Rapper Kanye West on Thursday said he connects with former President George W. Bush on "a more humanitarian level" now than he did in 2005, when he accused Bush of racism following Hurricane Katrina. Bush told NBC's Matt Lauer last week that West's accusation was one of the most "disgusting" moments of his presidency.
Speaking to a Houston radio station, West said that now, five years later, he understands how Bush must have felt. "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," said West.
The rapper was referring to public backlash that following his now-infamous interruption of singer Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Music Awards.
"I got accused of being a racist. With both situations, it was basically a lack of compassion that America saw," West explained.
"With [Bush], 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."
West even suggested that the 2009 experience, in which he was vilified by both the public and by his fellow musicians, may have been karmic payback for his verbal attack on the former president. "The poetic justice that I feel [is] the same thing that [Bush] went [through]."
The show of humility was a rare moment for West, who is known as one of the music industry's most outspoken superstars. "I really more connect with [Bush] just on a humanitarian level," he continued, "because that next morning, the next morning when he felt that, I felt that same thing too."