“George Bush does not care about black people.” Kanye West famously stated his opinion during a concert that raised money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. While Bush’s actions and policies have led many to agree with Kanye’s sentiment, whether or not George Bush hates black people is a matter of opinion and not fact. However, that statement was not just aimed at Bush; his target, at least from my vantage point, was the entire United States government who continues to ignore the plight of not only blacks but minorities in America.
Although Bush is no longer President, Kanye’s remarks still ring true within this country today. We reside in a place that worries more about ISIS than taking care of its own citizens. Kalief Browder recently committed suicide after spending three years on Rikers Island for allegedly stealing a backpack, a crime that he was never convicted of. The war on drugs has successfully incarcerated minorities at a high rate due to mandatory sentences that began during the 1980s. Decades later the same laws, which have done nothing but help put money into the pockets of those who own private prisons, are still in effect. Meanwhile, minority communities continue to suffer due to the lack of jobs and felony charges that haunt the convicted years after they are released and homes that are fractured because of the high incarcerations. The cycle has continued and it will continue until the government garners the gumption to cease this travesty.
ISIS and similar terror groups do pose a threat and they should not be disregarded, but is the threat imminent? Surely they do not pose more of direct threat than the police do in minority communities. The actions of the government continue to prove Kanye’s point, they do not care about minorities but they do care about the profits that both oil and high incarceration rates generate.
So, does George Bush care about black people? Who knows? Better yet, who cares? However, we know for certain that this country does not care about black people or minorities. The problem is systemic and minorities are going to have to fix it, not the government.
Kendl Gordy graduated from St. John’s University with a B.S. in journalism. He is now continuing his writing career with our organization as a contributing writer on current events and cultural issues.