For the life of me, I am trying to figure out what was so controversial in the remarks by rapper Kanye West at the NBC fundraiser for the Katrina disaster victims. He stated that Bush apparently does not care about Black people. He also expressed concern about how Black families that were fighting for survival were compared with White families in the media, i.e., Black families tended to be viewed as looters while Whites were not.
What was so controversial about that? From the standpoint of any reasonable person, Wests comments seem quite rational and level-headed. The media discrepancy, at least at the earlier stage of the disaster, is fairly well documented. Separately, how can anyone, in looking at the situation and the length of time it has taken for the Federal government to mobilize, or the lack of leadership and urgency from President Bush come to another conclusion about his lack of concern? Certainly it is obvious that there is complete incompetence on the part of his Administration, but the problem must go deeper. Within 36 hours, Tsunami victims in South Asia were receiving aid and support; in the Gulf Coast, it was five days. In the Tsunami crisis, countries victimized readily and immediately accepted foreign assistance for their citizens; in the post-Katrina situation, the Bush administration has refused to reply to countless offers of assistance, such as those coming from Cuba who are familiar with hurricane disasters.
So, why should one portray Wests comments as off-color or over the top? It seems to me that they were appropriate observations that can only be refuted by a change in the practice of the Bush administration. There is no amount of rhetoric that will ever make up for the inexplicable delay in the Bush administration response to the disaster.
Thus, rather than berate Kanye West, we should take off our hats to him. We should applaud his courage and his outrage. We should thank him for being willing to say publicly what millions of us are saying privately: that the post-Katrina disaster reflects the racial and class priorities of an Administration more concerned about an illegal war and occupation in Iraq; more concerned about giving tax breaks to its wealthy friends; more energized to destabilize legitimate governments in other parts of the world, e.g., Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, than it is about ensuring that the people of the Gulf Coast were protected from the ravages of nature
a nature running wild from global warming, while this Administration closes its eyes and ears and repeats incessantly, that everything is going to be alright.
Right on, Brother Kanye West!
Right on, Brother Kanye West!
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is the president of TransAfrica Forum. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.
Check out his platform at RobKall.com
He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity
He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered
first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
people on his Bottom Up Radio Show,
and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
opinion sites, OpEdNews.com
more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)