Friday night according to Associated Press Kanye West burst into a racial catharsis accusing President Bush and white America of racism.
The show, simulcast from New York on NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and Pax, was aired live to the East Coast, enabling it to slip by uncensored.
There was a several-second tape delay, but the person in charge:
“was instructed to listen for a curse word, and didn’t realize (West) had gone off-script”
said NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks.
Matt Lauer noted that
“Emotions in this country right now are running very high. Sometimes that emotion is translated into inspiration, sometimes into criticism. We’ve heard some of that tonight. But it’s still part of the American way of life.”
Kanye West, a wealthy African American rapper whose recent hit has the profane lyric:
"I'm not saying she is a gold digger, but she ain't messing with a broke nigger"
is no stranger to racial controversy. Mr. West joins a growing chorus by some black Americans that are raising the specter of racism.
Many bogus reports in the media are fanning the flames. For example there was a widely repeated report of massive roving gangs raping children. This turned out to be bogus but it is still being repeated in the media. Then there is the issue of fairness in reporting about looting. Blacks doing it are reported in a highly negative manner, while whites doing the same thing are being reported as survivors. This is seen as an example of white racism by people like Kayne West.
There is another side though. Take Randall Robertson, writing in the radical Huffington Post slog (slander blog), he said:
"It is reported that black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive. Four days after the storm, thousands of blacks in New Orleans are dying like dogs. No-one has come to help them."
This is of course is a complete and scurrilous fabrication. The National Guard has found no such cases. It has only been a couple of days, not weeks. Anybody who would resort to this would be somebody who would do it regardless.
Then there is another report about the National Guard being sent to kill blacks. This is another complete distortion. The Guard is being sent in to restore order to an area that has descended into udder lawlessness. Police officers have quit in droves out of fear. Helicopters sent in to rescue people are being shot at. The guard, like any police force will return fire if shot at. This is a completely necessary precaution for their safety; and to restore order to the area. In the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, a number of white people were shot for looting, this no different.
Another claim is that President Bush is responsible and that he doesn’t care because New Orleans is a black majority city. The black mayor of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana have known for ages that the sword of Damocles was hanging over their collective heads. They knew it was dangerous to build so much in areas prone to flooding. This is something that should have been fixed 100 years ago.
To lay that blame on President Bush is ridiculous and racist. Despite this certain black political leaders like Jesse Jackson are claiming that:
"Today, as the President comes to Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi for his ceremonial trip to look at the victims of the devastation, he would do well to have a plan more significant than a ceremonial tour,”
AND"His whole response is unacceptable."
The Rev. Jesse Jackson was also critical of President Bush for not putting more blacks in leadership positions, despite the fact that U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, head of the military task force overseeing operations in the three states, is black.
Another claim is that if only we weren't in Iraq this wouldn't have happened. While the war has greatly drained resources and stretched personnel thin; there is still more than enough Guardsmen and active duty troops that can be deployed to handle the situation. Louisiana’s governor has her states National Guard under her general command, why isn't anybody asking her why she didn't send them in earlier. I guess that wouldn't fit Kanye West's idea of racism.
There has been plenty of bad planning and mistakes all around, blaming racism for a natural disaster that nobody was ready for is plain wrong. This is a time where we all Americans need to put our differences aside and work together, save the name calling for a day when lives aren't hanging in the balance.
Written by John Bill, founder of independent think tank the Jmaximus Institute of Freedom.Powered by Sidelines