Another Thanksgiving, another time to ponder who I’m thankful not to be.
1. Rapper Kanye West. Five short years ago, West gained either notoriety or adulation for his now famous quote, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people!”
That was after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, causing levees around New Orleans either to break – or be broken – and flood the city. West, one of those solipsistic black folks who think EVERYTHING revolves around us and our suffering, was on television trying to encourage people to contribute to hurricane victims (Those victims, by the way, came in all colors. Hurricanes don’t really target races, no matter what rapper Jay-Z says.). It was during the telecast that West delivered his anti-Bush remark.
Juan Williams, in his book “Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America – and What We Can Do About It,” showed the fallacy of West’s (and Jay-Z’s) reasoning. Several observers, Williams wrote, concluded that there were no racial motives or disparities in the Bush administration’s incompetent response to the Katrina crisis. And one of those observers was a guy named Sen. Barack Hussein Obama of Illinois.
It’s interesting that Obama has since dismissed West as a “jackass.” That was after West – restraint is really not this guy’s strong suit – took to the stage and upstaged country music singer Taylor Swift after she won an award. But he really regrets that, and has apologized for calling Bush, in essence, a racist.
In his new memoir, Bush said he didn’t appreciate West calling him a racist. The former president said that was the lowest point in his presidency (Odd, I think learning that 3,000 Americans has lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks would have qualified as the lowest point in his presidency, but maybe I’m funny that way.).
Here is West’s response to Bush, according to the Web site Eonline.com:
“I definitely can understand the way (Bush) 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. With him, it was a lack of compassion of him not rushing, of him not taking the time to run down to New Orleans. For me, it was a lack of compassion of cutting someone off in (her) moment. But nonetheless, I think we’re all quick to pull the race card in America.”
Yes, Kanye, and some of us whip out that race card more quickly than others. And you, brother, are a race card quick-draw artist. And when no less a person than the president of the United States calls you a jackass, then, well, Kanye, it just sucks to be you.
2. Bush, for the reason listed above. How could Sept. 11, 2001 NOT have been the lowest point in his presidency?
3. Rapper Rick Ross, a former corrections officer who poses in his music as a gangsta. Ross actually tried to deny he was a corrections officer, until some diligent soul produced records and photographs.
Isn’t the state of black America quite sad if our music artists have to create fake criminal pasts to give themselves “street cred?” The last I checked, being a corrections officer was an honorable profession (my apologies to the late Black Panther leader and prison activist George Jackson, who loathed corrections officers). At the very least, it’s a step up from being a drug dealer, armed robber, rapist or murderer.
There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of black men and women corrections officers who perform their jobs well and honorably. But the way some people have reacted to the news that Ross was once a corrections officer, you’d think the profession was a notch below pedophile.
We’ve reached the point where our criminals are now being emulated, and our law-abiding citizens are being dissed. And that brings me to the last person I’m thankful not to be.
4. A young black man in 2010. With role models like Rick Ross, is it any wonder that a report comes out showing young black men underperforming across the board in schools? In my day, young black men on the wrong side of the law would actually encourage young black men with something on the ball in school to keep on keepin’ on.
Man, where did THOSE days go?