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Bluck
09-09-2005, 03:16 AM
David Banner speaks on Bush, Kanye & Katrina
by: brooklyniteOne
Thu, September 8th, 2005

David BannerIn a recent statment to Ozone Magazine Mississippi rapper David Banner had this to say regarding relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina:

"I think Hurricane Katrina has exposed America for what it is. I think it's bigger than Black and White. I think it has a lot more to do with rich and poor. We've always known that America is a racially driven country. We front like it's all good, but we know the levels of racism that are in America. It shows that America doesn't give a damn about people in the hood, period.

If this same thing happened in New York, they'd probably be out there mopping up water themselves. When 9/11 happened, there was help on 9/12. We sent billions of dollars overseas when the tsunami happened. We break our necks to help other people, and we fight for oil, but we can't help our people right here in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Mississippi is definitely not getting the relief funds that they really need because we're not getting the TV time. There are cities in South Mississippi like Pass Christian, Long Beach, Biloxi, and Gulfport that are gone. And these are just regular, ordinary folks. White, Black, Hispanic, rich, poor. These are places where our grandmothers and grandfathers stay. There's history in these towns.

America is the most powerful country in the world, but it takes us four days to get to hurricane victims? The things that took the government four days to do are the same things they could've been done as soon as the hurricane hit. They could have flown helicopters in there or something. America is the most powerful country and the proudest country when it feels like it. They said they couldn't get down there for different reasons, but those were just excuses. I sent a tour bus full of water and supplies to Mississippi. My bus driver paid with his own MasterCard. I told him to go ahead and buy whatever they needed and I'd pay him back. He filled the tour bus up twice with water, food, and supplies before the American government did. He drove down there from Memphis. If I can dispatch help from my troops while out of town, then why couldn't Bush?! Following that I immediately came down there myself and I sat and signed autographs and passed out water to the kids for four, five hours myself. How can David Banner, a so-called "gangsta rapper," react quicker to a crisis than our own government?

There's still people in Mississippi without power right now. The water is still not drinkable from the faucets. There's no gas from Jackson down to the coast. There are lines for two miles to get gas, and the gas prices are out of control. Then you've got places like the Red Cross using preferential treatment with the stuff people have donated. I had kids from the streets telling me they gave all the better clothes to the little white kids. There's people who are coming city to city and can't get water or food from the Red Cross without a little armband. We're having a national crisis. If people need food and supplies, you should give it to them.

The bigger picture is that we're gonna have to take care of our own people. We're having a big benefit concert September 17th at Phillips Arena in Atlanta. We're trying to raise $1.5 million. T.I. got on the radio station and challenged everybody -- all the football players and record company execs -- and he raised $255,000 in two hours.

I'm glad Kanye said what he said on NBC. The President never gave a damn about black folks. I mean, we knew that already. That's not a surprise. It was the perfect time for him to say it. Personally, I believe that if CNN had showed more white people stuck in New Orleans, the government would've reacted quicker.

I blame Bush for the time it took for them to react to the situation. I blame Bush for not taking this situation as seriously as they did after 9/11 . This is ten times worse than 9/11. These are communities; whole cities of people, just gone. We're talking about cities, not just a building. We're talking about a whole coast of people. These are the same states that helped assure that Bush was going to get in office, and then he turned his back on them. Where was he when we needed him? This is our President!

In the Art of War they tell you that the best way to control the people is through chaos. Most people make their decisions when something happens that sways them emotionally. So maybe this is God's blessing. We as American people, no matter what race you are, we see that now we're going to have to set up better systems to protect the poor. All these organizations that we're forming now need to stay in tact. We're going to have to be prepared to take care of our own. And we're going to have to make sure that these relief funds go to people who buy our records and support us and come to our concerts. Those are the families that I have to be concerned about first, because those are the families that put me in the position I'm in now.

There's a lot more we can do as artists, but I'm really, really proud of the rappers who have stepped up to help. I can honestly say that we've concentrated so much on helping because it's in our hearts and it's the right thing to do, but we don't get the publicity for it. We're going to have to make sure people see the efforts these rappers are making, because every time somebody gets shot or something negative happens at one of our concerts, they make sure they publicize it." -- David Banner

David Banner has teamed up with T.I. to organize a benefit concert September 17th at Phillips Arena in Atlanta. The goal of the concert is to raise $1.5 million. Nelly, 8 Ball & MJG, Twista have recently agreed to join in.
http://www.nobodysmiling.com/hiphop/news/85082.php