It’s Time To Have A Serious Conversation About Kanye

As someone who claims to “love Kanye”, I would not be doing my duty if I do not publicly criticize his recent slew of actions like I publicly sang his praises in the past.

Over the last 5-10 years, we have seen Kanye say and do things that many of us have collectively felt was below him. And over those same last 5-10 years, we have excused this behavior. Sure, we might have discussed the shock and disappointment that came from “slavery was a choice”, or given inappropriate amounts of sympathy towards Taylor Swift after he rushed the stage during her award acceptance. But, we’ve never really held Kanye accountable at a level we should have. Most of the time, (read: pre-Trump endorsement) we let these things slide because we never fathomed or thought about the lengths to which Kanye will say or do things, nor were we (The *allegedly* United States of America) in a political and racial time as tense as today. People want to say that Kanye wearing a tee with “White Lives Matter” emblazoned all on the back is a testament to his genius. I am one of many who fail to see the “genius” of this expression, however.

As a Black man in America, it is incredibly uncomfortable and disappointing for an idol of yours to wear a statement like that on his back. I could go on and on about why statements like that and “All Lives Matter” in conjunction with the misunderstanding of Black Lives Matter (both the movement and the organization) makes this a very dangerous message to send, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll say this: it was incredibly irresponsible for Kanye to make and produce this shirt, especially given the racially and politically charged time like now. Many people misunderstood the statement Black Lives Matter. Many people took it to mean that only Black Lives Matter, instead of Black Lives Matter too. In the very same way, many people, who may already see Kanye as an example and resource to refute anything with racial and/or social justice leanings, will misunderstand this statement, take it out of context, and take it to mean only White Lives Matter, or use it as an aid to further the All Lives Matter “movement”. It’s the context and the precedent of it all that makes it incredibly irresponsible.

In the past, I have mostly blamed mental health on the things that Kanye has done. For the record, I do not take mental health lightly, and I recommend that everyone see a therapist or a counselor, a great one can change your life. And for that reason that I don’t take mental health lightly, I always spoke on how I seriously, truly wished and wanted for Kanye to seek mental help. However, after this last act, I can no longer solely or primarily blame Kanye’s actions on mental health. Yes, his behavior is mercurial, to say the least. Yes, he is liable to say anything. But everything Kanye has done to defend and explain his actions of late prove that he is more than competent and knows exactly what he is doing. And that is something that makes it hard to defend him.

For someone who constantly tells others to Find God, Kanye West needs to work on his spirituality and himself much more. I’ll be the first to admit that I laughed at Skete, but when it came to the constant beratement, it wasn’t as funny. Neither was the harassment towards Kim. In fact, the harassment towards anyone in the last half year. Screenshots with expletive, foul nasty things aimed at people with the caption Find God is sacrilegious, if not rich. How is a man of God, someone who is proclaiming to be this new, reformed, person (who said they weren’t swearing anymore, at that) righteous in his insults and harassment and arrogance towards others? What God does he subscribe to that would allow and permit this kind of behavior towards people that are close to him? I don’t know any religion that does that. Maybe you do.

Another thing, Ye: You’re doing a whole lot of talking on what we as a Black Community need to do in order to advance and further ourselves, and not a terrible amount of doing. There are plenty, and I do mean plenty of people that do more doing than speaking on these things. People are already learning and teaching our own how to farm and feed ourselves. People everyday (like Jaden Smith, Stacy Abrams, etc.) are working day and night, in and out, actually doing the work and laying the foundations to achieve and realize the very things you ranted to Tremaine Emory about in yet another very public display of…Kanye. But what do I know. I only run a small, fledgling lifestyle brand and still have a 9-to-5, so maybe I should just stop tearing a Black man down and Find God.

As someone who claims to “love Kanye”, I should be one of the first ones calling for Kanye to stop this narcissistic pandering; the constant and incessant co-signing of dangerous and divisive politics and ideals, the public beefs and spats with other people in various degrees of power, the sudden and hostile dissolution of his partnerships and deals. Kanye is headed down a path of complete isolation and decay. At this rate, everyone, even those trying to convince you of his latest “genius”, will disappear. Those with any ounce of power who have propped him as the Black representative for their beliefs and ideas, past and present, will denounce him and detach from him faster than the bots that used to terrorize the SNKRS app.

All that to say for the time being, no, I won’t be wearing anything Yeezy for the foreseeable future. Hell, I might even sell my pairs.


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