Some “Free” Thoughts On Kanye West

Jean is a fellow blogger here on Word Press whose writing I greatly admire. She writes with such passion, clarity, and purpose from the unique perspective of a Melanin Advocate on issues that affect Black women and also provides valuable insight as a wife and mother on other matters, as well. Reading her blog is a no-brainer and I highly recommend that you do so.

And, recently, Jean and I engaged in a brief exchange concerning her blog post on Kanye West (speaking of no-brainers). She interpreted Ye’s viral, insensitive remarks about American slavery sounding like a “choice”, as him actually telling Black folks to liberate ourselves from the slave mentality. She also doesn’t understand the outrage–the Black-lash from so many in the Black community who were rightfully hurt by his careless words. Especially, since brother Ye may be suffering from mental illness.

Okay, to be fair, I’ve met far too many bloggers on Word Press who admit to suffering from various forms of mental illness but still find ways to function at high levels in their everyday lives. Even when they’ve missed taking their meds they don’t use it as an excuse for bad behavior. Plus, they are more than capable of thinking before they speak. So, I’m sorry, but having a mental illness doesn’t give Kanye a free pass to say whatever the hell he wants without expecting any type of clap-back. He’s written a check with his mouth that his ass can’t cash!

You see, I’m of the opinion that Kanye’s genius does NOT extend beyond his music and his idea of “free thought” is actually freedom from thought, nothing of substance, thinly veiled narcissism. His wealth and fame afford him the opportunity to make an uninformed, dumbass declaration–an ill-advised comment made to seem credible by the powerful platform he speaks from but is completely unsupported by the very real history of slavery in this country. And it’s an extremely dangerous statement to make in a White Supremacist culture that still doesn’t believe our humanity is worthy of equitable treatment.

Nonetheless, I have some free thoughts of my own concerning Yeezy Kardashian 2.0. Because I’m not convinced that Taylor Swift’s Liquid Paper cover of Earth, Wind, and Fire’s timeless R&B classic, September, was solely her idea. (And, no, I’m still not over it!) I believe it was a collaborative effort between her and Ye who decided to edit out his tambourine solo at the last second, not wanting to steal Swift’s acoustic banjo thunder.

Swift in return, was the ghostwriter for the lyrics to Ye’s highly anticipated single Lift Yourself, which is packaged as a song about Black uplift but is, in fact, a song calling for responsible dog ownership by instructing owners to make sure they pick up their dog’s poop in public places:

 

What’s that? You don’t believe me?

I don’t blame you. My words hardly carry any weight. Helloooo…I’m a Word Press blogger with 131 followers who’ve somehow, thankfully, have taken pity on me. I also aspire to be the King of Wakanda in the hopes of using vibranium technology to produce self-cleaning underwear (with super absorbent strength and nano dispensers that release many very attractive scents such as Pine Forest Fresh, the always popular Potpourri, or Honey Mustard…hey, I was hungry) to end restroom breaks and increase productivity in the workplace. Of course, everybody will also be able to take advantage of this Wakandan nanotech in a global effort to literally go green, and brown, and yellow or whatever the case may be.

But I digress.

And I understand that Jean doesn’t like to see divisiveness within the Black diaspora. Neither do I but for Kanye West to ally himself with the one man, Donald Trump, who represents everything that is wrong with America today–an America that continues its uninterrupted body count of killing unarmed Blacks with impunity–only shows his eagerness to part ways with the very people who share a lot of responsibility for his success.

Which is painful to watch, especially after Ye once blurted out on National TV in 2005 that president “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people“, a sentiment shared by many African Americans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. Or his 2009 Taylor Swift moment at MTV’s Video Music Awards–a moment that should have actually occurred nine years later outside the studio where Swift decided to record her powdered milk version of EWF’s September, which I’m not letting go of any time soon.

But those are just my thoughts on Kanye West–a Black man who, I’m guessing, will soon find out just how much his “free” thinking will cost him.

 

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34 Replies to “Some “Free” Thoughts On Kanye West”

  1. Must remember thst no one speacks for the whole black community just like any other race has single spokesman. The outcry and this article/blog only solidifes his ideal of the “slave mentamentality”. He was not down grading the pastvsuffering of the black race. He was merely pointing out the fact that so many are caught up in the racial ball and chain senario that they haven’t even tried to evaluate their own situation in today’s world. Not many of us have even know someone in our life time that was alive in the times of slavery. I did. Here name was Lila Neal. She live to be over 108 years old. Truth be know there are slave still today in other nations. He is trying to depict the mentality that has a person so trapped by a past that they are not able to see the oppotunities they do have. There is a reason that the windshield is large and clear, while the rearview mirror is small and made of a reflective material. We need to have great, clear vision to see where we are going and small temporary glances at where we have come from. Yes to realize how bad it was and not to repeat it, because that is lunacy when you repeat the same thing o er and over exspecting a different result. I’m no fan of Mr. West and his negative rap music, but I do know that people perish when they do not have a good vision. Just look at just about every liberal inner city in America and see what it has become. The fact that there are liqour store, drugs and guns readily available does not help, but still one is normally not forced to partake in those tethers. I know there are errors in this becaes I’m foing this from a phone and no spell check, but hope it is clear enough to stimulate a broader thought. Keep up the good work. Thanks for the blog. (J)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I do appreciate you taking the time to read and comment but I’m not sure I understand what you’re trying to say. But Kanye’s comment about slavery can be seen as erasing white culpability regarding the centuries-old institution in America. That at some point African slaves should’ve just simply “chosen” not to be in bondage.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. It’s hard for me to understand how anyone cannot see the massive error in Kanye’s comment or how much power it has coming from his mouth. This is a guy whose following is now teenagers and people in their mid 20’s, most who aren’t well versed in the atrocities of slavery and aren’t being taught about the real damage it has done.

    “Free thought” or “Free thinking” doesn’t have to be ignorant, his line of it definitely is.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I really try not to pay attention to anything regarding Yeezy. Like, I just have trouble taking him seriously after he married a Kardashian. (Sorry, but I just don’t get the fascination with the Kardashians/Jenners.)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I tend to completely ignore what Kanye says because it seems like it’s targeted towards causing a media storm. I feel like he’s going through severe mental crisis… Does he realize that people didn’t just shrug and say “Eh, I guess I’ll keep being a slave!”??? There was no internet or platform to voice their problems, no TMZ to record every protest they might have wanted to voice. Even now, even with this amazing variety of technology, our voices are not heard because we’re not famous enough to get it out there so it’s rarely heard by the masses. Kanye has been living a priviliged life in my opinion and every edgelord-ian whim he has is praised as revolutionary and he’s turned into a before-his-time prophet. I don’t know what the future holds for him but it’s troubling to say the least…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. When I heard his comments, I told my dad I bet when his publicists get a wind of it he’s going to come back and say he was high. My dad laughed and pulled up the interview he did with TMZ where he said he met with the president after being high on opiods after liposuction, which he did, out of fear for the media calling him fat. Of course, he then further poisoned himself by calling slavery a choice.

    On one hand, however, while I don’t agree with the statement, I find it provokes some thought. Jamaican slaves fought for centuries tooth and nail to free themselves, and we had our free black maroons from the 1600s who continued to attack the plantations and bring former slaves back to the mountains until slavery ended in 1834. Haiti, even better, drove out the French, British and Spanish who enslaved and then attempted to re-enslave them, by 1804. The rebellion was started by Bookman, who was a Jamaican slave, in 1791, and as you know, was later led by Toussaint. To me that is making a choice NOT to be a slave.

    While I would not say African-Americans chose to be slaves (because who would?? Wait.. never mind) I have always been baffled by (in comparison to my own history, and maybe there are incidents I just didn’t learn of in the US) the seeming lack of fight against it by Black slaves. The real fight seemed to start after slavery, when freedom bred ambition and segregation would not be tolerated.

    As far as I know, America is the only country where planters successfully put guns in the hand of slaves to fight against their freedom. I never understood that, and truly wished we had covered it more when I did history in high school and college. The closest in depth info I got about it was reading the Klansman, which was fiction and written by a racist, so therefore flawed.

    Do you have any sources about that phenomena? I would love to look into it more, as like I said, it’s always baffled me.

    I suppose it is worth mentioning, however, that Jamaica and Haiti got what were described as the worst and most disobedient and rebellious slaves in the West Indies. I’m sure that played a huge role in our refusal to be shackled. I think we also had more fresh-off-the-boat Africans, who remembered what it was to be free, and would not submit.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There were numerous rebellions by African slaves in America but I don’t know why Jamaica and Haiti were so successful. I would guess that there was a severe lack of cooperation among the slaves, not enough of a collective resistance, just pockets of insurgents. I never really thought about it until I read your comment. But I do know that there were rebellions contrary to what Yeezy would have us believe, trying to minimize the white man’s culpability. So, yes Alexis, your country gets extra cool points for ridding themselves of their oppressors. Hahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, don’t give us too much credit. If you ever find the time you should read Capitalism and Slavery by Eric Williams, which explains that slavery was only eventually abolished by the British because of industrialisation and the financial benefits of turning slaves into customers. We fought, and fought long and hard, but in the end freedom was given, not taken.

        Haiti, on the other hand, fought even harder and had a more collective front, and took what was theirs. France has only itself to blame after the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Why should it not, as Toussaint and Oge pointed out, include Black and or Mulatto men?

        Maybe if Boukman had remained in Jamaica things might have been different for us too. Who knows!

        Got any books I could find about those slave rebellions in America?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I’ve read Michelle Alexander’s ‘The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness’ where she talks about the Bacon Rebellion that involved African slaves as well as white indentured servants during colonial times. A rebellion England had to come and squash. But I get a lot of my source material online from websites like history.com that estimates the number of slave rebellions in America at 250, and their website also provides more sources:

        Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion. Junius P. Rodriguez, ed.
        American Negro Slave Revolts. Hebert Aptheker.
        Reader’s Companion to American History. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors.
        American Slave Revolts and Conspiracies. Kerry Walters.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Question? Who voted to free slaves?
    What party was Abraham Lincoln?
    Who voted for Civil Rights?
    Republicans
    Question? Who pushed out Native Americans(Jackson)?
    What party were 100% of slave holders and their state govt?
    Who interned Japanese in WWII?
    Who voted against Civil Rights?
    Which party seated actually KKK members?
    Democrats
    What if Mr West just sees dufferent cuz he learned a different set of facts?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yet, Kanye did not bother to present any “set of facts” to support his absurd statement. The fact that he made a deeply hurtful comment like that only speaks to his severe lack of knowledge concerning the history of slavery in this country. And I don’t know what politics has to do with anything. It doesn’t matter what a political party did or didn’t do, especially since unarmed black people can still be legally murdered anywhere in America.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Because the statement itself resembles racist language that has been used by white supremacist to erase any kind of culpability in the oppression of African Americans since the founding of this country.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Umm…no legal limits? The Black Codes, Jim Crow, rise of the KKK, lynching, etc… Once liberated, former slaves were still mostly uneducated and weren’t allowed to vote until the latter half of the 20th century. And with the election of Donald Trump to the American presidency nothing has changed concerning race relations.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. I see your point. But I thought we were talking slavery. Sadly, most of those other issues were the product of leftist progressivism.
        KKK supported by prez Wilson Democrat and eugenics orgs that brought us: abortion, human ecperimentation, ethnocentrism, holocaust.
        (The Germans were big fans of American progressive thought and American eugenics)
        Voting laws? Again, old south Dems wanting to screw blacks out of a voice because they ovetwhelming voted Republican after being freed by them.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. The party matters to Hollywood and the entertainment business. As a former participant in show biz, I can tell you the amount of pressure to: speak PC, think Leftist, and visibly support progressive causes is very real. You can go angainst the grainBUT at the cost of llosing label, staff, radio, TV, etc. Artists under contract DO submit to mental slavery…and that is what I understood. Maybe KW has ADHD & racing thoughts but the man is no hater and IS an important artist.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Ye doesn’t get a free pass to say despicable things just because he may have a mental illness or disorder or whatever. And his genius does not travel outside of his music and hip-hop can survive without Kanye.

        Liked by 3 people

  7. I’d just like to add an icebreaker and comment on the “Kanye” image on this post. It is quite disturbing…outside of that I did go over to Jean’s blog and I applaud her thoughts on a few of her posts, but when it comes to Kanye’s ill timed and ill thought of words, I just can not agree with her.

    Where is this world coming to when the real history of slavery is being filtered through the perception of comfort and where we are now? If we really think slaves had a choice, we have to put ourselves in their shoes in 1619 not 2018. Sure there are mental bondages we need to unchain today, but it took eons to get this way and will take just as long to be free. Even those who preached, wrote and sang about our freedoms and tried to be free found a small chip of it or none at all.

    What we fail to realize, is that freeing ourselves from physical chains has been done. But the psychological programming is more powerful. Anyone can be physically strong, but to be able to manipulate an entire world and make something as horrid as slavery legal? It takes time to get over and each generation feels it. We still haven’t crawled from under Jim Crow’s fist.

    Great post, by the way.

    Liked by 3 people

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