One day, perhaps, Kanye West and George W. Bush will fully bury the hatchet. For now—years after West infamously declared that Bush "doesn't care about black people"—they've at least embarked on the first step of the healing process: openness. In Bush's first post-presidential interview with Matt Lauer, the decider revisited his pain over West's stinging comments. "I didn't appreciate it then. I don't appreciate it now....it was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency," he recalled.
In the pre-Taylor Swift era, Kanye might have fired back with a blustery retort. But time has had its humbling effects on the music mogul. "I definitely can understand the way he feels, to be accused of being a racist in any way, because the same thing happened to me, where I got accused of being a racist," West said in a radio interview. He empathized with the former president, equating his MTV incident to his reaction to Bush's fumbling response to Hurricane Katrina.
With him, it was a lack of compassion of him not rushing, him not taking the time to rush down to New Orleans. For me, it was a lack of compassion of cutting someone off in their moment. But nonetheless, I think we're all quick to pull a race card in America. And now I'm more open, and the poetic justice that I feel, to have went through the same thing that he went [through]—and now I really more connect with him on just a humanitarian level.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.