I ask the students how much it matters whether Bush liked black people or not, and how much the outcomes in New Orleans were embedded more deeply in decades of racism, poverty, poor public policy, lousy government in New Orleans and Louisiana, politicization of FEMA, etc.
For good measure, watch the Bush-Laurer interview, where Bush gets to accept West’s ‘apology’, and that actual ‘apology’ where you can almost see West hewing to a set of talking points his manager probably imposed on him. Oh and you can hear Matt Laurer laughing off stage during it all… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSsLHn-pYCw