Former President George W. Bush has a surprising supporter in his corner:
Five years after the outspoken MC blasted the then head of state for his approach to the Hurricane Katrina rescue effort — which was criticized as sluggish and ineffective — the incident is still a sore spot for the polarizing politician. Bush recently dubbed West's 2005 mid-telethon declaration that "George Bush doesn't care about black people" the "most disgusting moment" in his presidency.
Yeezy said he sympathizes with Bush because he knows what it's like to be publicly branded as a bigot due to the aftermath of busting up Taylor Swift's 2009 MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech.
"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. I got accused of being a racist. With both situations, it was basically a lack of compassion that America saw," West said in an interview with Houston's 97.9 The Box Wednesday (November 3).
"With him, it was a lack of compassion with him not rushing, him not taking the time to rush down to New Orleans. With me, it was a lack of compassion of cutting someone off in their moment. But nonetheless, I think we're all quick to pull a race card in America, and now I'm more open, [due to] the poetic justice that I feel to have went through the same thing that he went. And I really more connect with him just on a humanitarian level because that next morning, the next morning when he felt that, I felt that same thing too [with the Taylor Swift incident]."
In addition to relating to a politician he once dubbed a racist, West congratulated Swift on the instant platinum debut of her latest album, Speak Now, and said he's turned over a new leaf.
"I do think I changed a lot. I do think that I'm more compassionate, I'm more sensitive to people's emotions. I'm just understanding that it's not about me, it's not about just what my opinion is all the time — especially when it's someone else's show," he said.
"I became a better person, I needed that time off. Because a lot of times when people become celebrities, the moment when you don't have to do your own dishes anymore, you don't have that responsibility anymore, a lot of times you lose a level of humanity," he explained. "It's a growing process. I feel like a brand-new artist. I feel like respect is something that's hard to earn and easy to lose, and I feel like I'm on that path to getting all that back right now. "
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