The White Man's Burden

bush and katrina.jpg

George Bush, still thin-skinned as ever, is still stewing of Kanye West:


MATT LAUER: You remember what he said? 

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes, I do. He called me a racist. 

MATT LAUER: Well, what he said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." 

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: That's -- "he's a racist." And I didn't appreciate it then. I don't appreciate it now. It's one thing to say, "I don't appreciate the way he's handled his business." It's another thing to say, "This man's a racist." I resent it, it's not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency

MATT LAUER: This from the book. "Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust." You go on. "I faced a lot of criticism as President. I didn't like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all time low." 

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yeah. I still feel that way as you read those words. I felt 'em when I heard 'em, felt 'em when I wrote 'em and I felt 'em when I'm listening to 'em.

MATT LAUER: You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your Presidency?

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes. My record was strong I felt when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And-- it was a disgusting moment.

I thought Kanye West's comments were pretty silly, and typical of Kanye. It's also typical of George Bush that implication that he's a racist is worse then the implication that he sent thousands of people to their deaths on a lie.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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