What’s Wrong with Kanye?

Just days before his new album drops. Kanye West has been trolling the world with a series of provocative tweets, comments, and hat choices. Whyyyy? First, in case he hasn’t been able to reach you with his blankets of bullshit, here are some highlights.  He started off professing love and shared dragon energy with Donald Trump. This sounds like something Stormy Daniels’ lawyer should be in on, but Kanye promises us the love is real. Looking back, this really is some expert-level clickbait
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His comments about Trump were enough to prompt Questlove of the Roots to wear a shirt that says “Kanye West Doesn’t Care About Black People,” a take off  Kanye’s own comments about George Bush during the Hurricane Katrina crisis. Questlove sported the shirt this weekend in Montgomery, Alabama at the Concert for Peace and Justice celebrating the opening of the Equal Justice Initiative’s Memorial to Peace and Justice commemorating lynching in America–peak black excellence. Kanye’s cookout privileges have been revoked.
Image result for tweet kanye west doesn't care about Image result for questlove kanye west doesn't care about
Not to be denied the right to scream from the sunken place, Kanye told a TMZ reporter that slavery was a choice.

Wooooooooooooow. At this point, it seems like his Brittany Spears level meltdown is too crazy to be anything but an act, right? I mean he went to TMZ. He’s breaking the internet without even taking his pants off. Can it be that the person who called out George Bush and Taylor Swift has become race traitor numero uno?
There is another explanation, maybe less interesting but also more insidious. Kanye has been drinking the elite Kool-Aid and it has scrambled his brain. A lot of the hoopla is about these crazy words coming out of the mouth of Kanye West who, in case he forgot, is a black man in America. When so much of the black community is trying to get their passport stamped for Wakanda, Kanye West seems to have bought a one-way bus ticket to the heart of white supremacy.
Here’s the thing, being woke isn’t automatic. When someone *cough Kanye cough* is disconnected from their community and buys into the hegemonic ideas that the elite chomp on all day, they start to believe some crazy shit. Like a lot of other people in the 1% Kanye is driven to amass wealth knowing their business directly contributes to rising income inequality, especially among their target consumers. Kanye has no problem exploiting cheap labor to manufacture his overpriced clothes. Kanye has no problem marketing said clothes to young people who can ill afford it but are enamored of the lifestyle marketing he employs. The mindset that feeds on exploitation and degradation is the same mindset that ignored the brutality of slavery as profits piled up. It’s the same mindset today that ignores the demands of the resistance as the rich and powerful continue to reshape our democracy into an oligarchy for their own profit. Its the mindset that says sure Trump is a nightmare but hey, my taxes are great!
There were black slave owners. There are black people today who continue to believe in the ideology of white supremacy even though their skin is black. This small but real group remind us of the power of the lies the elite tell to maintain their ability to manipulate others for profit. You don’t have to be white to believe in white supremacy. Hmmm, maybe that’s what Kanye meant when he declared his right to free thought.  He’s right–he has the right to believe in white supremacy and the lies it tells about black people and their history.  He won’t be the first black person to believe it, and maybe not the last so check your cousins and them.
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When I say stay woke, I recognize that staying woke is an intentional act, a place not of race but choice. A place anyone can decide to stand when they stop believing the lie that some people deserve more than others. So stay woke, no matter who you are. We’ll be here when you’re ready, Kanye

Susan X Jane

Susan X Jane is a diversity educator, speaker and trainer. She thinks a lot about media and race…a lot. She teaches Communications at Wheelock College, writes and speaks about media…and race... and generally encourages everyone she meets to think about the way media shapes their sense of self and their ideas and beliefs about the world. If you're reading this, she wants you to think about it too. Want to talk about it? Let's go.

3 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with Kanye?

  1. AHHHH THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!

    OH I think there’s a typo- “check YOUR cousins and them” One of my favorite lines! Gonna post it!!

    Starting the block NOW! Call you this wkd! xoxo

    >

  2. Good analysis! I think Kanye’s desperately trying to live up to the “genius” label, but he’s inarticulate, so he mostly comes off as “fake deep”. He’s also not getting the adulation and attention that he wants, so he’s grasping at straws. Bless him, tho.

  3. This is beautiful ( once sgain…) Thank you.
    “I recognize that staying woke is an intentional act, a place not of race but choice. A place anyone can decide to stand when they stop believing the lie that some people deserve more than others.”

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