Flash Back: Remember Kanye’s Comments?

I’ve been blogging fairly regularly now, trying to do a once a day posting schedule, and it seems to be going pretty well. I hope you feel the same way. This is a new weekly post I’m gonna do. Seeing as most folks seem to take Saturday’s off and aren’t reading as much I figure it’s good chance for me to peek back and pull out some old posts for your enjoyment. Now, the plan is to simply write a new post highlighting the old posts and maybe providing a brief update if necessary. Feel free to go back and comment on the old posts or just post more thoughts on this one. If folks are subscribed to comments by email they might even get back in the conversation if it picks up again. So here goes.

“George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People.”

Whether you agreed with him or not, Kanye started a conversation that I think might have at least opened some people’s eyes a little to the issue of race in our country. Here were my thoughts back then.

September 3rd, 2005:
I’d like to offer a brief defense. First, I hope you folks have paid attention to some of the good things Kanye has been doing. Speaking out against homophobia and gay-bashing, writing a song and music video about Conflict Diamonds, and many here might appreciate his Grammy award winning song Jesus Walks.

I think maybe we all need to have a long talk about racism. I think Kanye spoke from a place of hurt and frustration during those concerts. I’ve heard some say that he is wrong, that this is not a racist thing, and there is a possiblity you are right. At the same time there is a possiblity he is right, and I think it comes from many other times when he was right, when there where situations he or others he knows faced that were inherently racist.

I’m done. I just want everyone to know there is a Nashvillian out here who understands Kanye a little and does not hate him for speaking what was on his heart.

As for those upset with the possiblity that it cost some donations I couldn’t have said it better than Aunt B on Sharon Cobb’s post:

“I mean, I don’t know if Bush hates all poor people or just black poor people, but I do know that if you’d withhold money from a charity because you don’t think how a black man behaves himself is “proper,” you’d better look long and hard at your own soul.”

Video of the Controversial statement:

And then further thoughts on September 9th, 2005:
My original post on Kanye West was written before I saw the actual video footage of what he said. From the description and summary I had heard from many many other blogs and news articles I thought Kanye had gone off yelling and screaming, insisting Bush “hates” black people. Well, I finally found the clip here. And this is anything but a outspoken rant. Why didn’t anyone mention the fact that Kanye was stumbling over his words? Why didn’t anyone mention that he didn’t sound angry, but distraught and disturbed, nervous about speaking but concerned about sharing what was on his heart? Does anyone else see that in this video?
Just my opinion, but I feel like this supports my original post that Kanye was speaking out of pain.

Now to address a few of the comments:

Anon: Kanye did not say Bush “HATES” black people, he said Bush doesn’t care about black people. And as far as evidence goes I think the evidence he was referring to (at least recently) was the Hurricane and New Orleans. You obviously don’t agree with him though do you. What if (I know another one of those “what if’s” you don’t like me asking) Kanye was a close personal friend of yours. What if in a conversation with your close friend, he got choked up and stumbling over his words expressed his hurt and emotions and said, “Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Would you ask him where his evidence is? Would you try and see things from his perspective a little?

Mr. Strong, I don’t think the fact that 2 of the people on Bush’s cabinet are black is really a case against Kanye’s statement, do you?

Brian and Jon and Stephen, I’d like to suggest that you try a different approach if you are really actually curious where the feelings that Kanye expressed come from. You see the way you post some of your comments, they sound argumentative, not like open and listening ears. If I was Kanye, or someone who shares his feelings, I don’t think I would want to share with you my hurt and emotions and the stories and evidence that make me feel the way I do. I’d be afraid you’d just rip into and discredit everything I just vulnerably shared with you. If your really interested though, and willing to listen, I’m sure you can find a person on Wheaton’s campus, or maybe in your church or neighborhood who would share with you some of their feelings, you just have to look.

Finally I couldn’t leave the topic without posting links to a few other inflammatory celebrities.

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