by Lindsay Gary
The “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” Kanye could have gotten my vote, but not this new, overly attention-seeking, Confederate flag-wearing, “racism is not a real thing” Kanye.
He’s a walking contradiction.
He always has been.
Except the old Kanye admitted it, understood it, and tried to overcome it.
And we loved him for it.
Kanye’s new hypocrisy fits perfectly into the status quo however. Presidential candidates and those who are popular enough to make it into the White House typically display some level of duplicity.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote “all Men are created equal” but owned and sold hundreds of slaves. He even advocated for the expansion of slavery while maintaining a relationship with a black slave mistress who he apparently loved so much that he didn’t even set her free in his will.
An unfortunate expectation of any American president.
So, Mr. West meets one of the most quintessential requirements for the presidency.
But, he still won’t be getting my vote. And shouldn’t be getting yours.
The man we once applauded for speaking the truth about racism, classism, politics, social issues, and even the truth about himself, has fallen in too deep.
Before he was transparent enough to admit that although he tried to go against the status quo, he sometimes fell into its trap. He used his celebrity status to inform his black audience of these circumstances and inspired them to overcome them. Yeezy though has sunken so deep that he doesn’t even seem to recognize he’s now the very same person he once criticized.
We know George Bush doesn’t like black people. I’m starting to think Kanye doesn’t either.
Would call him a racist but Yeezus denies that racism even exists.
Now he’s okay with oppression, and even denies its existence, as long as it isn’t affecting him.
I’m not sure what kind of president he’d be if he refuses to identify the nation’s most deeply rooted issue.
Take his use of the confederate flag.
This flag is one of the biggest symbols of white supremacy, a fallacious ideal that blacks can never achieve. Kanye tried to repurpose the flag and wear it to upset white America by proving that blacks, thanks to him, now could access their forbidden fruit. By wearing it, he attempted to utilize his newfound “privilege” to position himself in a place where he can be validated by white America.
Not only is the act of seeking validation from your oppressors counterproductive to anything revolutionary, it also does nothing to help your people. In fact, it’s selfish and completely ignores the plight of black people who are still suffering at the hands of everything that flag represents. Not to mention wearing it is free promotion for white supremacy and racism.
Kanye aims to obtain everything that was previously inaccessible to him as a black man in America: acceptance, respect, and equal opportunity. Oh and white women. Especially the ones who pay a surgeon to install all the beautiful features unique to black women.
And he does these things, every single time, for his own benefit and uplift.
Creating a fashion line and selling it at preposterous prices most black people can’t afford, and partnering with designers and companies that discriminate against us when we walk into stores, abuse black workers in sweat shops, and refuse to put money back into our communities is dumb and contradictory, but presidential.
Furthermore, he sets the example that the white man’s standard of essentially everything should be what we strive to obtain.
Then turns around and complains about the racism (even though it doesn’t exist) in the fashion industry as it applies to him only.
Seeking validation because racist America has made you self-conscious and insecure doesn’t stop racism. Neither does assimilating and working to obtain all of white America’s standards. Which, doesn’t really matter anyway since racism is make-believe.
Why should someone who hypocritically exploits our struggle get our vote?
Why should someone who was once so transparent but has allowed himself to become so blinded by his ego and insecurities be our president?
But because of everything he is, he’s already on the right track. Ignorant comments on black issues, crazy antics, and hypocritical tendencies are the prototypical qualities for United States presidents.
Run Kanye, run.
Sure, Kanye for President 2020.
Campaign all day.
His ego won’t let him stop.
I guess it’s the Yeezus in him.
But wake up, Mr. West.
You don’t have my vote.
Or the vote of any knowledgeable black person.
And especially not the white vote.
Even with wearing the Confederate flag, marrying Kim Kardashian, and breaking into the fashion world, you still are just a “nigga in a coupe.”
Lindsay Gary is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston. She obtained a Bachelor of Art in History, with minors in Business Administration and Dance, and was a member of the Pre-Law Program. She recently received her Master of Public Administration in Public Policy and is currently pursuing a Master of Art in History from Texas Southern University. She works as opinion editor for The Herald, a blogger for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and a weekend docent for Project Row Houses. A global citizen, Lindsay has traveled to twenty-three countries including Haiti, Turkey, Tanzania, and Croatia.