All Voices Matter: Kanye doesn’t speak for me

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All Voices Matter: Kanye doesn’t speak for me

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Aviance Pritchett, Staff Reporter

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Recently, Kanye went to the Oval Office for a lunch with former NFL player Jim Brown and President Donald Trump. Of course this had the attention of the U.S., but not because of what Trump had been saying, but instead the wild rant that Kanye West went on. I don’t even think his unplanned rant during SNL, where he said “If I was concerned about racism, I would’ve moved out of America a long time ago”, could even compare to what went down during this lunch.

 

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, regardless if they are similar to your own or not. Kanye West is a black man, therefore he is a part of a minority group. He has been prejudiced against, and so has his ancestors and his fellow black people. But just because he’s a part of a group does not mean that he is speaking for and represents the entire group.

 

This applies to me as well. Not all black people will agree with what I say, nor will all black people agree with all of what Kanye says. These are facts, not opinions–nobody speaks for everyone. Kanye doesn’t speak for me, or any other black person. He does not represent us because he is an individual with his own beliefs, and those beliefs cannot be forced on others.

 

Kanye is a minority due to him being a black man, and still is able to experience prejudice and racism. But he is also a rich man. As of 2017, wealthy black people account for 4 percent of the nation’s top-earning households. He’s able to live luxuriously, and is a lot more privileged than many, especially middle- and lower-class families in America. Of course he doesn’t see an issue with racism–he does not have to worry about being paid lesser than his white peers, nor does he have to worry about being racially profiled by law enforcement or even restaurants, or be harassed publicly because he’s black. He’s got security. He’s living comfortably. He has the money to leave America and live in some other country.

He preaches about love and how we wants all of us together, how he has visions of Colin Kaepernick “wearing the make America great hat.” He says liberals “will try to control a black person through the concept of racism because they know that we are very proud, emotional people.” He has stated multiple times that he loves Donald Trump.

Regardless of your political views, liberals are not “controlling” black people. Racism will, unfortunately, be a never-ending issue. Racism has hurt black people for centuries. Racism is not some magical concept that liberals came up with just to get a few black votes. Kanye is living the best life while his fellow Chicagoans fall victim to police brutality, gang violence, drug abuse, and homelessness, and he is aware of this–but he cares more about his best buddy Trump, who seems almost apathetic to the issue, and launching his hideous fashion line. Racism seems to be the last thing on his mind right now.

Donald Trump, who, in response to the white supremacist and neo-Nazi Charlottesville rally in August 0f 2017 that killed one and injured 19, said “You had some very bad people [and] also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.” Donald Trump, who encouraged police brutality, saying “When you see these thugs thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in — rough — I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’”

Donald Trump, who claimed to support the LGBT community, only to move to ban trans people from joining the military, repealed an Obama-era guidance that protected trans students in federally funded schools public schools, and much more that continues to harm the LGBT community. There’s no way, with Trump’s track record, that Kaepernick would even dream of wearing that hat, especially when Trump opposed Kaepernick’s Nike ad and advocated for his suspension.

There is no love here. There is no love for a man who referred to white supremacists and neo-nazis as fine people, and that there were hatred on “both sides.” You cannot claim that you want to spread love, that you want the black community from being against Trump, when Trump has proved time and time again that he doesn’t care for any black person that doesn’t agree with him completely. He puts black LGBT youth at even more risk than they were before. Love cannot be spread if you continue to endorse someone who’s idea of love is restricted to his own circle.

You can’t condemn something and endorse it at the same time. There are black people who agree that Kanye’s support of Trump does more harm than good, but still continue to refer to him as a friend, or compliment his musical talent. This doesn’t help anyone.

Stop giving him a platform. Stop buying his clothes, his shoes, and his music. You’re encouraging the behavior you condemn. Giving him your time and money will only help him succeed further. Enough of the performative wokeness–if you’re serious about not supporting Kanye’s message, do good on your word and stop giving him the attention he’s practically begging for.