Once again, Kanye West’s bromance with President Trump has triggered knee-jerk reactions on both sides of the political spectrum. The response from many on the left was nothing short of racist while Republicans once again showed their willingness to overlook a host of bizarre behavior in order to embrace a celebrity who says nice things about Donald Trump.
On one hand, Don Lemon and his guests on CNN treated West shamefully. The rapper was bombarded with racial slurs by several CNN commentators after his Oval Office meeting with the president.
“Kanye West is what happens when negroes don’t read,” said Bakari Sellers, a former state legislator from South Carolina who was a guest on the show.
The worst comments came from CNN correspondent Tara Setmayer, however. Setmayer called West an “attention whore” and the “the token Negro of the Trump administration.” She also said that “black folks are about to trade Kanye in the racial draft.”
The comments about West are racist on their face. It is racist and stereotypical by definition to assume that someone must hold particular political beliefs because of the color of their skin. As of this writing, however, CNN has neither disciplined Lemon or Setmayer nor condemned the comments made on the show.
There is substance to the claims that Kanye has mental problems. West revealed last June that he has been diagnosed with a “mental condition” and has made references to being bipolar. It is, however, reprehensible to equate mental illness with wearing a MAGA hat.
On the other hand, just because West wears a MAGA hat does not make him someone that conservatives should put on a pedestal. Kanye may be a Trump supporter, but that does not make him a conservative. West’s Oval Office monologue may have contained some good points, but it also contained some bizarre ones.
Put simply, Kanye West is a nut. Self-proclaimed to be the “voice of this generation,” West has also claimed that he is “a close high” to the Most High, Jesus Christ. If that lyric left any doubt, the song, from the album “Yeezus,” is called “I Am A God” and also contains the lyric “I am a god” repeated no less than 12 times. The song closes with the line, “Ain't no way I'm giving up on my god.” I would argue that anyone who claims to be a god is incompatible with a party that claims to Christian.
Beyond his love for Donald Trump, West is not even politically reliable. Although his love for Trump and his “male energy” appears genuine, West still says, as recently as his meeting with Trump yesterday, “I love Hillary” and there seems to be little evidence that West holds or even understands conservative political positions.
As if to underscore his instability, after leaving the White House West apparently went to an Apple store in the District of Columbia and climbed up on a table to deliver a “keynote” address. Amazingly, no one seems to have videoed the speech although a reporter for Religion News Service tweeted pictures and a running commentary of the event. Kanye reportedly said that he made a hat for Trump that said “Made America Great,” notably omitting the word “again” from the slogan, and then announced that he was leaving for Africa.
The great Kanye-troversy of 2018 is another case in which both sides make themselves look bad. The liberal attacks on West are a clear attempt to demonize any dissent from ethnic groups that the Democrats claim as their own. The Democratic Party knows that if the bloc of black voters is broken, it will be practically impossible to elect anyone from their increasingly radical and, dare I say it, crazy party.
For Republicans, Kanye is another example of how low the party has set the bar for its idols. The only conservative credential that West has is the fact that he wears a MAGA hat and likes President Trump. When Republicans applaud Kanye West for praising President Trump only a few days after they condemn Taylor Swift for using her celebrity status to stump for Democrats, it makes them look like hypocrites.
The bottom line here is that celebrities have the right to speak about politics, the same as anyone else. The best solution for both sides is let them have their say and then ignore them.