Kanye West has sparked controversy again. From his initial tweets, his sporting of the MAGA hat, meetings with and love for Donald Trump, Kanye is re-creating himself. In the U.S.A, under the modern left’s ideology, Donald Trump and what he symbolizes is the coming back of racial hatred against non-white people in the US, and xenophobia of immigrants to the US, particularly non-white ones. Kanye West is a celebrity, now atypical of the Hollywood elite, whose members are broadly vocal of support for leftist ideology. He is also a black celebrity, who should in many people’s eyes, make him a representative of the interests of black people.
My opinion on what Kanye is doing is that he is simply thinking differently than perhaps he has thought before, or has been brave enough to say before within the confines of Hollywood celebrity culture, or expectations of his fans, or the accepted mainstream narrative of his racial identity. It seems to me that his opinions are not fully defined beyond wanting to form an opinion, a political opinion, and not going in the direction desired by others.
The reasons given for why Kanye did what he did are less telling than the public’s reaction to him. Regardless of whether Kanye is attempting to reason publicly through a political awakening, is finally deciding to share a long-held opinion, or is generating publicity for himself, he has incensed a culture that does not support independent thought, that does not respect precisely what makes someone an individual. However morally good the reason in their minds, the public outcry has defines his stance as blasphemy. One man has accused him of fraternizing with their enemies. Others fall back on negatively highlighting his mental state, ignoring the many individuals who agree with Kanye. Their responses show a belief that once born into the world with dark skin, one has signed a contract that for the duration of one’s life, one must define the characters they encounter through racial identity or according to leftist ideology, as if there is no other way to make sense of the world, almost as if there was no world before these categories were common, or as if there is no other possible future. Or else be cast out. Kanye is not the first man to have experienced this and he probably won’t be the last. He is also not the first individual of any identity category to feel the wrath of his self-appointed overlords.
Within the ideology that the left has morphed into, it is so important for people to define good and evil and keep their wards from going astray into danger, that they no longer respect the individual’s right over their own thought, or see the gift of creativity to see differently as the same mechanism that has sparked transformation in the past. And yet nearly every act we define as wrong, such as slavery, theft, murder, rape, comes from the idea that each person has a right to own the self. Even to lie means to deny an individual the information that allows them to make a choice which affects them and their person. Their ideology that defines Trump as the enemy, Kanye’s daughter as a victim, and any supporter of Trump a defender of sexism or racism, is so rigid that it is at the heights of religious conviction, where they are ready to cast out those who never pledged allegiance.
I came across a particularly unpalatable article that highlights this clearly, brought to my attention by a youtuber named Benjamin Boyce, in an interview I did recently that maybe you could watch. Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, it casts Kanye West’s actions as the ultimate betrayal, similar to his childhood experience of Michael Jackson’s rejection of his noble skin color. He describes Kanye as wanting to be white, desiring white freedom, a kind of freedom that does not exist for a black man, rather than black freedom, and asks him to come home to his racial identity. Instead of the slave masters telling Kanye that he should know his place ‘as a black man’, it is the modern day pro-black activist who tells him how he must engage life, ‘as a black man’. It is not enough for Coates to be satisfied with his own understanding of the world and solutions to the struggles of life. All other people must follow his religion, and “come back home”. else walk the path of self-destruction. They cannot make their own map, mark their own landmarks, even when they have a different heritage, (as in my case as a foreigner), and figure out how to get to the treasure they seek. They must be held in mental bondage to the vision of Coates and others like him.
Examining Coates’ words deeper, he stated:
“It is often easier to choose the path of self-destruction when you don’t consider who you are taking along for the ride, to die drunk in the street if you experience the deprivation as your own, and not the deprivation of family, friends, and community. And maybe this, too, is naive, but I wonder how different his life might have been if Michael Jackson knew how much his truly black face was tied to all of our black faces, if he knew that when he destroyed himself, he was destroying part of us, too. I wonder if his life would have been different, would have been longer. And so for Kanye West, I wonder what he might be, if he could find himself back into connection, back to that place where he sought not a disconnected freedom of “I,” but a black freedom that called him back—back to the bone and drum, back to Chicago, back to Home.”
The aspect of control of the personal philosophy of an individual, does not seem to remind Coates and others like him of the slavery that they diligently wash their personal histories in and bemoan their suffering within, while having no personal experience of. Coates does not think in isolation, however. The public response to Kanye’s pronouncements seems to be one of first betrayal, then ridicule. They feel betrayed because Kanye is breaking ranks and aiding the enemy. They feel the need to ridicule, because a joke, a mental aberration, does not have to be taken seriously. Perhaps Kanye’s 400 years of slavery was a choice comment, meant to point out that not every black person was a slave, as so often left off the Black American archives about America and around the world, or that the mental slavery has long outlived the actual numbered years of physical constraints. How could we find out if we are not allowed to search? Kanye is not the first, nor will he be the last to walk this path.
There are many individuals who continually break from the mental script handed to them by the left, or their communities, and receive backlash for it. Until liberal America starts jumping down the throats of so-called minorities who call other minorities racial slurs the way they do against any white person who commits a perceived slight, I know they still do not see minorities as equal in moral standing. I believe that day is a long time coming. And I believe character is one of the most important things an individual can possess, beyond handouts and sympathy, and the virtue signals of care.
In my eyes, Kanye is a hero, not due to being perfect but for lighting a new path. Whether or not celebrities’ opinions should be placed on a pedestal, he is respected in in a community that has so far only been familiar with one narrative to guide their path. He is sparking the interest in many to look and consider traveling the journey of the unknown path.
Article referenced: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/05/im-not-black-im-kanye/559763/