The Impact of Kanye West's Statements on Hurricane Katrina

| 33 Comments

Everyone is talking about Kanye, and little of the talk has to do with his new album. As you already know, last week 'Ye spoke out against the treatment of the Black victims of Hurricane Katrina, and even went as far to say on live TV, "George Bush doesn't care about Black people."

That was Friday.

Since then, Kanye's statements have traveled far and wide. I've seen links to the video on dozens of blogs, hip-hop or not. Nightline spoke about it. The NY Daily News wrote about it.

My friend told me that a guy on his campus was handing out flyers about the issues Kanye touched on just the next day. This morning, New York's Hot 97 radio station replayed the audio of Kanye's courageous statement multiple times while the hosts yelled, "Go Kanye!" in the background. Some people called in, expressing their support. Others didn't like the timing of Kanye's message, since it was during a fund raiser for the Red Cross.

You know what this reminds me of? This:

This is our 1968 Olympics with Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their Black Power fists in the air. They were not well received by everyone, just as Kanye isn't.

Peep:

While the protest seems relatively tame by today's standards, the actions of Smith and Carlos were met with such outrage that they were suspended from their national team and banned from the Olympic Village, the athletes' home during the games.

A lot of people thought that political statements had no place in the supposedly apolitical Olympic Games. Those that opposed the protest cried out that the actions were militant and disgraced Americans. Supporters, on the other hand, were moved by the duo's actions and praised them for their bravery. The protest had lingering effects for both men, the most serious of which were death threats against them and their families.

Don't be surprised if the backlash Kanye receives includes death threats, cancelled concerts, and boycotts of his records. And don't be shocked if even other Blacks are unsupportive of him. It happened before, and will happen again.

Related:

33 Comments

i support kanye west 100%. he said what the rest of these "gangsta" rappers are scared to say. you can sit here and act like you don't see this shit going on, but everything happens for a reason. i feel sorry for those people in Louisana, Mississippi, and Alabama, but this happened to show the black and poor people of america who cares and who doesn't. kanye, you earned your hood stripes from me.

George Bush don't care about no people.
He is an ignorant, thick, stupid muthafucker who would rather go to war than help his own country.

He should step the fuck down over the way he has handled this... Whats next Dub-ya - a war on weather?

I take issue with how Kanye's statement came out. He was emotional and rambling (although he likes to call it "speaking from his soul"). I think he hardly made sense, although I know what he's talking about. He even mentioned that he had been shopping and had yet to make a donation...yet he's PART OF THE FUNDRAISER? He implied that until that point in the show, he hadn't really had any intention of donating.

Basically, for me it comes down to this:
Right message, wrong person. (and I'm willing to bet my whole paycheck that he's been reading these blogs)

P.S. Don't confuse my message, because this shit is ridiculous. They took almost a week just to get the people out of there... and they had them locked up like a bunch of Cubans who washed ashore! I am encouraged somewhat, by the fact that this is being talked about loudly in the mainstream media, so maybe we can get some political momentum to change things

Then again, maybe not

I think Kanye is the perfect person to give this message. Our "black leaders" which are pretty much too old to be relevant to the youth are also too buddy buddy with traditional media to make such a blunt and pointed statement. Kanye is a real life person, a human, and not a "gangster rapper" or a "conscious rapper" so he benefits from being able to shed light on peoples inherent hypocrisies without having no credibility (as most hard core rappers would because of their subject matter) or without trying to come across faultless and holier than thou (as a rapper who doesn't address lifes hypocrisy so openly would).
I think the fact that he was willing to say "hey even I need to do a better job of practicing what I preach" (with his comments about shopping before making a donation) forces us to look at what hypocritical actions we too have taken and re-evaluate them. Think about it who else could get black youth, mainstream media, MTV, BET and blogs from sohh.com to gawker.com talking about Bush's disregard for black people?
Not even Cornell West could do that.

GO Kanye........ I haven't heard any other hip hop artists say 2much of anything on the political side of this.... Where is mr 11million sold 50 cent.. He has the funds and power 2 make some shit happen but he won't risk it. He's in iceland fuckin white chicks.... I encourage that type of outburst and leadership.. Kanye should speak out more and let the world hear that poltical shit and his views.. I agree george bush don't care about blacks.. O yeahhhhhhhh FUCK BILL O REILLY..... FUCKIN pervert..... Kanye the only black 2 put his ass put his ass on the line and lash out..... I'm coppin 2 of his cds in the morning as well as donating to the shelters here in memphis were people r staying....

GO Kanye........ I haven't heard any other hip hop artists say 2much of anything on the political side of this.... Where is mr 11million sold 50 cent.. He has the funds and power 2 make some shit happen but he won't risk it. He's in iceland fuckin white chicks.... I encourage that type of outburst and leadership.. Kanye should speak out more and let the world hear that poltical shit and his views.. I agree george bush don't care about blacks.. O yeahhhhhhhh FUCK BILL O REILLY..... FUCKIN pervert..... Kanye the only black 2 put his ass put his ass on the line and lash out..... I'm coppin 2 of his cds in the morning as well as donating to the shelters here in memphis were people r staying....

did any1 c bush's phony ass signing autographs on the shirts of the kids n the shelters . He seemed like here's my graph now getta fuck away from me . He was impatient and didn't show know compassion 4 the people. It was jus 4 show.
Kanye had guts 2 do wat he did .lots of white people buy his cdz and it could of easily backfired against him.

Let's get this straight, just one simple thing. What actually did Kanye West say? Nothing. He was talking in incoherent circles until he realized he had nothing more to say, then he blurts out, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

Let's get one thing straight: I am blackety black, but Kanye doesn't speak for me. I applaud him using his platform (soapbox) to say something relevent to the times, but he was careless in his effort.

The hurricane did not only choose to blow over black people; there were black, hispanic, white, rich and poor alike, who were devastated. George Bush is insensitive to the plight of poor people -- as all elite, wealthy aristocrats and politicians are.

This is evidenced by the timeless quote, "Why didn't they just leave?"

These politicians don't get the fact that these are poor people with no means of leaving, that is why they "ride it out" most of the time, if not all.

Kanye and these rappers talk about bullshit 80-90% of the time, now they want to be 2Pac. If George Bush didn't care about black people during and after the hurricane, do you think he cared about them before the hurricane? So where, I ask you, was Kanye then saying the president doesn't care?
He was throwing hand-gestured diamonds in the air and buying polo tee-shirts.
Don't play me, miss me with this bullshit of trying to say what is sexy at the time. I bet you -- dollars to donuts -- right now he is giving Jay-Z a pound saying some shit like, "I am the voice of black America dawg, watch my CD sales go through the roof now."

He thinks he is a positive rapper because of "Jesus Walks," but Jesus was humble and spoke of love for His fellow man. Jesus would not be wearing platinum Jesus pieces while people are starving in these streets. What ever happened to humility?

automaticstatus@aol.com

young Black people please, i implore
you to be smarter than the comments of Kanye (YE), or Jay-z or any of that kind. They don't invest in the black community unless it pays dividends for them. Trust me!
What do we (black people) need: we need black-owned businesses in the black areas of town. Did Jay-z put his 40/40 club in a black neighborhood? Of course not. They don't invest in the hood, they just say they do. It would be nice to have a 40/40 club in the hood, where black kids could see it and say they'll own a club and put it in the neighborhood one day. These people are steeped in white america yet they claim to be pro hood, pro black. Please, give me a break. You shall not support anybody that does not support you.

Blessings,

RA

http://news.yahoo.com/s/thenation/20050906/cm_thenation/120080;_ylt=AhcZNO.D6IA_u4mdR_VTxLsDW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl Please follow this link to see how the president of the united states mother feels about the conditions set up for us in Texas

What's amazing to me is how anyone is taking this to be a racial crisis. The last time I checked there were AMERICANS that were and are impacted. It's unfortunate that Mr. West's important comments were lost in the incredulous statement he made. Any educated individual is aware that the President is not a person - but an OFFICE. The head of FEMA is a person - but FEMA itself is an INSTITUTION. Mr. West's comments were made out of ignorance to what's truly been going on within the White House and the Federal Government to aid everyone involved in this current crisis. How exactly would any rescue effort be put together easily and quickly when the reason why people couldn't get OUT is the same reason why people can't get IN. What is incredulous to me however is the looting. I can understand desperately needing supplies - food, formula, first aid, etc. However, the trash that was looting those stores - and yes, I'm calling them trash - were not taking these items. they were stealing and vandalizing stores for CIGARETTES, LIQUOR, TV's, and new clothes! Happily walking down the aisles of Wal-Mart without a care in the world. They were proud of their slimy, filthy selves. Guns, looting, and loathesome trashy behaviour. Mr. West didn't speak out about that behaviour. Gee, I wonder why.

Jld I really can't comment on your ignorance because it seems to me that either you're an UNCLE TOM or you're a white liberal. Do you honestly believe that if Katrina would of hit let's say Texas where your proud president is from.,it would have taken five days for him to react? Black and Latin people of Amerikkka have always been discriminated against so what Kanye did is something that no other person with power such as 50 would have dared to put themselves in a situation to respond. We don't have the leaders that we had yesterday with the likes of Malcolm, Huey P. Newton and Martin. Someone had to speak out because the White media know how to expose Black people in the worst way. You could continue to turn your head away and see these people suffer but they're my brothers and sisters and I advise my people that we should take care of our own because George Bush Don't Care About BLACK People! One Love! Peace To Man, Woman, and Child!

Okay, maybe Kanye West didn't sugar coat what he had to say, maybe he did speak out of anger,But who haven't? We are not all perfect? And, Kanye meant what he said, he just delivered the message, before he thought about how he would deliver the message. Sometimes it takes anger to get the point across, and he has gotten lots of attention from it, I just felt, if you're going to speak for the people, black people in general, do it in the most professional,mannerable way possible,because we all can someone relate,to what's being said,and how he felt.Its not how huge your vocabulary is, or how powerful your profanity is, its the huge and powerful impact it would make on our people,and I mean our people, white people can view and turn this situation upsidedown if they choose to, but America seen it all in plain view, We as Black people, should do more to empower and support our people, New Orleans, isn't the jungle the media viewed it to be,Its a wonderful place with a truly strong spirit, you just saw us at our worst, I know, because, I am from New Orleans,and my family and I was apart of that huge mess, and I'm truly going thru some difficult times, but lets channel that anger we feel, into some powerful prayers, that's what we all need right now! God said lean not unto our own understanding, and that's what was meant, There's a reason for why this happen? Do anyone know? Maybe we have lost focus, on what's really important?God Bless You All.

Kanye West is a joke. The man cannot spit out 2 words with sputtering. The majority of watchers had no issue with the people that were taking water and food. It was the people that were stealing televisions, carts full of clothing, dvds, cds, etc. My wife is from New Orleans, therefore I was glued to MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN every hour I was able to do such (probably 8 hrs. daily). I do not remember them ever saying about a white family that they were "looking for food." Kanye West, a man so detached from reality, has no idea what was going on down there. I do know one thing, I would not place myself on national television and accuse an individual of being racist who clearly is not. Kanye should stick to the entertainment business. The majority of this country does not support his views or statements and that is the fact.

When I heard what Kanye said I was kind of like "Well Damn", I for one agree with JLD in that Bush is not just one person, and not the only person to blame. This is an insitution. This is not a one man show. Many people believe that, and they are entitled....but the FACTS are very evident. As for Kanye West's comment, "Bush does not care about Black people." I don't think Bush is the one who doesn't care. I think if you will blame anyone for not caring about a race of people Kanye blame the correct people, the Insitution. For those who maybe don't know or didn't think of it, Bush has blood relatives who are Black, who are OUR Brothas and Sistas, so to say that BUSH does not care about Black people ... in my view....and this is only MY view...isn't valid.

On another note, I think that this is a great site, and am glad that people are able to view and vent somewhere and have their voices and OPINIONS be heard.

ONE.

Jld,adina,and erik detroit,
these three fuckin idiots are the reason that amerikka is the way it is. They are not liberals,they are conservatives. Stupid fuckin morons who dont really give a shit about us black folks. Stop suckin George W's cock you fuckin racists. Those type of statements should have all three of you dragged through the streets of New Orleans then burned. Fuck you Assholes!!!

thank you killa 4 tha support.they should be ashamed.us black people need to rise against this type of behavior.Erik Detroit showed how ignorant he really is.the only way george bush has black family is if they raped them when they were their slaves.he is a redneck.rednecks dont like blacks.

Ok,Yes Kanye has a point to this whole renegade race movement that he's trying to start, and yes Bush is a stupid idiot along with the rest of our Government, but if all this were to irrupt what would be the outcome? There are much more black and white communities than there were in the seventies and the days of the Black Panthers, so think about the hate that would suddenly fill everyones mind because one person had an opinion. Neighbors killing neighbors, friends no longer friends and that old bullshit about black and white marriges. So fuck Kanye even though I own his cd he's taking this shit to far.

I believe Kanye West spoke out of pure anger. He could have conveyed his message a bit better and more thought out. However, anger doesn't let you think rigt away, it only makes you react. However, I am realy upset the media portray black people mostly as "refugees." Can we be seen as American Citizens. It makes black people look like foreigners seeking aid from another country. Bottom line is black people, even if they are poor,are still tax paying citizens and should be recognized as Amricans and not as refugees by their own people. It is pretty sad that all people which suffered this atrosity are not seeking aid as rapidly. Our own govt. cannot cater to its people yet cater to others outside their country? what sensedoes that make. You take of your own first. I hate to see people suffer. People are looting whatever you may call it, yet we forget, look at the chaos around these people. Their whole community is under, their homes are destroyed. The stuff in these stores that people are taking mean nothing. The value cigarettes, liquor, clothes will have no value. This shit will eventually be thrown out because contamination. Howevr, that's not the point i wanted to be made all people are suffering right now. and we need to help them. what if this happened to us?

Its a racial issue when a black kid is carrying a 12 pack of coke and food and is said to be looting, then about 50 yards back is two white people(male&female)carrying the same thing(12pack of coke and food)and said to be searching for food. I will give you this, it is the media, but it started with president-elect Bush who let them get away with it.He is The Leader of this hate in Amerikkka.Clinton would have never let the people just die like that.STOP BUSH!!!!

Okay House Negroes let's put this in perspective. Kanye said that George Bush doesn't care about Black people? Damn why did he have to say that in front of the world to see it on t.v.? Why did he risk his image being damaged by the comments that he and most Black and Latino people felt? Because it opened up a lot of eyes around the world to this Dear Amerikkka.,the home of the free treat its own people with disgust. Amerikkka to this day is still a racist country even after 9-11. It's even hard for us to get a loan in this country but a foreigner has no problem getting a loan and opening up a business. It doesn't take four to five days to help the people there in New Orleans and the coastal area. So I commend Kanye for speaking out because no other entertainer would have done it well only a few! One Love! Peace To Man, Woman, and Child!

I'm sure I'm way too old to post on his blog, but here goes. First, I applaud Kenye West for his courage for speaking out. The nite I saw it I actually got up and started clapping and crying. I was so proud to see a young Black man speak out. I had been saying from the beginning,where are our Black eaders? I'm still saying that in fact. I don't know that much about Kenye previous to this issue, except that he seems to be living large just like the other mega stars: Diddy, JayZ, Byounce (spelling?), JLo, and the list goes on and on and on. I'd already taken offense with stars such as these using sweatshops offshore to create their overpriced lines of clothing and sell them to inner city youth that need to be putting their dollars someplace other than on their backs. I'd wondered about Kenye. Was he doing the same or was he going to be different and give back to the people? Even before Katrina I'd googled Kenye to see if he was doing anything. Unfortunatly, I could find nothing to the effect. After Katrina, I was praying a Diddy or Jayz would step up. Would throw everything to the wind and
speak to America's youth (Black or not) to get up and DO something. I think Kenye was a start. Even if he didn't sound as polished as we would have liked, he did speak from his heart. And he did do it in the right context and on the right forum. Where else could he reach so many people but on live TV? You know, maybe he didn't even know himself that he had that kind of courage until he got in front of the camera. That was not rehearsed. He WAS scared. He knew he was putting himself and his career on the spot. I applaud him and I only pray that he continues to display such courage.

Now for the rest of our Youth, PLEASE, get together and DO something. My generation tried to effect change. We got some things done. We got some people through the "door." But, unfortunately, we got comfortable. We went back to sleep. Well, I for one, am awake again. I'm not preaching violence. Use your heads. Use the power you may not know you have. You've got the best communication system ever. You can reach each other instantly. You've got internet, cell phones, ipods, podcasts. I don't even know what all you have that you take for granted to keep in touch with each other. YOU can do something NOW. Make CHANGE your new mission in life. If you don't do it, who will? Don't think for a minute that all the comforts you think you're entitled to can't be taken away in an instant. New Orleans is teaching us that. You've got people in power now who will have your backs. We didn't have that in the sixties. PLEASE, get together NOW so we don't have to see another New Orleans. Look at all our major cities. We can be desimated in seconds, ALL of us. Think of the history, the strong family ties, the traditions that have been washed away with Katrina. This story can easily be forgotten unless YOU do something. People must never, ever forget this travesty.

Agree with me or not, just do something. I've got to go now and get to Fosco Park here in Chicago which they've set up as a relief center to receive survivors. I don't know what I'll end up doing. I just know I've got to do something to help.

May God Bless us all.

Everyone knows that Kanye is a cry baby, he has been know for it for forever. To make this an issue about race shows how ignorant some black people are. The majority of middle class blacks condemn Kanye's ignorance. He alone sit back the advancment of black people in society, and made whites think of blacks as dumb ol' niggas. IF you applaude him then you need to get educated. To think that any man would sit back and let hundreds die while he could stop it is stupid. Not this president or any president.

What did Clinton ever do for the blacks? yet you love him. What did he do about the levees? Nothing. But the media loved Clinton cuz he was democrat. Learn to think on your own and not just down all the bullshit CNN tells you.

This government, this society we live in is a cycle of mistakes. We make mistakes one after an another. Truth be told is that the "people" knew that the levees would let go. It was predicted that even with a category three, the levees would let out and New Orleans and so on would be flooded under 20 feet of water. It's ridiculous peple knew that and did nothing. Did Bush and his administration know this. Let's not be stupid here.

To make an issue about race to dear Amerikkka is like the rapist telling the rape "I'll protect you"! Uncle Tom or should I say house negroes please read between the lines. After Kanye's outcry all of a sudden Bush is concerned. Explain to me why would it take four to five days for help to arrive? Stop being ignorant because you'll had knowledge of self.,you would know that Amerikkka is a racist country from the past to this present day. If you would heard all of Kanye's message then you would of known why he came to his conclusion. Kanye is not ignorant. So I guess Malcolm, Martin, Huey P, Newton, and Assata Shakur are ignorant too. 50 doesn't have the time to speak about black people because he's too busy pleasing MASTA. One Love to the Freedom Fighters! May The Creator bless the people of Katrina! Peace To Man, Woman, and Child!

Recently while on television for a Hurricane Katrina relief telethon... Kanye West did more to hurt his people by furthering unneeded and (untrue) racism in 2 minutes than most can do in 2 generations.

It's stupid statements like these "George Bush doesn't care about black people..." that help keep the stereotypes alive.

There was NO need for it during a time when money was needed to help the poor (and black) victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Think of how many people were turned off by his racist statement and decided not to give that night?

Show your PROTEST today and go to http://www.cafepress.com/kanyewesttshirt

and order your Anti-Kanye West T-shirt today.


You've seen the "George Bush doesn't care about black people..." T-shirts on the internet.... Well, NOW here's a chance for the REST of us to be heard.

Buy YOURS today!

http://www.cafepress.com/kanyewesttshirt

Kanye was wrong -- dead wrong. The mayor of NO was supposed to be the first to help his constituents, but he is also passing the buck. It's not simply George W. Bush, the whole government has failed the people and the poor especially. Let this be the wake-up call, you can no longer be dumb in America, lest you be dead by a flood of ignorance and poverty.

Kanye, I am not going to dis you brotha! It's easy to be a divider, so work on being a uniter. You are profitteering off black people and our plight, so be righteous in your approach. You wearing polo like it's your swaddling cloth. But as I recall, Ralph Lauren said black people shouldn't wear his clothes cuz they bring down the value. Where are you on that brotha?

How can you compare this to Tommie Smith and John Carlos?! What they did was outstanding and brave. They did it during a world event that had nothing to do with providing for a disaster ridden people, and everything to do with freedoms and politics. I find it offensive you would compare those two brave men with the rambling, negativity and poor timing of Kanye West. He was on a benefit show to help the people devastated by the hurricane. Politics has nothing to do with that. Whether I agree with what he says or not, Kanye West's timing and presentation were disgusting and he deserves any negative backlash he gets.

Some of your comments really demonstrate the lack of intelligence that must be prevalent to end up living in section 8 housing in New Orleans. Or to live in a situation to not be able to afford to put gas in a car and drive away. Any one of you that refers to Kanye West as your "brotha" and actually believes it is living in ignorance. Kanye doesn't care about you. I'm sure he is really concerned for "his people" while living in his mansion making music that creates even more of a racial divide. And I'm sure Kanye was really feeling close to you after he got off the phone with his business manager. You people live under the assumption that everything that goes wrong is racism. Those people have the same opportunity as everyone else to go to school and LEARN. Not just go to school and be a gang banger. Just remember, your "brotha, with an 'a'", is capatilizing off of your poverty with his unintelligent music. If it weren't for you people feeling oppressed and like the man is holding you back all the time Kanye wouldn't have a career. So don't go to school, don't get a job, after all, the government won't save you from a naturally occurring hurricane but they sure pay the bills with your welfare checks. But remember, it's your "people" that were stealing TVs during a disaster, and raping women in a relief shelter, and shoothing at the police and firemen. Oh wait, I forgot, that didn't really happen, like Kanye said, they were just portrayed that way, just portrayed carrying a TV out of a store they just broke in to.

TC please spare me. I can tell instantaneously that you don't have any semblance of intelligence or intelligible thoughts in your pin head. You need to invest some quality time into reading and not glossing over things. Okay?

Your kind will soon be extinct with the T-Rexm. And no, I don't agree with Kanye nor do I agree with anything you said.

I do agree with some of the stuff T.C. said, but I don't agree with the slant in which they were said.

People *do* have to learn to take responsibility for their situation and not blame everyone else around them. Even if it is someone elses fault, it is your responsibility to accept it and fix it without being destructive.

Not all people are poor because they decide to be poor. I lived in Section 8 housing on the east coast of Florida. My mother didn't decide she wanted to be poor, but the situation created (bitter divorce) made it that way. I decided a long time ago I didn't want to be poor, but I am also very aware of the fact something could happen tomorrow forcing it on me. I now live in a nice suburban and very diverse neighborhood. I feel comfortable and safe around every race there... black, white, middle eastern, and asian. That is just the neighbors directly around me.

However T.C. Kanye wasn't referring to the pictures of people carrying T.V.s. There was a picture of a young black male carrying what appeared to be groceries and the caption read he was a looter. There was then a picture of a white male and a white female carrying what appeared to be groceries and the caption read something to the effect of them finding the groceries. The only thing people failed to mention in their anger was the fact both the news stories came from different news sources and therefore could have different policies on how things are presented. It could also deal with what the reporter actually saw before he/she took the picture. In either case, they need to be more level. I hate this turned into a complete racial issue when it was one reporter taking the picture and making the caption. The world or entire media isn't racist because of one possible idiot. And before you spark up... I say possible because I don't know the facts. I only know what I saw and what was presented. I don't know why it was presented that way.

Most of the anger I have seen is based entirely on conjecture and I really think people need to wait for a result and reason before they go crazy.

Hello ! American people!

I'm french and i like Kanye West music !

i don' know everything about hurricane katrina.

But i think Bush is an ignorant i don't understand why he is president for a second time.

In france we don't like him.

and because i like Kanye i support him against Bush !!

Like Common Says: GO ! GO!GO !

Hey,
I think thats the truth and thats why people have a hard time dealing with what Kayne West said, I am an African American and I also thought that if Hurricane Katrina would have hit a city full of blondes not that I am prejudice, but Bush our so called "president" would have been there and things wouldve worked out more effectively, but hey its just my out look and anybody can that other wise, just thought I should stop through and voice my thoughts.
Thanks for listening
Sincerly,
Kimbely Walkes
P.S
To the Victims of New Orleans, Keep your head up in the hard times and then sooner than you realize that the bad times fly and the good days shine.

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This page contains a single entry by published on September 6, 2005 12:31 PM.

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