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Ted Hearne: Kanye West 9.2.05

This week has been a wonderful and necessary time for reflection in Orient, NY.

The past 7 months have been a challenging time for many of us as we have seen the people whose job it is to unite our country make one polarizing speech after another. We have begun to become numb to the warning signs that the bigotry that governed our society only decades ago is alive and well, acceptable even. The mounting frustration felt by those of us concerned about our future appeared to culminate 2 weeks ago in Charlottesville. Our president’s response to this, while predictable, was nonetheless shocking. In a search for understanding how people with the power to do good choose evil, I turned to music—particularly the music of Ted Hearne.

In this first selection, from his Katrina Ballads, Ted sets a transcription of Kanye West’s famous plea to the US government and the American people for understanding following Hurricane Katrina, ending by interrupting actor Mike Meyers to say in a live broadcast: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

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