Former President George W. Bush says criticism from some, including prominent rapper Kanye West, that his handling of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina showed he did not care about black people represented “an all-time low.”
In his memoir, “Decision Points,” to be released next Tuesday, Bush writes that charges that he was a racist during the Katrina crisis “was the worst moment of my presidency.”
In excerpts of an interview by NBC’s “Today” show, Bush was asked about West’s comment that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
The accusation arose because many blacks were affected by the hurricane that ravaged Gulf Coast states, and Bush came under sharp criticism for his handling of the calamity.
Bush said West’s charge was tantamount to being called a racist.
“And I didn’t appreciate it then. I don’t appreciate it now. It’s one thing to say, ‘I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business.’ It’s another thing to say, ‘this man’s a racist,’” Bush said.
“I resent it, it’s not true,” Bush said. “And it was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency.”
He said his record was strong “when it came to race relations and giving people a chance.”
Bush writes in his book, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, that his initial mistake on Katrina was failing to communicate his concern for the storm’s victims.