No stranger to sensationalism and provocation, at a recent show in San Jose, Kanye West announced that not only did he not vote in the recent US presidential election but if he had, he would’ve voted Trump.
The rapper advocated support for our friendly neighbourhood racist and also addressed all black people directly with the following rallying cry: “Stop focusing on racism. We are in a racist country – period.” Horrific juxtaposition aside, who knew stopping racism was so easy? I wish someone told Martin Luther King that it was this simple, it would’ve saved him all that dreaming. Who knew that it was down to the people bearing the brunt of oppression and marginalisation to free themselves from it?
Does Kanye know that Trump’s company was sued twice for not renting apartments to black people? Or that whenever Donald and Ivanka used to visit his casino in Atlantic City, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor? Does Kanye know that Trump was endorsed by the KKK and that ‘KKK’ does not in fact stand for ‘Kool Kanye Klub’? In some ways, it’s hard to believe that this is the same man who, in 2005, stated on camera that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” and yet, it also isn’t too surprising as Kanye has slowly been revealing that he’s trash for a while.
Just earlier this year saw controversy shroud his Yeezy Season four when West tweeted a casting invitation calling for “multi-racial women only”. Liza Bakeyi, another gal-dem writer, highlighted the ambiguity of the phrase but also noted that from speaking to black women who attended the casting call, lighter-skinned women were given preferential treatment. If only I could have the confidence of a black man to tell black people to stop obsessing over race while overlooking black women because their skin is too dark.
Colorism isn’t all that Kanye has graced us with in the last year or two. What about when he tweeted “BILL COSBY INNOCENT” with an obscene number of exclamation marks in February? Or how about that time he got into it with Wiz Khalifa on Twitter and yet still managed to turn it into a sexist attack on Amber Rose, the ex-girlfriend of them both? It’s been years and yet Kanye still can’t seem to stop berating her for being a stripper, for not being ashamed of it, for having the audacity to be with another man who isn’t him, and then to even have a child with that man. The Life Of A Misogynist.
Kanye isn’t here for victims of sexual violence. He isn’t here for women. He certainly isn’t here for black women and as seen by recent events, he’s upped the anti by letting us know that he isn’t here for black people as a whole.
Kanye, as much wealth and fame you may have amassed, as god-like as you may think you are, you can’t transcend race. You might support Trump but I doubt you’ll be making an appearance in the America he plans to make great again.