Actions of acclaimed artist sparks controversy
As someone who for many years was a big fan of Kanye West, who supported his music, lifestyle choices, and brand, seeing him wear a “Make America Great Again” hat and claim that slavery was a choice really threw me for a loop.
How could Kanye, an African American man living in today’s America, support the same president who pushed an executive order that banned Muslims from entering the United States? The same president who threatened to build a wall along our southern border and whose campaign was avidly supported by the leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
Kanye has always been someone who doesn't care what others think about him. He makes bold choices regarding his style, his music, and even the names of his children. This is something that I respect about him. Kanye is entitled to his opinions. However, the way in which he is presenting himself currently in the midst of political confusion, I can not get behind. Kanye West is not for the culture.
Acting impulsively, Kanye is saying and doing things that are affecting the public’s view of him and could potentially be tarnishing his reputation beyond repair.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” said West during a TMZ interview.
It is hard to tell if Kanye truly feels this way about such a devastating part of African American history, or if his current positions and comments are all an attempt to gain publicity. This comment in particular is completely absurd coming from a man who is directly impacted by the long standing history of racism in the United States.
In addition to this comment, Kanye voiced support for Donald Trump, a president who makes policy decisions without the interests of our country’s minority population in mind. I have to assume that Kanye agrees with Trump economically, seeing as they are two of the richest men in this country. Socially, Trump does not support the ideals one would imagine Kanye would hold most important.
West has brought to Trump his own goals for the country regarding prison reform, the 13th amendment, and various other issues. Kanye speaks to the president of the United States about the ways in which he wants to solve these problems. Though his intentions can be seen as somewhat good, Kanye West, much like our president, is not an experienced politician, but rather a public figure who is using his fame to push his own political agenda on the American people.
However, Kanye’s persistence to make a difference only goes so far. After putting himself in the political spotlight, West was linked to a movement called “Blexit”, a campaign that encourages African Americans to leave the Democratic Party and place their support elsewhere. This connection made between him and the campaign upset West as he never claimed support for this movement.
Kanye West puts his beliefs out publicly to the country, meeting with Trump in a press conference to talk about his own opinions and goals, yet is upset when people make political assumptions about him based on his own quotes.
“My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!” said West in a tweet posted later about the issue.
This message was tweeted on October 31st by the artist. West’s major turn around, removing himself from the political scene, just goes to show that these matters he was pushing to be solved with the president are not as important to him as his image.
At the end of the day, Kanye is an artist first, and I still am and always will be a fan of his music as I believe his talent is independent of his actions. I like to believe that Kanye will see where he has gone wrong during this political activist phase and going forward he will take more time to think before he acts.