Addressing West’s 2005 comment that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” — which flared up all over again as the subject of West’s controversial appearance on Today last week — Jay said, “It was bad timing, but it was absolutely an honest emotion. We all felt like that. We didn’t feel like Katrina was a natural disaster; we felt like it was an attack on black people. All you saw was black people on the roof with ‘help’ signs. … White people felt like that.”
West found another defender in Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons, who wrote a long open letter to West on his Global Grind website Friday in which he heaps praise upon the MC but says Kanye didn’t need to apologize to Bush.
After effusively praising Kanye’s “brilliance” and “passion,” Simmons continues, “When you spoke about President Bush during the Katrina telethon, it was not the particulars of your words that mattered, it was the essence of a feeling of the insensitivity towards our communities that many of us have felt for far too long… There is no need to apologize, Kanye. You spoke from your heart and that is all we will ever ask from you. Don’t be afraid of the press, as your art is your blueprint, thanks to Jay-Z, your big brother, we will always carry our destiny in our own hands. … And we will always have your back.”
Dear Kanye… An Open Letter By Russell Simmons [Global Grind]