Kanye West has had himself quite a month both in person and online. It started when he tweeted his support of President Trump which was then met with praise by Trump. Since then, he started palling around with conservative commentators Candace Owens and Charlie Kirk. He then appeared on TMZ earlier this week alleging that slavery was a “choice.” He argued about some of the basic tenets of black history with other celebrities and has gone as far as to publicly share (possibly without consent?) those exchanges to the rest of the world. Even if I think this is all a ploy to posture himself as a presidential candidate in the near future, his actions lately have led to a lot of folks wanting to see him on the trading block of the next racial draft.
Thing is, though: the irony of it all is that Kanye West is not alone in his thinking. If you are a black person living in America, you have encountered your own Kanye West at least once in your life. Hell, I run into one practically every day. He’s all around us. Some examples:
- Kanye is that dude who sends me on a 2 mile detour just so I can avoid having to talk to him; especially if I’m in a hurry. Of course, tech saavy people can always download and launch a fake phone call app. Works like a charm.
- Kanye is that dude who swears Bill Cosby is being “lynched” even though dude admitted under oath to drugging folk.
- Kanye is that dude who will probably rob his kids of Christmas, because he doesn’t believe in celebrating a “white man’s” birthday. Sorry kids. No Barbies and TMNT action figures for you this year.
- Kanye is that dude who ruins the barbeque by telling everybody about how filthy “swine” is.
- Kanye is that dude who left for college in September and came back home for Christmas Break (excuse me: the white man’s holiday break) suddenly “woke.”
- Kanye is that dude whose fake meme to real meme posting ratio on Facebook is about 40:1.
- Kanye is the dude who went to jail as a hardened criminal, but came out all enlightened and s***. Good for him. Some dudes have to serve a life stretch in the clink to get to that point:
- Kanye is that dude who thinks the only way to be deep is by reciting poems and spouting passages that probably need to be accompanied by subtitles:
- Kanye is that dope barber who will give you the fade of a lifetime in exchange for sitting in his chair for two hours listening to him pontificate about your slave mentality.
- Kanye is that dude who won’t read books because they were written with words from “the white man’s dictionary.”
- Kanye is the dude who will take something as routine as grocery shopping and turn it into a critical deconstruction of white dominance and the inextricable relationship between the sociological construction of race, the role of cultural capital, and the development and schematization of white hegemonic structures. “Why is angel cake white and devil cake black?” type of thing.
Dismiss him all you want. Unfollow him on Twitter if it makes you feel better. Pull his music from the airwaves. Stop buying his music. None of that means a thing. Because, the fact of the matter is, Kanye is everywhere.