Kanye West took a lot of criticism immediately after he broke from the teleprompter during a hurricane relief telethon for Katrina victims last year.

His statement was brave and frankly, looking back, true. It wasn’t as if black leaders rushed at first to support him. There was a recoiling of fear and a failure to call a spade a spade. Yet Kanye broke the ice and expressed what a lot of black folks (and some non-black ones too) were thinking in the aftermath of Katrina. Many of us still believe that, deep down, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” And also: “Those are my people down there.”

Terrence Says has a great summary on the substantive points of Kanye’s emotional roll. My favorite part of the clip below is the look on Mike Myers’ and Chris Tucker’s faces after Kanye’s final, famous statement. Doh!

I think some people, including Kanye, probably thought that he’d be blackballed, that he’d ended his career that night. Until they really thought about it and realized…he was right.

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