Mike Myers on the Kanye moment: ‘I’m the guy next to the guy who spoke a truth’


Mike Myers has a new interview in GQ. I know some of you say he has a reputation as a difficult man or even a d-bag, but I’ve always thought he was truly, genuinely funny. His episode of Inside the Actors Studio is still one of the greatest things ever, and the man knows how to give an interesting (albeit bizarre) interview. I would suggest reading the full piece here – he talks about his side projects, how he’s been keeping busy (painting, becoming a father, writing, working on weird musical projects).

He also talks about the now-infamous incident at the Hurricane Katrina telethon in 2005, when he was paired up with Kanye West, who went gloriously and emotionally off-script for a full minute (while Myers projected discomfort) then Kanye blurted out “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” It’s worth watching again after all this time:

It’s serious and it was serious at the time, and NOLA was devastated and people died and it was awful. But this was still one of the craziest live moments ever. And if you just watch Myers, you do laugh a little (or is that just me?). I mean, he was SO uncomfortable and then the camera cuts to poor Chris Tucker who has to follow THAT. Anyway, now that almost nine years have passed, this is what Mike has to say about that moment now:

GQ: Do you remember what you were thinking as he said it?
MM: I don’t do many things. And I remember watching the television and seeing, because I’m a citizen now, my fellow citizens on the roofs of buildings dying. And I turned into my father, where my dad would shout at the TV. My dad hated injustice. I’ve been called for many, many telethons, hither and yon, and I remember just being so upset and feeling, ironically, that if this was white people on roofs, the army would be there in five seconds. And these are my fellow citizens, who just happen to be people of color, sitting on roofs for multiple days. So when they called me I said, “Yeah, I’ll do it.” I went there specifically because I wanted to help the Red Cross. I was supposed to be by myself, and I was, like, “fine”, then they said “Do you mind doing it with somebody else?” And I always remembered that Live Aid thing of “leave your egos at the door”, so I said, “Sure, of course.” And they said, “Would you do it with Kanye West?” and I said, “Uh, sure.” I actually wasn’t familiar with his work. And then he said he was going to take some liberties with the thing… I didn’t know that the liberty would be calling out the president.

If you watch the footage, I don’t think he knew.
I don’t think so either. But the question itself is a little beside the point of what actually went down in New Orleans. For me it isn’t about the look of embarrassment on my face, it is truly about the injustice that was happening in New Orleans. I don’t mind answering the question but the emphasis of it being that I’m the guy next to the guy who spoke a truth. I assume that George Bush does care about black people—I mean I don’t know him, I’m going to make that assumption—but I can definitively say that it appeared to me watching television that had that been white people, the government would have been there faster. And so to me that’s really the point—the look on my face is, to me, almost insulting to the true essence of what went down in New Orleans… What is so funny about peace, love, and understanding? To have the emphasis on the look on my face versus the fact that somebody spoke truth to power at a time when somebody needed to speak? I’m very proud to have been next to him. Do you know what I mean? I’m, like, super proud to have been next to him. The look on my face is…to be honest with you, I thought I handled it well. I was like “This is what’s happening…” Because live TV is my milieu, and improv is my training, you know. It has been painful that the culture has at times meditated on my surprise, when it’s really the message, dude. The message, the message, the message, you know. There’s a world of fail culture, and it’s hardly a fail on my part to be next to the guy that spoke truth to power at a time when horrific injustices…

[From GQ]

Aw, that was nice, right? I remember Mike and Kanye doing a bit on Saturday Night Live a year or two after the telethon as well, and I remember being surprised the Kanye would agree to it (Yeezington does not do well in an atmosphere where he has to joke). Still, Mike’s right – it’s an iconic moment in television history and the point of it is not his reaction in real time. The point was (and is) Kanye calling out the president. Incidentally, in a post-presidency interview, George W. Bush listed that Kanye West moment as “the all-time low” of his presidency because of the blanket accusation that he (Dubya) was a racist.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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143 Responses to “Mike Myers on the Kanye moment: ‘I’m the guy next to the guy who spoke a truth’”

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  1. GiGi says:

    I remember watching that, too. And it’s pretty much when I really started loving the Kanye brand of crazy. Good for Mike for spelling it out in this interview.

    I also remember that interview with Bush – talking about how Kanye’s words were just a blow. And I really hope that they were and I hope that it changed him. Because he may have thought he cared about Black people, but Katrina was kind of proof that he didn’t.

    • Kiddo says:

      Yeah, that was the Kanye I loved. SIGH, how things have changed.

      • Maria says:

        I don´t think Kanye´s changed, only what the media brings to you about him.

      • Kiddo says:

        Really? He now rants about dentists and how Kim is the Elizabeth Taylor of our generation. I think a screw got loose, fell out, and now the thought process is on the fritz.

      • L says:

        He changed ALOT after his mother died in ’07. It’s like he never came back from that.

      • TheOrginalKitten says:

        Most of us loved that Kanye. He always had that bravado- the braggadocio, but truthfully, cockiness is a huge part of hip hop culture–it’s not unique to Kanye.

        I could hang with him (and I defended his behavior a LOT) until the Kim Kardashian Fame Monster took over and made him into a punch line.

      • diva says:

        I miss that Kanye. Love what Mike had to say about the situation. A lot of truth in it.

      • hazeldazel says:

        @L – you know, you are so right about his mom’s death. After she died, he went completely off the rails. Can you imagine all this “Kimye” circus if she was still alive? No way.

        Even if Kanye is a total ass/clown/douche now, he spoke the truth about Katrina.

      • krtmom says:

        Kanye West is an egomaniac and an asshole!!!

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I miss that Kanye too.

        “He now rants about dentists and how Kim is the Elizabeth Taylor of our generation.”

        That is so true and very sad. We need people who rant about things that MATTER.

    • Renee says:


    • Rose says:

      @GiGi very well said.

      There was a time when I enjoyed Kanye’s music and for speaking out on relevant things. The Kanye of today, hanging around that chick is just too different to me.

    • vilebody says:

      There is no argument that Katrina was severely and tragically mishandled. But please note that GWB gave more aid than any other president to Africa–around 5 billion a year–to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other issues. He increased aid by more than 640% to the continent, on his own initiative at the start of his presidency. Please look it up since these are all such important causes. I think the issues with Katrina had to do more with bureaucratic incompetence (on both sides) since, from my experience, he has shown that he does “care about black people.”

      • Original Lee says:

        @vilebody – I agree with everything you said.

      • TheOrginalKitten says:

        “But please note that GWB gave more aid than any other president to Africa–around 5 billion a year–to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other issues.”

        Ok yes, I cannot take away from this very basic fact.

        But while I commend him for this, I have to add that the Christian fundamentalist-infused PEPFAR program (that Bush’s administration funded) in Uganda is not without much controversy.
        The approach of ABC (`abstention, be faithful, use a condom’ ) is not only unrealistic, but it excludes the treatment of homosexuals and prostitutes. This results in the marginalization of groups at high-risk for HIV/AIDS and it doesn’t really address the structural change that needs to happen, it addresses individual behavior only.
        Not only that but this program propagates misunderstandings about how HIV is caused and how it can be prevented.

        The money is nice, no doubt, but more important is how that money is IMPLEMENTED and from what I’ve read, I am not convinced that PEPFAR is an effective long-term solution for combating the AIDS epidemic.

      • Kiddo says:

        Yep, government sponsored Christian missionary work. Who was it intended to help, specifically? The missionary agenda or the sufferers?

      • TheOrginalKitten says:

        ^This is exactly what my problem with it is, kiddo. You stated it perfectly.

        They’re not addressing the socioeconomic issues that are the root cause of the AIDS epidemic. It’s my assertion that a program that’s even partially motivated by imposing religious values on a population as part of disease treatment/prevention is inherently limited by its moral impressions and as such, deeply flawed.

      • Yup Me says:

        Let’s also be very clear that a lot of people see a big difference between African people and African American people. And there are a lot of white people who are very compassionate about helping poor African people and are afraid of, mistrusting of, and harbor racially ignorant views of African Americans. When Kanye said George Bush doesn’t care about black people, we all know which black people he was referring to.

      • Bridget says:

        @TOK: I think you just summed up the Bush social policies as a whole: They’re not addressing the socioeconomic root cause of (fill in the blank).

      • Sam says:

        ^^^this do much. How easily people forget that.

        The Katrina thing pointed to a lack of an organized response to a crisis than a race bias in a president.

      • mercy says:

        That’s what happens when you appoint political cronies to head vital departments like FEMA instead of a qualified people. President Bush II was incompetent, period. I’m not saying he’s a completely bad person, but he surrounded himself with some of the worst people ever to be allowed to serve in government, and that’s saying something because there have been a lot of corrupt and incompetent people over the years. They only really care when there is something in it for them.

      • JD says:

        Did people forget that Ray Nagin, the mayor of NO, was convicted of fraud? And that fraud was connected to the mis-use of funds specifically designated for repair and upkeep of the levees around the city?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “The money is nice, no doubt, but more important is how that money is IMPLEMENTED”

        “That’s what happens when you appoint political cronies to head vital departments like FEMA instead of a qualified people.”

        ” Who was it intended to help, specifically? The missionary agenda or the sufferers? ”

        There are some great points and great comments here. Thank you all for sharing! Well said!

      • LAK says:

        Vilebody: How completely and utterly patronising to pat someone on the back for making donations to the poor destitute Africans. Well done Bush. Hand clap. The poor destitute patronised Africans are so grateful you came to their rescue. Too bad your own country wasn’t receiving the help it needed.

        May I recommend a book: ‘Dead Aid’ by Dambisa Moyo. It’ll might open your eyes.

      • Kaylen says:

        This. He handled one situation badly, as all Presidents eventually do. It does NOT mean he hates black people. It’s a horrible blanket statement.

    • Pinky says:

      I can’t help it. I pre-laugh my socks off in anticipation of each glorious moment in this clip. I hadn’t pressed “play” yet, and I LMAO for a full minute, thinking about what I was about to re-watch. Although it’s not funny, it IS hilarious. This moment in time/Live TV is why somewhere deep inside my soft spot for Kanye West will live on for eternity. I will a,ways be rooting for him.

      P.S. Mike Myers’s sentiments are quite profound. Compound respect for him.

    • Pinky says:

      Sorry. Duplicate post.

    • kri says:

      I remember being there, because I lived through it. I remember city officials telling EVERYONE to get out pronto, because we were all in deep shit. And you know what? We had all been through hurricanes and tropical storms. In NOLA it escalates quickly with the flooding. Most of us just get some water and batteries and park our cars on the neutral ground. This storm was dif though, and when we saw the size of it, 2 days before it hit, everyone I knew was making plans to go. Everyone. Not just white people. There were buses, trains, vans etc. that made the rounds. Some people refused to go. AT the last minute they were going to the Superdome, because that area doesn’t flood, and neither does the Quarter. The Dome got its ass kicked that day because of the wind, and the people who thought it would be cool to go there were in for a dreadful experience. It was awful, but almost unnnecessary. And don’t start about how people “couldn’t get out’, because just about everyone had a chance. The only people that didn’t were those trapped in a nursing home outside of NOLA. That was horrific. And the owners of that place wennt to jail. It was a horrible time, so thanks Kanye for making it about race and your asinine opinions. What I saw was all of us working together, trying to get out safely, and when we came back, we kept working together.

      • gg says:

        Bravo, good post, kri.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Kri, do you not realize how only the people who COULD leave did? I was there too. Your post is like saying racism, schmacism. The poor people who were just too lazy and stupid to get a job and go out and buy a car -well it’s too bad the jobs they do get don’t pay enough to live on or buy gasoline, and like people who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it when a disaster wipes them out don’t deserve it because they’re not ‘good’ people like us.

        That’s ‘othering’, the process of perceiving or portraying someone or something as fundamentally different or alien. – Othering the Other: The Spectacle of Katrina for our Racial Entertainment by Anne Rice in the Sunday New York Times

        The reality is that “Thousands didn’t leave New Orleans because they couldn’t leave. They didn’t have the money. They didn’t have the vehicles. They didn’t have any place to go. They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do – they huddled together in the strongest houses they could find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest Ramada Inn.

        What’s more, thousands more who could have left stayed behind to help others. They went out in the helicopters and pulled the survivors off rooftops; they went through the flooded streets in their boats trying to gather those they could find. Meanwhile, city officials tried desperately to alleviate the worsening conditions in the Superdome, while makeshift shelters and hotels and hospitals struggled.” – http://www.talkleft.com/story/2005/09/04/454/40652/katrina-rita/Why-They-Didn-t-Leave-New-Orleans

        I sincerely hope you open your mind when you are presented with facts differing from your opinion. I have and I’m better for it. No one has to be the person that rarely changes their mind regardless of information.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Sloane, you make some really great points.

      • Delorb says:


        The STORM wasn’t about race, but the RESPONSE was. And the RESPONSE is what Kanye and others are talking about. Do you know how long it took to get help to people after the storm was over? Do you know how long people waited on rooftops to be rescued? Do you know how many days past before Bush got into a helicopter to view the damage? Do you recall his giving the head of FEMA a medal for a job well done? And certainly, since you were there, you recall all the black people who were killed, just because they sought high ground in ‘white’ neighborhoods. The storm didn’t discriminate, but Bush sure did.

      • Original Lee says:

        I know it’s late, but I just wanted to say great points made by Sloane – many, many mistakes were made in the response to Katrina (by the government), but to blame the people who were too poor to leave? It’s not that these people were too dumb to realize what was going on – they lacked the means to leave. As someone else mentioned – it’s not due to the poor being lazy – many jobs pay *just* enough to live on. That does not include funds for purchasing cars, or emergency flight from your home.

      • kri says:

        @ Sloane -I hope you see this.I saw your response. I am grateful to you for your reply. I apologize if I went off, and yes, you are right. There was a case where several cops shot unarmed people who were simply trying to firgure out a way to get back home. It was horrible. There is no excuse for Katrina and the horrible aftermath it wrought on our city. I will never, ever deny that there was injustice and incompetence beyond anything I hope to never see again. My heart was broken from it, as so many others were. But please understand, this experience took alot out of us all. Yes, many had more advantages, it is true. But in the end, Katrina was one hell of a lesson. Either we all pulled together, or we all got screwed. Peace to you, Sloane Wyatt. And once again, sorry if I came off like a douche.

    • Yup Me says:

      George Bush’s mother certainly doesn’t care about black people. She’s the fool who said that sitting in the Louisiana Superdome for DAYS without adequate resources was just fine because they were used to living worse. It’s not too far off to believe her son thinks along similar lines.


      • MsMirna says:

        I think what cemented it for me were the people talking about “rescue the dogs!” while there were Black people stranded on roofs without food for days.

      • Melanie says:

        Yup Me, I agree with both of your comments. Aid to Africa and caring for your own people, very separate issues IMO. I still get angry when people bring up Katrina and blame the victim. Makes me sick.

        Also agree 100% with Kiddo and TOK. Government sponsored missionary work. So perfectly stated.

      • Patty Cake says:

        @Sloane, LOVE your comment. I worked with a guy at that time, who had just made it over to my state. He was one of the many stuck in NOLA with his little son. He was working class as well. He wanted to leave , but is job threatened him and said that if he left, he would lose his job. He was so frightened by his job(a catering business), in which the owners bullied him and said, that if he left over the fake crisis, which is Hurricane Katrina, he wouldn’t have a job when he got back. That’s not to say that Ray Nagin should have gotten off scotch-free. He knew that he didn’t use the funds that were designated to fix the levees for its intended purpose. IMO, he should have been held accountable for every dollar he mismanaged. However, let’s not pretend the Bush did all he could to help the victims as quick as possible. We all know that he didn’t start making significant strides to save the victims until after the fire was lit under his @ss to do so. Also, Bush’s mother’s comment about the forsaken victims taking refuge at the superdome as being in ‘a better situation than they were before’ was completely insensitive to almost downright hateful. I mean NOLA looked like a third world country. WTH?

    • MCraw says:

      Agree with everything Gigi. Mike sounds so thoughtful and the conviction with which he speaks just brings back all those emotions of anger watching the injustice. Bravo Mike and several bravos for Kanye. Always loved him for this moment.

      • kri says:

        @Sloane-Please understand that I never think “racism shmacism” or whatever that phrase was. I should be more clear. I WAS “working-class”, as @ Patty interestingly put it. I didn’t think there were any hotels left to “check into” because as I recall they were taking people in already. If you were there, you’d know that. And, yes, first responders stayed to help pepople off of roofs. I remember. I also remember coming back two days later and seeing the city looking as if a nuke had gone off. I know not everyone had cars, because I was one of them. So it was 6 of us and three cats in my friend’s car. I get it-you must have thought I was preaching from a different point of view, but try again, sister. And yes, I spent hours at the Dome helping out, and walking back to my apartment that I’m grateful I had. i watched armored tanks go up and down the streets for months in our city. I will never forget it, or how all of us pitched in and tried to bring NOLA back. For the record, Bush is an idiot, but the real failure of the time was the leadership of NOLA itself. And for the other poster who said black people were murdered for seeking refuge in white neighborhoods, you have NEVER been to Nola, have you? Every neighborhood is mixed, from the Garden District to the 9th ward. Look to the mayor, the governor and then the Pres. for blame.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Thank you for your reply, kri. I felt your post was victim blaming. Like we got out, so they should have too. If you say that was not your intent, then I’ll accept that at face value.

        But I don’t believe the desperately poor CHOSE to stay. I don’t believe their few neighbors with cars said “C’mon with us!”, and they said “Nah. You go on, we’re fine.” School Buses sat empty. Plus, there was NO WHERE to take people. FEMA did not start providing emergency housing until several days after the disaster, and the same was true of the AstroDome and other places that accepted refugees AFTER Katrina.

        Yes, the city is a ‘patchwork quilt’, but many residents also feared police reprisal if they crossed into affluent parishes to reach shelters or get to evacuation routes. People WERE held off at gunpoint and shot.


        Lastly, I too want to clarify I was NOT literally in NOLA. I read your comment “I was there.” to mean you were old enough to clearly remember all the leadup and aftermath of Katrina like I was. I also want to thank you for your service and helping out your neighbors. That’s something you should be proud of the rest of your life.

  2. Ollyholly says:

    I watched that clip again, and it still makes me tear up a bit. So raw, and I can literally feel in my stomach the discomfort and pain, and the quivering of Kanye’s voice just makes me want to die it’s so sad… I love both of them.

    • CTgirl says:

      Sigh. The Katrina disaster was so horrible in New Orleans/Louisiana because of the vacillation of the governor and the mayor. The President cannot just send in the National Guard without the governor actually asking for that assistance. It’s the law. President Bush kept in contact with the governor and specifically kept asking if there was anything that the federal government could do to help. The governor was too stupid to get the hint. The fact that the governor took so long to finally ask for assistance was discussed extensively on all the news channels. Additionally, neither the governor nor the mayor of NOLA would make the decision that all interstates be temporarily designated as going out of NOLA which would have facilitated evacuation. And then there is that now iconic photo of the city buses that could have evacuated people (black, white, Asian, Native American, etc.) out the city but they weren’t activated by the mayor (a black man incidentally) for that purpose and ended up covered by flood waters. Mississippi was hit just as hard, and some have argued harder, but didn’t have the law enforcement issues and rescue issues that NOLA had because the governor was smart enough to immediately declare martial law and invite the feds in. Mississippi had a jump on the services because they asked for them earlier. Were there issues with FEMA? Yes. But to say that President Bush does not care for black people is laying the blame for a horrible disaster on the wrong doorstep.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Completely agree. What happened was inexcusable, but most of the blame lies with the Corps of Engineers, who designed the faulty system, the governor and the mayor, who froze and failed to act.

      • Cecilia says:

        I recall the same issues with state & local governments. Well said CTgirl & I agree with you.

      • Beatrice says:

        I’m fairly certain that if GWB was adamant about sending the military in he would have communicated that to the Governor. It was GWB’s responsibility as not only President, but a human being with immense power, to push military action in the form of aiding evacuation to those people. In other words, yes, the Governor needed to request aid, but GWB absolutely could have made it happen if he wanted to. But he did not. And that’s the bottom line. He might not be a racist, but he was, without question, absolutely negligent.

        Kanye is a freakin’ boss. And I don’t think he’s changed. His life has become more documented and yes he’s now Kanye Kardashian, but I think he has good intentions. He’s just a guy who loves a girl. He’s said before that Kim gave him a family after he lost his mom. Maybe Kim’s really good to him. I’m not a Kardashian follower, but what I do read gives me the sense that she makes him genuinely happy.

      • Kim1 says:

        Really what law is that since Eisenhower sent the National Guard to Mississippi to desegregate the schools despite the objection of the Mississippi governor?
        As Mike Myers said if the majority of the people on those rooftops were White and or middle class ,action would have been taken earlier.NOLA was a majority Black city in terms of population also there was a large percentage of working class people.
        The thing I remember the most from the incident is Black American citizens being referredto as REFUGEES.

      • Cait says:

        So I live here. And having grown up in Hurricane Alley (the Florida panhandle), I agree that Mississippi was razed. I remember trying to stop for gas in Kiln in October 2005, and being stunned at what I saw.

        But the reason New Orleans quite rightly deserves a microscope is simple: the Katrina that hit the Mississippi gulf coast was a natural disaster. What happened to New Orleans was a manmade engineering disaster – and a lot of people died because of incompetence. And residents near the 17th/Industrial canal breaches didn’t exactly have much recourses, since the Army Corps of Engineers is a protected government agency.

        Is it fair to point to Nagin and describe him as lazy, corrupt and incompetent? Absolutely. Is it reasonable to note that Kathleen Blanco spent time wringing her hands and weeping? Oh, yes. Louisiana could learn a whole hell of a lot from how The Other Bush worked with Craig Fugate in Florida to prepare for and mitigate impending disaster (Charlie, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne – and jeez, even Wilma – happened within a 2 year period).

        Do I blame George Bush for the aftermath? The dank floodwaters, floating bodies, the Danziger Bridge shooting, Henry Glover and abject corruption and violence? For a lack of mental health beds in the city due to the permanent closure of Charity Hospital? The fact that no hospital access still exist in New Orleans East? For William Jefferson and his cronies redirecting recovery dollars? For Bobby Jindal later redirecting funds into Rita recovery which were previously earmarked for area hospitals?

        No. But in 2005, in a developed country, this should not have happened. More than half the city lives below the poverty line. I heard so frequently about how people should know better – that people need to stockpile three days’ worth of food/water during hurricane season, and they needed to evacuate. When you’re living on a Louisiana Purchase card and don’t own a car, how is that a reasonable expectation? In that respect, Kanye West was right that, institutionally, the government (and not specifically Bush) does not care about anyone who is disenfranchised because of cultural or income.

        I’ll step off that soapbox now, and count my blessings.

      • CTgirl says:

        Beatrice and Kim1, States rights plays a big part in disaster response by the federal government. BTW, during desegregation the President was enforcing a federal law, not responding to a state disaster. During a disaster the local government and state government are the first line respondents who are charged with protecting the citizens and property. It has been established, and widely reported by the major news organizations, that the governor didn’t call for evacuations until Aug. 28th when the President essentially begged the governor to evacuate the area. During a disaster the governor must request federal assistance in the form of the National Guard so as not to impede the state’s authority since the federal government wasn’t enforcing a federal law. Also, NOLA is a very diverse city and not all of the folks on the roof tops were minorities. NOLA is a national treasure but the responsibility for asking for federal assistance is with the local and state governments.

      • CTgirl says:

        Also, the Corps of Engineers had been giving the city and state money for maintenance and repair of the levies for years but the local and state governments used the money for other purposes. Not the COE fault.

      • Esmom says:

        Cait, very well put, thanks. Counting my blessings, too.

      • kri says:

        @ CT-thank you.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I am sorry, but that is a rumor that has been debunked. The Governor declared a State of Emergency, which is an appeal for federal assistance BEFORE the storm struck. She made the declarationon Friday, August 26th. The storm made landfall on Monday.

        There were many articles that stated this incorrectly, like the Washington Post, but they later issued corrections. The storm was aiming more for Florida, and on Aug. 26th it changed direction and looked like it would hit Mississippi/Louisiana. On the SAME DAY that it looked like it would hit LA, the LA governor declared a State of Emergency.

    • MissTrial says:


      I think you are overstating states rights and the events and simplifying federal role in declared states of emergency ( state/s of emergencies?) FEMA coordinates with state and a state of emergency had been declared. That no one felt the need to step and do the right thing rather than wait for an explicit directive is shameful and baffling. There was so much lack of coordination, waste and mismanagement it made the USA ‘leaders’ look like keystone cops.

      Federal law can supersede state law when it is for the general welfare. Don’t forget FEMA was moved under DHS under the Bush admin.The federal government could have taken over efforts once it was apparent state and local resources were not adequate, the sad part is the fed resources were so uncoordinated and poorly sourced…

      Further, while I don’t buy Kanye’s Prez Bush ” doesn’t care about Black people” in a wholesale fashion, I think this segment of the population was looked down upon & viewed as disposable. And that pic of his ‘flyover’ did him no favors…

      Prez Bush was rightfully criticized for his slow response, he stayed on vacation, ( also campaigned, touted his med part D bill, photo op of a bday cake for Sen McCain, played a guitar, on & on ) at his ranch and for the conflicting statements about when and what he ( and Blanco & Nagin) was told about the levees. Further Prez Bush seemed to be unaware of how bad things were with his ” heckuva job Brownie” statement.

      Cheney was also criticized for his role in diverting resources to a project near and dear to his heart, a pipeline.
      So, yes, the admin’s response was shameful and admittedly so by the former POTUS.

      I find the comments from Myers to be touching and surprising.

      • CTgirl says:

        If President Bush rushed in there and said, “Hey, the feds are here and we’re taking over since the state and local governments haven’t asked us for assistance but we see the need,” the President would have been accused of crapping on states’ rights. It is disingenuous to argue differently. The state and local governments couldn’t get it together and everyone decided to blame Bush. Even though he was constantly in contact with the state and asking the governor if the feds could do anything. He did everything but draw a map for the governor. As to him staying in Texas, he was closer to the disaster in Texas than he would have been in DC. After the storm hit landfall and left he was able to see the damage himself as he flew over the area. That wouldn’t have been possible in DC. In fact, it would have been safer for the President to be in DC rather than Texas when Katrina hit. Oh, and in the US there is no such thing as overstating the role of state’s rights.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        CTGirl wrote, “If President Bush rushed in there and said, “Hey, the feds are here and we’re taking over since the state and local governments haven’t asked us for assistance but we see the need,”

        When a state declares a State of Emergency, they ARE asking for Federal help. The Louisiana governor declared the state of emergency on Aug. 26th, the Friday before the storm hit.

      • MissTrial says:


        You are being ” disingenuous ” if you continue to argue ” states rights” in application to this matter –there are no states rights applicable because in this case, there were no conflicting laws ! The State did not, does not and can not have a law that says ‘our citizens must suffer if we are understaffed , undertrained or ill prepared.’ The federal govt laws can give ‘more’ than the state laws but not less & can’t conflict …where is the conflict of laws here?

        There are no, zero, none, nothing on the ‘books’ that would stop the federal government from helping and taking the lead when a state of emergency was declared and a state can not protect and serve its citizens.

        That procedural nonsense does not fly . So , ” oh, in the US” there is a such thing as overstating states rights because you did in your comments. States rights is not and was not the issue. States rights is about “most” deference to states, not all.

        Further, Prez Bush had FEMA moved under DHS and DHS had the broadest of the broad powers.

        The states rights dog don’t hunt.

        By the way, the states rights argument is also a historical and racially tinged ” dog whistle” and I imagine anyone arguing states rights in this context should examine the background.

        Are you really saying the POTUS would be ” crapping” all over a state if it gave MORE assistance to its people than the state could, and it was a state that already asked for help?

      • MissTrial says:

        And I have to add one more thing: former FEMA ‘ heckuva job Brownie’ Brown went around saying the response and handling by the admin was political. So is if your position is the admin thought more about procedure than people it remains shameful.

        Yeah, eroding states rights ( or alleged as you argue) would be a slippery slope but was Congress going to impeach Prez Bush over it? No.

        And with the make up of SCOTUS , any cases citing the ‘Katrina response’ had the feds taken over would likely be narrower than narrow.

  3. Frida_K says:

    There will always be a spot in my heart that respects Kanye West for the moment when he blurts out “George Bush does not care about Black people.” The rawness of his voice grabs at my heart and his visceral honesty can’t be denied.

    I’m not a fan of his by any means, but I do respect him for this moment.

    • TheOrginalKitten says:

      Me too.
      It was a great moment and Kanye had balls to say what a lot of us were thinking.

      • Patty Cake says:

        I agree. I’m no fan of Kanye West either. He has many faults, including one of his biggest douche moments in which he interrupted Taylor Swift at her acceptance speech, but this reminded me of the Titanic. The poor and disenfranchised perished were the forgotten in this awful historical event. So sad. West’s statement tugged at my heart strings too. So sad.

    • idsmith says:

      You said what I was thinking Frida. Agree completely. It’s one reason I will forgive some of the weirdness he puts out there nowadays. I’ll always remember him for this.

  4. The Wizz says:

    Chris Tuckers face after they throw to him!!!

  5. Dinah says:

    It was a horrible event and horribly mangled management of the disaster, but as far as this clip goes, Mike was inadvertently pretty funny… thought he could simply read off the teleprompter and be done, while Kanye realizes the true horror of the situation and blurts it out stream- of consciousness- style.
    Cue MM’s uncomfortable hard swallow at about 50 s, side eye to KW at about 1:10, sighing with stress as he tries to continue the script after KW’s rant.
    FWIW, I feel that KW’s opinion was accurate, and he was right to do what he did.

  6. Esmom says:

    Wow, I had forgotten about the telethon moment and I appreciate hearing his thoughts about it now.

    Katrina was a real turning point for me regarding my outlook on many things…like Myers I was absolutely outraged at how it unfolded. Those feelings of rage and helplessness have never completely faded for me and I’m glad because they are reminders of how much work there is still to be done in this country regarding, first and foremost, inequality and poverty.

  7. Nev says:


  8. Sonya says:

    Just a thought from someone who lived it. While the scenes from New Orleans featured predominantly African American people, only five minutes southeast there was a predominantly white community with people on rooftops for days into weeks, with people dying in boats that were ties to tree tops and with bodies floating in the waters. In fact while the world was watching the Super Dome become what it became there was a shelter fifteen minutes away that collapsed in on almost an entire community which was gathered there. In another area, where there is a strong Asian presence the water was up to second story windows and had become poisonous and acted as acid – it would burn people as the slipped in trying to get to help. What I am saying is that hurricane Katrina destroyed many many lives, and she didn’t care what your race was.
    I am “white” and I write it that way because that is what my skin would tell someone when in reality I am of American Indian lineage, I have never felt uncomfortable with black people and I have never had a problem seeing beyond color – but being from the south I witnessed a lot of ugly things – race wise. In the aftermath of Katrina the shelters we wound up in were mixed and overflowing and I have never been as touched as I was with the people (from the New Orleans area) there getting over their prejudices and their pasts to come together, help each other and love one another. In many ways there is a lasting effect, especially for those who lived through it.

    • blue marie says:

      I appreciate you sharing your experience.

    • teehee says:

      Thanks for this. Media coverage, response by authorities, and ignorant opinions may be skewed, but a natural disaster cannot be, and its excellent to point this out. I for one think Kanye is a complete idiot, beyond all idiots I have ever seen before and he defies my lowest expectations of a person each and every time he makes a headline, and this contrast of views makes it all the more clear.

      • Kiddo says:

        Hmm, beyond all idiots? “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” comes to mind as the pinnacle of idiocy (and callousness), even if you remove the element of race.

      • TheOrginalKitten says:

        “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”

        ^^^THIS. Ugh. I’m getting angry just remembering all of this and how such a tragedy was mishandled.

      • teehee says:

        I dont know what youre referring to…. didnt hear/see cos I dont watch TV for ages. I think of Kanye as a special kind of idiot though for how arrogant and noisy he is while hes at it and how delusional he is. Not necessarily, that he is the more ignorant person, though- that much is true- there is worse, I know 🙂

    • Esmom says:

      I’m glad you feel that lasting positive effects have come from this. It’s hard to imagine what it was truly like to have experienced it first hand. Thank you for your insights.

    • Cecilia says:

      @ Sonya…thank you for your personal story. I have visited NO many times & there are so many wonderful people of all colors there. Knowing this, when Kanye made his statement all I could think was how incredibly selfish he was. All he cared about was people that looked like him. I thought of the countless White & Asian & all people that were suffering the same circumstances but were not even taken into account by the idiot that is Kanye. BTW…he is still an idiot which he demonstrates on an almost daily basis.

      • Beatrice says:

        I suspect that Kanye didn’t know about Caucasians (and other races) that were impacted since the media was predominantly airing coverage of African Americans on the news. It pisses me off to hear these kinds of comments — that he was selfish or idiotic — because I strongly suspect that he was expressing what he knew to be true. I interpret his words and actions as being desperate for help and angry that nothing was being done, as any person with a conscience would have felt. His trembling voice breaks my heart, even now. That’s no idiot or selfish individual – that’s a man desperate for help.

      • Kiddo says:

        @Beatrice, +1

      • Cecilia says:

        So Kanye was under the impression that black people were the only ones suffering?? He was unaware of any other races of people living in NO or MS or any of the afflicted areas who were suffering just the same?? Wouldn’t it have been a far more compassionate statement to say ” George Bush doesn’t care about people in the South? New Orleans?

      • TheOrginalKitten says:

        New Orleans has a black population of 60% and the Lower Ninth Ward has the highest percentage of black home ownership in the city. Kanye was just making what he perceived to be a factual observation, not trying to discount other races.

        It’s important to point out that other races were affected, but it’s simply incorrect to say that black people were not the ones predominantly affected by Hurricane Katrina’s destruction.

      • Cecilia says:

        Well said, Kitten. I know you’re right, but I just get so emotional about it. I have many friends in NO. My husband & I took a number of people in. Some were black, but not all. They were all suffering. I just hate seeing other peoples pain diminished or dismissed.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Nola is on my list of dream destinations–been trying to get down there for years but somehow always end up in Cali or in Europe (where my fam is).

        People like you are the silver lining (for lack of a better word) to any tragedy-empathetic caring people helping others in need. I so much commend you for that.

      • Cecilia says:

        Thanks, Kitten. NOLA is one of my fav places on earth. You really need to give her a visit. You won’t be disappointed.

      • Yup Me says:

        In terms of “hating to see other people’s pain being diminished.” it could be argued that that was why Kanye was speaking up, as well.

    • Green Is Good says:

      Sonya: holy crap. Well written and the raw emotion you express……I got nothing. Except you have my sympathy for the hell you went through.

    • AlmondJoy says:

      Sonya and Beatrice: Great comments!! Thank you so much for your stories and insight on the situation.

    • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

      I hope that there is that lasting effect. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    • kri says:

      @ Sonya YES!! Precisely. We ALL suffered. And in that town, at that time, we all helped each other. No one turned away from anyone. I swear, to all of us race was the least of our problems. we worked for 12 hours in the sun and heat handing out water, sandwiches, whatever. Every color and ethinicity made up the work crews. Wealthy families worked right along side of people who lived in the 9th ward, and no one made a big deal of it, cause we had REAL problems to worry about. Once again, Thanks Kanye for making it about race. I’m sorry-I’m done ranting. It just brings back so much emotion and memories.

    • lrm says:

      And this is what the media does-it race baits and baits anything that will sensationalize or divide/conquer….I mean, to this day, I did not even know about the other communities you’ve mentioned here, although obviously I am aware that AA are not the only disenfranchised or poor people in the country or in NO specifically. I find it abhorrent and irresponsible that the media takes such liberties during tragedies, instead of doing their best to report fairly and thoroughly paint a picture. I mean, are these types of events not dramatic enough for the media? They will garner attention anyway, why distort to create tension between groups? To find that some people have healed or moved past their former prejudices in some way due to this event and its aftermath, is something that would be great to ‘hear’ about in the media as well. A documentary, perhaps?

  9. jc126 says:

    That’s such a serious moment, but it also always reminded me of an old sketch on SNL years before. Heather Locklear guest-hosted and played a woman on one of those shopping channel shows. Mike Myers plays her co-host and Heather L.’s character starts coming out with all these racist, awkward statements. His character tries to go on selling the product without addressing what she said. It was pretty funny – anyone else remember it?

    • AmyR says:

      I remember it! And yes, I found the two moments kind of similar as well.

    • Sayrah says:

      Yes! That one was hilarious. I loved the sketch with Myers and Kanye awkwardly saying hi too.

  10. OriginalCrystal says:

    I turned in my Kanye fan card a while ago but he was so on point here. The emotion in his voice…it really was heartbreaking.

    Chris Tuckers face afterwards though….haha *dying*

  11. Jaka says:

    So glad Mike Myers said this, it needed to be said. Good for him.

  12. aenflex says:

    Not at all sticking up for Bush, I detest him. Still, I can’t help but feel that the country just was ill prepared to handle a disaster of such magnitude. didn’t help that half the National Guard was overseas at the time, maybe more. The worst part about it is that if it happens again in the same area, it’s likely that as far as flooding and damage things wouldn’t be much different.

    • ncboudicca says:

      I agree with you for the most part. There is one small change for the better that I’m aware of, and that is that people have been able to bring their pets with them on evac buses or into shelters during some subsequent (smaller) disasters.

      Reflecting back on Katrina is painful in many ways. I think now we all know that we need to have our own disaster plans, because our government isn’t capable of helping during the first weeks.

      • Beatrice says:

        We have the most powerful military in the world. Period. The entire National Guard WAS NOT overseas. There were — absolutely — military units that were available to help. And being ill prepared is a massive understatement. Waiting a couple days due to ill preparedness would have been slightly understandable, but weeks? That’s complete negligence.

      • Beatrice says:

        That response was meant for @aenflex, not @ncboudicca, sorry.

      • Kori says:

        I lived through Katrina–we were at Keesler afb in Biloxi MS (pretty much where it came ashore) and it was reduced to matchsticks. I just want to add about the National Guard.While the ‘entire’ NG wasn’t deployed overseas that’s true the MS and LA guard was. That was part of the problem. It took awhile to get NG there because they had to come in from other states and a number of major roads were damaged (and large vehicles can’t go down small ones) as we’re the airports. The areas were largely cutoff. Not only were the troopsgone but so was their eqiupment which also had be brought down and it took a long time. I remember them air dropping MREs to us at Keesler AFB where we sheltered and later the amphibious landing craft coming ashore on the beaches. Otherwise the roads were cut off for days. The situation with the NG caused a lot of anger at the time because they anf their eqipment weren’t in their states but rather in Iraq and the military remaining were in bad straits themselves. We sheltered on base for 5 days before we could leave the area.

  13. poppy says:

    katrina was a major fail at all levels of government.
    there was nothing wrong with kanye saying what he felt and believed. it seemed pretty obvious what the hold up of help was.
    and, for what its worth, the federal government handle hurricane andrew much better and that was 13 years before katrina.
    the biggest difference in response was the level of poverty at each area and the fact there was almost zero leadership (including the president) in NO, IMO.
    the government at state and federal level failed those people in a sickening way.

  14. Nibbi says:

    I actually kinda feel like MM is covering his ass here. Like now he recognizes that he “was the guy standing next to the guy speaking truth to power” (i do dig that he puts it that way and is straight about it) – but i feel like his visible projection of discomfort at the time showed that his priorities were more about not pissing off power or looking bad. hindsight is 20/20, i guess. and yeah, that was the loudmouth kanye i appreciated- he had an actual point there, ie justice and help for other people, more than now, when it all seems to come down to self-promotion.

    • TheOrginalKitten says:

      I strongly disagree. I think any visible discomfort from Meyers was due to the fact that he’s a Canadian and as such, notoriously polite. I think he was more surprised than anything-and who wouldn’t be? Weren’t we all kind of shocked that ‘Ye had the balls to put that out there?

      • sorella says:

        I TOTALLY agree, that was a typical Canadian “make no waves” politeness that we tend to all have.

      • Erinn says:

        On the Canadian politeness thing: I work for a large American company up here in Canada. When I answer the phone its “[company name], this is Erinn, how can I help you?” I have been called Anne, instead of Erinn DOZENS of times at this point. I can’t even bring myself to correct them, and then continue about the call being called Anne the whole time. It’s ridiculous.

        I don’t understand how our whole nation has been raised to be so damn awkward and apologetic over everything, but I can totally get that vibe from MM.

    • Beatrice says:

      Completely agree with @Nibbi.

    • Irishserra says:

      His visible projection of discomfort was most likely “occupational hazard” of a guy who is a professional comedian and actor. He, Chris and Kanye had scripts to read. Kanye didn’t keep to it. Meyers was thrown for a loop. I’m surprised he didn’t automatically toss a joke in there to diffuse the situation. But I believe he kept it together well and made what was the best decision at the time, which was to power through what he had agreed to do. He’s had a lot of time to reflect on the situation. He clearly states he was embarrassed. But upon reflection he’s gleaned more from the incident. That’s not covering one’s ass. That’s growth.

  15. HoustonGrl says:

    That was bold when bold was needed. Too rare now days.

  16. feebee says:

    Looking at it now when Kanye blurts out that single line and MM turns towards him with an audible breath, it’s not hard to imagine he could have been going to say ‘I could agree with that’ but then thought ‘sh-t, I can’t say that, I’m a guest here’.

  17. bravocueen says:

    I usually stay WAY away from political posts on this site but I have to say something. Anybody who believes that the Katrina failure was the president’s fault is simply wrong. The disaster was a failure on so many levels, beginning with the idiot Mayor (who was reelected after that but is now about to do hard time because he’s a fraud and a thief), to the governor (who has admitted to “napping” during the worst parts of the fall-out–and failed to call out the National Guard for her OWN STATE. Most people don’t understand that the FIRST call for help HAS to come from the freaking governor. Not the GD president.

    Bush may have been guilty of misinformation as to how FEMA was handling things immediately after, but the government that failed the people of New Orleans was the local government. Kanye West is the WORST kind of idiot in so many ways, not the least of which was to take a moment that was meant for the people of Louisiana and make it about himself. Which is what he always does. What happened in New Orleans was a travesty.

    • Cecilia says:


    • Illyra says:


    • Tiffany :) says:

      On Friday, August 26th, the storm switched direction from the Florida panhandle and redirected towards Mississippi and Louisiana. On that same day, Friday, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco declared a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana. Declaring a “State of Emergency” activates the emergency response system of Homeland Security and FEMA. On Saturday, Bush declared it a federal state of emergency.

      By declaring a state of emergency they were asking for federal help. The storm didn’t hit landfall until Monday the 29th.

  18. Irishserra says:

    I have always considered Kanye to be moronic with a bloated sense of self. When this incident occurred, I was irritated by his usual ridiculous way of reacting to things. I have since softened in my opinion of his behavior in this one situation. He has never been an eloquent person and while his reaction was extremely unprofessional, I have since given him a pass in this regard because compassion trumps professionalism any day of the week and it is obvious by his display of vulnerability that he was truly hurting for those affected by this disaster, even if he did mistakenly believe they were all black. The aftermath of Katrina was handled very poorly by Bush and his administration, although I don’t believe it was purposely done so as an aimed affront toward minorities. Bush was a crummy president and poor humanitarian. Shall we review the events of 9/11 and subsequent presidential activities? I didn’t think so.

    Even so, despite the tragedy of it all I still can’t help but laugh when I look at the faces of Meyers and Rock. Notoriously polite Meyers’ mind racing to determine how to handle this bizarre situation (he’s a comedian, he was probably calculating whether or not some humor would have doused the flames a bit, but he made the right choice in keeping it somber) and Rock trying to carry on with the script, but realizing the lack of cohesion after Kanye’s outburst; and America waiting for the punchline. A truly unforgettable moment in American television.

  19. Bohoo says:

    Kanye West is entitled to think Bush is racist if he wants. Who died to made these commentators the politically correct thought police. Freedom of speech you guys.

  20. Foxnews says:

    Does Fox News still paid interns to fill comments with positive comments of Fox News and their supporters ?

  21. FingerBinger says:

    It wasn’t that George Bush didn’t “care about Black people.”I never thought it was about that. IMO It was more of an indifference to poor people. He didn’t care about poor people. It’s funny because the Bush administration gave more aid to Africa than any other president’s administration.

    • g says:

      It actually doesn’t surprise me that he gave more to Africa, since it came with religious strings attached and changed the course of the way they approached AIDS/HIV education and not for the better.

    • nisa1213 says:


      Bush and other leaders like him can pat themselves on the back for helping people from a “third-world” continent that many Americans see as a cultural “other”. However, as mentioned previously upthread, there is a difference between Africans and African Americans. Giving aid to the Poor Starving people of Africa is a separate issue and does nothing to lessen the consequences of race-based inequality here in the United States.

    • Patty Cake says:

      I think George Bush’s negligence to help the stranded victims wasn’t racial either. To me, it was based more on his lack of concern for the poor and disenfranchised.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        who were also black.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        ….and who were also black.

        The response to Katrina was unequivocally, indisputably class AND race based. We have only to look at the inequity of the Hurricane Sandy response to see this harsh truth in bold relief.

        In places such as lower Manhattan, we saw the rapid and massive aid provided to large corporations and wealthy neighborhoods where services were restored within days of the storm. Contrast that sharply with New Jersey residents who report being “treated like criminals” for demanding their insurance payments and the thousands of residents in poor neighborhoods who were wiped out completely and still homeless today.

        *edit error in my above post*

  22. Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

    Yes, blacks were given more media attention but that isn’t necessarily good and the tone of it to be just awful. The stories were a series of reminders released to remind the good people of how pathologically criminal black people are. I remember that ‘looting’ versus ‘searching for food for his family’ tripe vividly. Whites had enough to worry about and now they have to deal with ‘them’?

    And as for the poor? Well, I remember the media going batshit over whether Britney Spears’ house was okay for days, even though she wasn’t even in the state at time. Then we were reassured that it okay for a few more days. I don’t remember ever hearing a word about the poor in those earliest days. Nothing new there.

    The media wasn’t showing more compassion towards blacks, they were warning everyone else to get a good look at the thugs reverting to their primal state and the need for protection from them–they’re using the Superdome as their personal rape dungeon. News outlets blamed them for being stuck in this mess because in school they had bothered to stay in school they wouldn’t be in that position (the conclusion made based on a photograph of a roof). It was their fault for living in an area that was doomed to this outcome from the start and one guess as to whom the swimming jokes were directed? It was being painted as the LA riots part two. I don’t have to worry how Blanco sleeps at night, I know she does it during the day.

    Do I blame President Bush entirely? No, this was a disaster that would have thrown any administration for a loop and you always know what you could have done, not what to do next and those two jokers who should have responded didn’t feel like it. People are human and err, but come on. So, it’s not all on Bush, though it wouldn’t have killed him to get out of Maryland sooner.

    Brownie, ugh.

    And as much as people like to derail conversations about race it’s hard to believe that there wasn’t a racial component in this whole mess. think he But think of the implications of the difference in coverage, the whites, while in peril and also suffering, could be trusted to remain dignified under the strain, not blacks. Too wild.

    And for all of the talk of their increased presence in coverage, what were the results? It didn’t get them rescued any more quickly, didn’t re-build their houses, didn’t dislodge the bullets in their bodies.

    All of the people there were traumatized, no doubt, but the way that that trauma was characterized based on race was shameful.

    • g says:


    • OriginalCrystal says:

      Finally, someone who makes sense in this post. Thank you.

    • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

      I am so bad at typing on phones.

    • lrm says:

      well, i am not sure that negative characterization ‘worked’, you know…I remember family members in the NE simply horrified-they did not throw their arms up and say ‘typical criminals’, that’s for sure. [I was on the road and had limited access to internet and tv so it took me awhile to get up to speed and I missed the initial footage of snakes floating, among dead bodies, people on roofs, etc.]-

      One of my relatives managed apartments and wanted to donate free housing to people who survived, once they were relocating after the fact-and color did not even factor into it. I mean, people around the country were shocked, angry and helpless all at the same time and as usual, the online fundraisers started right away and people, not knowing what to do, donate donate and donate-all the while, that cash doesn’t go fully to the victims and takes forever to get funneled to charities anyway.

      Side note: Botson marathon I remember the police organization, after the fact, stating point blank ‘ALL the money will go to the victims’. I loved this=classic NE pragmatism and no mincing of words. They also stated re people saying to ‘drag the bomber’s body through the streets’ b/c they couldn’t find a cemetery who would bury him, that ‘this is a civilized country; we bury our dead’. Obviously, some might beg to differ with how civilized the US is at times, but obviously there are those who uphold what is believed to be moral and do the right thing.

      Anyway, I do agree that the coverage of black victims in the media was designed to divide further-whether through sensationalizing and ignoring the plight of others, or through painting a picture of ‘looter/criminals’-the coverage definitely was intended to falsely portray, IMO. Shame on the media, frankly. so tired of their over the top dramatic/borderline lies in covering conflict, tragedy and conditions throughout the world. Would it be so hard for them to tell us the truth at times? geesh.

      Also, I know people who have said the hurricane ended up being a good change in their lives-they relocate, received opportunities, etc that they would not have had otherwise. I guess maybe that is making lemonade out of lemons, or simply the silver lining for *some* people.

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        I agree with you that media spin is that and that a lot of the people in the trenches had better things to worry about than bread acquisition semantics. Disaster forges bonds in blood or makes an injury that ends up being a frosted scar and you can’t do much with scars. And the cameras wanted to document every second of the flesh tearing. The outlets knew where to place their bets and there were times when it seemed like the true stories about people, real people, treating each other like humans–those stories weren’t that juicy ‘get’, so they had to sell a more salacious tale for the 28 minutes preceding the feel good human interest story. They picked their narrative and picked and picked at it. And they picked the narrative that they thought people would believe, so you see, not only did they work to induce fear of blacks, because ‘of course they’re behind…something, they always are, I’m convinced,’ they, by extension also made some decisions about the mindset of whites, and they aren’t flattering. The media counted on whites being comforted by watching all of those welfare queens and hoodrats and the problems that they cause–the greatest threat to whites, of course–literally wash away, it always assumes that. That is chilling. But, some people don’t need convincing, and that’s frightening.

        That’s the part that never gets addressed as much, that the media needs whites to be monsters as much as it needs that of blacks if they’re going to make that particular sale. That in situations like Hurricane Katrina, part of the reason that blacks are marketed in the way that they are is because the bottom line depends on whites getting off on watching blacks suffer and go on to call it a threat contained for PR purposes. Call it that rather than call it what it is: high-ratings bloodsport. So, no one is looking so good over on the news broadcasts, huh? It’s not universal, I don’t believe reporters are fundamentally evil, but what went on regarding this case, got low and stayed there.

        Unfortuneately, the people who actually are bad had this tape running through their heads. That’s when those people who are generally full of hatred saw their opportunity, because regardless of what was going down in real life the media had already pinned its blue ribbon on them. Do a little extrajudicial crowd culling, blame it on your nerves, the trauma, the moon or the stars, it doesn’t matter because the ending is written already and you get to be the hero. Worked for the LAPD, works for the NYPD, I’m golden, I’ve got this, fire away.

        And it worked, always does. Now, I do admit that I am not American, but as far as media goes from you to us in Canada, we’re deluged. REALLY. But we don’t get quite everything so I must have missed the stories reporting those shootings that came by way of some vigilante one-step-removed-from-red-laces ‘heroes’ who bravely took it upon themselves to play a game of Malthusian dice from outside the city limits, because I didn’t hear about that for ages. I”ll say that I know that on our news broadcasts the story we were given was that no one was giving these shootings attention because, you know. If our news outlets were being alarmists and that just because we didn’t know about it here that doesn’t mean that it was forgotten there, I’m cool with that. Heck, that’s what I HOPE. But even if they went too far, well, you can kind of see how they would’ve got there.

        That sounded crazy but it makes me crazy that one day everyone ‘decided’ all of this and we’re stuck with it.

    • Patty Cake says:

      @Sloane, My comment was typed in error. Its hard to type on a phone. What I meant to say was that I definitely believe that he didn’t care about the poor black folks as much as he cared about the other races. That’s one of the reasons imo that the aid didn’t get there quick enough. However, I also believe that it had a lot to do with social class too I.e, he didn’t give a crap about the poor. Proof of this is his mother’s stupid @ss comment. Let’s face it, Bush and Cheney are far right Republicans. We know they don’t love blacks

  23. DanielleMS says:

    What Kayne and many others don’t realize is that the lack of support in the aftermath of Katrina had nothing to do with race and everything to do with poor planning. Hell, I was on the Mississippi Coast where we didn’t even have roofs to stand on. The way the real estate on the coast of Mississippi was built meant that many, many of the homes that were destroyed belonged to the affluent. Guess what? We didn’t receive any help either. Did we complain and wait for help to arrive? No, we most certainly did not! We ourselves banded together as a community and helped one another. And speaking of the Red Cross, I remember seeing one of the Red Cross hummers driving around Pass Christian a few weeks after the storm and I mentioned to my father that I had seen the Red Cross out and about. I asked him where the Salvation Army was and I can still to this day remember his exact response, “While the Red Cross are out driving their fancy hummers around the Salvation Army is on the beach feeding people hot meals and passing out cases of water.” But I digress, the point I am trying to make is that the fault was ours. We didn’t prepare, we didn’t evacuate when we were told to, and we paid the price.

    • MissTrial says:


      I don’t know how you can blanket-ly state ‘race’ had nothing to do with it. Poor planning– yes but there were many, many other factors and much apathy because many were poor & non-White.

    • OriginalCrystal says:

      ‘had nothing to do with race’

      Really ? You sure ? Nothing to do with race…
      Nothing to do with race ??
      NOTHING to do with race???

      LOL. Ok.

  24. Deedee says:

    Im not buying what Mike Myers is saying. I do think he was uncomfortable and did not respond to Kayne’s personal statements

  25. anne_000 says:

    Anybody remember Barbara Bush saying (at the Houston Astrodome where many Katrina survivors were staying):

    “Almost everyone I’ve talked to said we’re going to move to Houston. What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is that they all want to stay in Texas.”


    “Everybody is so overwhelmed by all the hospitality. And so many of the peoples in the arena here, you know, they’re underprivileged anyway, so this — this is working very well for them.”
    Like mother like son. This is where GWB comes from.

  26. LaurieH says:

    As someone who lives in a hurricane-prone state and as been through at least 12 of the – including Hurricane Andrew – let me straighten something out for some of you overly-opinionated hurricane neophytes: when a state declares a state of emergency, it is NOT….I repeat NOT…a request for or permission for the federal government to send in the US military. Good grief!! What it does is trigger federal funds for disaster relief. The states’ emergency management agencies are responsible for evacuations and disaster response, including their states’ national guard. 99% of the blame belong to Louisiana’s governor and that disasterous mayor, Ray Nagin. It was THEIR responsibility – not George Bush’s (or any President) – to prepare the state and in the aftermath. The federal government can NOT just rush into a state and take over. Sorry… I know it kind of throws a wrench in what appears to be an insanely popular blame game…. but it doesn’t work that way. No matter how much you wish it did. Btw – it was not lost on Floridians how inept Louisiana was at handling that hurricane. Down here, where we get far more hurricanes, we don’t screw around.

  27. Red says:

    Mike Myers is funny but personally he is full of the brown word. His look spoke volumes. And Kanye crying about Bush? Just another popular opinion at the time. “Blame Bush”, “Bush is a racist.” How about shifting the blame where it belongs? Gov. Blanco, Mayor Ray Nagin–two useless public stooges. NOLA cops going awol. The state of Louisiana exhibited no leadership, took no personal responsibility, and waited for the Fed to fix things. People forget, Mississippi had it just as bad if not worse and no one was crying racism. I call bullshark on Myers, the media, and the rest of the Bush-bashers. Self-reliance and people pulling together, personal acts of charity,…it’s up to everyday Americans to pull themselves out of a mess and to pitch in and help each other out of a sense of decency and basic regard for humanity. Leave the race card and politics out of it.

    • OriginalCrystal says:

      ‘race card’, ‘crying racism’???

      Comments like this are so funny…us black folks just looove to ‘cry race’ don’t we ?

  28. apologist says:

    An non racist person, would be more offended by 911 attacks, the failure of the emergency services to rescue people devastated by a natural disasters, than by being called racist. Just saying …..

    • LaurieH says:

      But it was up to the state and local government to respond – not the fed. All the Fed does in natiral disasters is throw cash at the problem. That’s very much needed, of course, but the “work” is done on the state and local level. Blaming Bush is political convenient, extremely popular and inntellectually lazy (crossing the border into ignorant). It doesn’t occur to anyone that it was a simpke matter of gross incompetence on the state and local level. As someone who has lived in a “hurricane state” for 37 years, let me explain to you how it happened: hardly a summer goes by without the Chicken Little weathermen pulling their best Fred Sanford’s and warning us that “this is the big one” – only to have it fizzle out or change course. It happens so often and so frequently that people have become inured to the warnings. But even a broken clock is right at least twice a day – and Katrina was it. NOLA hadn’t had a “big one” in forever and no reason to believe this season would be different. By the time reality hit, it was too late. Their dusty, outdated emergency plans were of no use to them. There was no coordination, no plan, no organization – no nothing. For us in Florida, it was stunningly unbelievable. Add to that the fact that over the last several decades environmental geoups have been going to court to prevent reinforcement of the levees and what you have – complacency, lack of a plan, political barriers – it was a disaster in the making. I guarantee you – completely 100% guarantee you – that Obama wouldn’t have and couldn’t have done anything differently. Hurricanes are powerful natural disasters and not the sort of thing that he Federal Government can fix in a week by riding in on a white horse. If people believe that – God help you (and don’t move to a hurricane state). My last major hurricane, I went 2 months without electricity…in 90+ degree heat. I showered in the rain in my bathing suit, I had no roof. A 70-foot tree blew down on my street, exploded and sent a 5-foot log careening through my hurricane shutters at 100+ mph. I didn’t whine. I didn’t wait for the government to come save me. I fixed things myself and then helped my neighbors fix their things and we shared our resources, kept each others spirits up and moved on!

  29. Ahh says:

    Could Kanye West be black people’s Fox News, only more direct.