The story begins back in 2005.
Hip-hop megastar Kanye West stared straight into the lens of a camera and uttered the words, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on live television. The rapper was expressing his distaste for the governmental system that was unable to provide adequate support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, targeting his frustration at the commander-in-chief.
A crossover between pop culture and politics that has gone down in television history, this moment is one even my generation is familiar with today.
Fast forward to 11 years later. It’s 2016, and the whirlwind that was the United States presidential election has occurred, and through an unexpected series of events, America ended up with business personality Donald Trump as its new representative of the highest level.
Now, if you had asked me in 2005 who I thought would be leading the country a decade later, Donald Trump would not even have been on my list of possibilities, 1) because I was 6 years old and had no concept of his existence and 2) because being qualified to run a business does not indicate your ability to run a country. But, I digress.
So, Trump is president, and the American people are filled with a combination of disbelief and outrage, with some joy from Trump supporters peppered into the mix. People are antsy to know how their favorite celebrity personalities are reacting to the election results, praying that those they look up to are using their platform to stand on the right side of the situation. That’s when Kanye West comes into play.
The hip-hop legend, an icon to millions upon millions of fans, reveals that he is a Trump supporter.
West, never one to hide his true feelings, as controversial as they may be, said, “If I would have voted, I would have voted on Trump.” He went as far as to confess this belief to a stadium full of people, revealing his contentious political identity as well as his lack of civic responsibility (come on Kanye, exercise your right to vote).
Since then, West has consistently shown a bizarre level of support for a president who does not seem to care about catering to minority needs and who fails to condemn white supremacists on the chance that they could be “very fine people.”
This takes us back to the statement “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” I’m sure you are seeing the inconsistency by now. Well, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel saw it too, and he took it a step further and dropped the question while Kanye was a guest on his show.
And when West was asked if he thinks the current president cares about black people, he was at a loss for words.
Just a few days ago, he was able to find those words. While on 107.5 WGCI Chicago, West said, “I feel that [the president] cares about the way black people feel about him,” and further went on to claim that President Trump is working toward gaining the “acceptance of the black community.”
Does Kanye have some type of VIP access into President Trump’s underground schemes? Because, in my eyes, all of Trump’s actions seem to be pushing minority communities away from him.
West seems to have reached a point in his process of mental reasoning that I cannot seem to wrap my head around. His outlandish comments and justification for those statements have gone too far, to a place where fans desperately trying to piece together a Kanye-is-just-more-of-a-genius-than-the-rest-of-us narrative need to call it quits. The man is inconsistent, and the ideologies he practices and preaches do not align.
When West made the claim about George Bush, he was speaking from a Hurricane relief fundraiser he had been involved in. He was part of a larger entity seeking to make a difference with aid the government should have been able to provide, but was failing to do so.
Now, all of this moral responsibility has gone down the drain to reveal a distorted mindset, one that supports a government that is absurdly problematic.
I miss the old Kanye.