It’s been a rough couple of days. Yesterday I found out that President-elect, Donald Trump has tapped Senator Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General. If you don’t know who that is, you can find him in the dictionary under “racist”, “bigot”, “asshole”… Go to your nearest search engine and take a look for yourself. I won’t spend too much time on this because the good Lord has put something else on my heart.
This morning, like most mornings, I declared that I was done with Twitter. Between the Shirley Caesar remixes and the Kermit memes- I just can’t. But, this morning, like most mornings, I got to work and logged on…. mistake #1. I saw that “Kanye” was trending and my heart sank. I knew it was going to be bad, but I had no idea that he’d completely lost his mind.
In September, I went to see my former friend in concert. The Saint Pablo Tour was in Atlanta and I had floor “seats”…. I literally stood in a mob of white hipsters screaming that they weren’t a broke “n*gga” (Picture Justin Bieber singing along to Gold Digger). It was disheartening to say the least. The next day I wondered about Kanye’s song selection and how he’s been using his platform lately. I hinted that Kanye and I had reached a strain in our friendship and that I was unsure of how we’d move forward. UPDATE—we’re done. Seriously. We can’t come back from this. I defended him when he declared that the 43rd President of the United States didn’t like black people. I defended his ridiculous twitter rants. I even defended “Yeezus”…. *side eye*. But this… I cannot defend this.
Two months later, and the US has made history by electing its first flesh eating snake as President and Kanye is wrapping up the American leg of his tour. Last night he performed in San Jose. In between songs he decided that he had something more important to say.
A concert-goer uploaded a video of the rant that lasted for about 4 minutes in total. It didn't catch everything, but I heard enough to know that I'm done. People defended the comments, siting that "everyone only reads headlines and not the facts".. shut up. The facts are that Kanye wants Black people to get over racism and to brush it under the rug because "that's the way it is". He specifically named Black people as the ones responsible for perpetuating the racism conversation. Never once did he mention the people responsible for years of oppression and systemic discrimination. He went on to say that he didn't vote, but if he did, it would've been for Donald Trump.
If you're tired of Black people pulling "the race card", just imagine how tired Black people are of experiencing actual racism.
I'm over it.
When notable designers and fashion houses refused to carry his line of urban wear, he flipped. It was all about racism and discriminatory practices in the industry. He sells some flesh-toned leggings and all of a sudden everyone should get over it? Boy!
Racism won't die overnight- this is true- no matter which candidate would've won. I'll give him that. But it's irresponsible and downright dismissive to attack an entire group of people who have carried the weight of this country for centuries. Many Black families still live with the scars of Jim Crow, The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, mass incarceration, housing discrimination and of course, slavery. How is the racism discussion our fault? And how can you possibly endorse a man who wants to fill his cabinet with people who have a history of racist rhetoric?
I refuse to accept that I live in a country that's fueled by bigotry and I'll do everything in my power to dismantle the system that has oppressed so many people for so long. I absolutely loved Kanye West. But if he isn't with me then he's certainly against me. The creed of this land calls for "liberty and justice for all". It doesn't guarantee liberties to a select few and tell everyone else to just deal with it.
The old Kanye is gone, and for all I care, the new Kanye should go with him!