September 8, 2005

God Bless America

'I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life, your right to say it.'
-Thomas Paine
Rapper Kanye West made international news Friday when he said that George Bush doesn’t care about black people during a live benefit. From the Village Voice: ‘West, jaw set, wearing an ugly black-and-white rugby shirt with a giant logo, gives a quaverous "um" before saying what he needs to say, not entirely committed at first, sounding almost like he's reading it off the teleprompter, ending his statements with a sort of verbal question-mark uptick: "I hate the way they portray us in the media?" He gets increasingly heated and decreasingly articulate over the next couple of sentences, trying to get out whatever's in his head, thoughts and words firing in all directions, upset and crushed, sad that he has to go on TV and say this stuff when nobody else will: "Even for me to complain about, I would be a hypocrite because I've tried to turn away from the teach, um, TV because it's too hard to watch. I've even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I'm calling my business manager right now to see what's, what is the biggest amount I can give." Quickly losing his composure: "With, with the setup, the way America's set up to help the, um, uh, the poor, the black people, the, um, the less well-off as slow as possible." Mike Myers looks surprised but still nods solemnly, not entirely sure what he should be doing. West: "And they, they've given them permission to go down and shoot us." Myers, mouth open, looks at West, takes a deep breath, and continues reading off the teleprompter. While he talks, West stares into the camera, maybe thinking to himself: Will I say it? Fuck it, I'll say it. "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Myers, shocked, looks at West and then back to the camera. Cut to Chris Tucker standing in front of a fridge.’ NBC deleted the comment from the West Coast broadcast so Freedom of Speech doesn't necessarily apply to network television, but it's good to see some people aren't afraid to tell it how they see it.