by Jennifer Bowman
Throughout history, there have been a number of significantly idiotic comments made by celebrities and politicians alike. For instance, Britney Spears' statement "I've been to lots of overseas places, like Canada." A classic.
However, more recently we have heard from a newcomer in the world of stupid celebrities. Kanye West has gone directly from B-list celebrity to B-list celebrity who thrives for attention by way of shock and pretending to know about politics.
Imagine. There's a concert for Hurricane Katrina relief fund for the Red Cross. The mood is sentimental and genuine. The goal is to help those affected by the hurricane. It is a sincere and benevolent cause.
However, Kanye West bastardized the entire scenario with his own selfish goals in mind. He's standing there, on live television, next to Mike Myers. He's reading a typical speech from a teleprompter, and then turns to Kanye West, who rambles on about how "his people" are suffering and whines about the general horrors of white people.
Poor meek and mild Mike Myers, obviously perturbed, turns back to the camera, and continues on with his speech. He turns then back to Kanye, who says simply, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." The expression on Myers' face is priceless. The camera quickly goes over to Chris Tucker, and the live event for east coast was NOT aired on the west coast.
There are several things wrong with this argument. First off, let's go with the visual. Kanye West is attired in Ralph Lauren and other rich, preppy clothes. The same sorts of clothes that the Bush family has been photographed wearing. Ironic.
Of course, then there's the argument itself. George Bush doesn't care about black people. Well, first of all, there's Condoleeza Rice. And Colin Powell. And J.C. Watts. But hey, besides those people and the other many black people in the Senate and House of Representatives... there's the general population. The broad idiocy of Kanye West's statement is enough to make anyone sick. Who he should really be directing his anger toward is mayor Ray Nagin, who could have evacuated thousands by letting people ride in the 2,000 now flooded school buses, but decided he would rather have Greyhounds instead? Or spending money by letting cops take paid vacations to Las Vegas during the very worst of the hurricane, and telling critics to "get over it." Maybe Kanye West didn't criticize him because he's a black Democrat. And isn't it ironic that these comments were made around the release of his new album? Obviously.
The worst part of this whole thing, though, is that Kanye West warped a charitable event into a political crisis. Something that was supposed to be for a good cause turned its attention from the Red Cross to a crude comment.
I would hope that Mr. West would, in the future, care more about donating time and money to the victims of the hurricanes, and less about making an impact with ignorant and "shocking" comments like that. I would hope that we would put our own opinions aside for a disaster such as this and think more of others and less of ourselves.