The 25 Most Important Civil Rights Moments in Music History

Kanye West Calls Out George W. Bush

Date: September 2, 2005

The Bush Jr. years were turbulent ones, punctuated by fruitless war, a nose-diving economy, and consistent political scandal. But if you ask Dubya himself, the low-point of his presidency was during 2005's Hurricane Katrina Benefit Concert, when Kanye West stared into the eyes of the nation and dropped the now-infamous sound bite "George Bush doesn't care about black people." It was one of the rare moments where the raw sentiments of many African-Americans were presented on the national stage, unfiltered-a sentence so concise and potent it would've made a great tweet had twitter been around back then. But it's really the confessional West gives before the quip that made this moment so powerful: "I've tried to turn away from the TV because it's too hard to watch... even to imagine if I was down there, those are my people down there." This was about empathy, not bigotry, and we still applaud Ye's courage to say what he knew his people felt.

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