Excuse Me Mr. West, Mr. West?
If you’ve consumed even the minutest amount of pop culture in the last few years, at some point you’ve heard about rapper Kanye West’s transformation into a belligerent, uninformed public figure for what can only be described as confusion. In a recent tweet from Oct. 3, directed towards ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick, West urges him to reach out to President Trump to “have a dialogue not a diatribe.” It’s an ironic statement considering his actions.
The court of public opinion has come to establish West as a lost cause for the Black community. He’s “in the sunken place” some would say. After all, how did we go from “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people” to defending MAGA (Make America Great Again) hats as a representation for “good and America becoming whole again.” (In the same Instagram post, West also called for the abolishment of the 13th amendment, which eliminated slavery in the United States.)
The descent into “Ye” has unfolded like a car crash in slow motion. Though you know what is coming, you can’t seem to look away. This is especially dangerous in the case of West. As a pop culture icon who has amassed a substantial following throughout his musical career, his influence (and misinformation) has a widespread reach.
The most terrifying of all is that there seems to be no accountability for West’s actions outside of social critics and unanswered comments. Within his inner circle, West’s comments are unchecked despite the dangerous rhetoric he willingly supports. Even his wife, Kim Kardashian West, has been complacent, even supportive. Despite saying multiple times that she disagrees with his ideas, she continues to excuse his actions.
West’s actions have consequences for the entire Black community. He has become the ‘OK’ that racist, white conservatives need to justify their actions against minority communities. The modern Uncle Tom wears a Perrier-esque bottle costume, masking ignorance with declarations of “love”.
Anything is possible when it comes to politics. But I hope the future does not see West 2020.