Today in Hip-Hop: Kanye West Publicly Criticizes President George W. Bush
On this day, Sept. 2, in hip-hop history...
2005: During a nationally televised Hurricane Katrina relief concert, A Concert For Hurricane Relief, Kanye West delivered a stinging criticism to then-President George W. Bush for his handling of disaster relief in the wake of the storm. Only a few short days earlier, Hurricane Katrina smashed into the United States flooding the city of New Orleans and devastating the country's Gulf region. Many had felt that both President Bush and the federal government had been too slow to act in the early days of storm relief critically causing the infrastructure of the city of New Orleans to break down and descend into chaos.
Speaking at the live event, Kanye West joined comedian Mike Myers where West famously told viewers that he thought "George Bush doesn't care about Black people." The unscripted moment was a shock to viewers at home and especially to 'Ye's co-presenter, Myers. West's comments won him both praise and sharp criticism after the event. Years later, President Bush would call Kanye's comments one of the most "disgusting moments" of his presidency. Not all agreed with the President's take and many praised West for his candidness and bravery in the situation. Jay Z, Def Jam founder Russell Simmons and noted economist Dr. Boyce Watkins commended Kanye with Russell even writing an open letter on his website Global Grind telling Kanye not to apologize to Bush.
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