George W. Bush Pardons Kanye West for Katrina Gaffe
Could a budding bromance be in the works for former President George W. Bush and famously outspoken rapper Kanye West?
Former chief executive Bush, who characterized West’s infamous 2005 “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” comment as the worst moment of his presidency in his recent autobiography Decision Points, told Today’s Matt Lauer on Wednesday that he’d “absolutely” forgiven West for the comment.
During an interview with Lauer, Bush was shown a videotape of West’s outburst, which was made during the Concert for Hurricane relief following the devastating damage done to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. After viewing the footage, Bush noted,
“I appreciate that. It wasn’t just Kanye West who was talking like that during Katrina. I cited him as an example. I cited others as well. I appreciate that.”
More importantly, Bush noted that he harbors no ill feelings toward the 808s & Heartbreak rapper:
“I’m not a hater. I didn’t hate Kanye West. I was talking about an environment in which people were saying things that hurt. Nobody wants to be called racist if, in your heart, you believe in equality of race.”
West, meanwhile, recently noted that he can sympathize with Bush following the flap over his now-infamous interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. During an interview with a Houston radio station, West reflected,
“I definitely can understand the way he 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. For both situations, it was basically a lack of compassion that America felt in that situation.”
Maybe the pair could cement the reconciliation with a musical collaboration? An update on an ’80s classic, perhaps?