November 3, 2010
GIVE HIM A CALL, W:
George Bush really does not 'appreciate' Kanye West's Katrina criticism: 'The worst moment of my presidency' (Ken Tucker, 11/03/10, Entertainment Weekly)
Bush has taped an interview with Matt Lauer that will air on a special prime-time Matt Lauer Reports on NBC Nov. 8. It’s to promote his forthcoming book, Decision Points. The subjects of the interview are wide-ranging, but the former president is very passionate on the subject of West’s criticism of the way Bush handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. NBC has released some quotations from the interview.
“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.”
Lauer quotes from Bush’s new book: “Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust.” Lauer adds, “You go on: ‘I faced a lot of criticism as president. I didn’t like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low.’
President Bush responds: “Yeah. I still feel that way as you read those words. I felt ‘em when I heard ‘em, felt ‘em when I wrote ‘em, and I felt ‘em when I’m listening to ‘em.
Lauer: “You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your presidency?”
Bush: “Yes. My record was strong, I felt, when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And it was a disgusting moment.”
Lauer: “I wonder if some people are going to read that, now that you’ve written it, and they might give you some heat for that. And the reason is this — “
Bush [interrupting]: “Don’t care.”
Kanye Extends Olive Branch to George W. Bush (Tom Breihan, November 3, 2010, Pitchfork)
Now, Kanye has responded to Bush's statement with empathy and humility. Calling in to the Houston radio station 97.9 The Box this morning (via XXL), Kanye claimed to sympathize with Bush. Here's what he said:Posted by Orrin Judd at November 3, 2010 8:07 PM
"Well I definitely can 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 in that situation. With him it was a lack of compassion, with him not rushing-- you know, him taking the time time to rush down to New Orleans. With me, it was a lack of compassion of cutting someone off in their moment. But nonetheless I think 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 have went through the same thing that he went, and now I really more connect with him on a humanitarian level… because the next morning, when he felt that, I felt the same thing."