Kanye West is on to something

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

A lot of people are criticizing rapper Kanye West about his comments during last nights &uot;Concert for Hurricane Relief&uot; on NBC.

Mr. West diverted from the lines written for him by NBC and delivered an improvised speech criticizing the relief effort and the Bush Administration.

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While the forum in which Mr. West delivered his comments may not have been the most appropriate of venues to deliver his views, you can’t deny that there is a significant amount of truth behind what he said.

&uot;I hate the way they portray us in the media.

If you see a black family, they are looting.

If you see a white family, they are looking for food.&uot;

One would only have to tune into one of the network news stations to see how true this statement is.

Fox News in particular has claimed that this is a prime example of the downfall of American society and ethics.

They delight in bringing ultra-conservative guests on camera to talk about how the lawlessness of the people in this area is a direct effect of taking prayer out of schools.

What they fail to realize is that the federal government has failed to render these people even the most basic of aid.

It has failed on a tremendous level to give these people the help they need to escape or survive.

If you were trapped there, and had no food, would you sit in your home and stare in the slim hope that maybe uncle sam might come knock on your door and give you a sandwich?

&uot;America is setup to help the poor, the less well-off as slow as possible.&uot;

People have been trapped in the Superdome for 5 days.

They lived in the most disgusting and in-human of conditions.

When the buses finally did start arriving to get them out, there weren’t enough.

At one point they even stopped loading people on the bus who had been waiting in these conditions for days, to move guest and staff who were staying at the Hyatt across the street onto the buses.

They were moved to the very front of the line even though they were clean, dry, and well feed.

Once again, people who are dirty, sick, and poor are asked to step aside for the elite upper class.

&uot;George Bush doesn’t care about black people.&uot;

Now I do disagree with this part.

George Bush doesn’t care about anybody.

Black, White, Chinese, Hispanic, it’s all the same to him.

George sat in his ranch on vacation while the country was falling apart all around him.

While people were climbing onto roofs to keep from drowning, while people huddled together for protection from the storm in a crime infested stadium, while American’s across the country were paying $3 – $6 a gallon for gas, George was hold up in his compound sipping hot cocoa.

Only when people demanded that he get on TV and say something, did he finally get off his butt and make an appearance.

And what words of wisdom did he drop. &uot;If you don’t have to buy gas, then don’t.&uot; Mr. West probably could have picked a better forum to voice his opinions.

His statements may have caused a few Americans to turn off the TV and may have even hurt the effort to collect much needed aid for the people affected by the hurricane.

But I would argue that what he said, though maybe not elegantly put, was right on the money and deserves consideration.

Casey Simpkins