Disliking Kanye Doesn't Make Me a Racist

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It's OK to be a white person who is frustrated by Kanye West. That might seem obvious, but the aftermath of West's epic Twitter rant against Jimmy Kimmel necessitates it be reiterated. The feud is nothing more than the clash of two pop personalities, but it became something much bigger than that. On Twitter and elsewhere, Kimmel was labeled as being emblematic of racism in America. Ergo, white America criticizing West correlates to racism. This is not only wrong, it gives defenders of West an easy way out of a complex issue.

See also: The Kanye You Once Loved Is Dead and Gone

The seeds of West's anger were planted during his interview with BBC Radio 1. As with almost anytime West speaks, he gave equal fuel to the fires of both his fans and his detractors. While West's fans appreciated his candor, his critics latched onto the more absurd parts, like when West compared himself to a character in Disney's Wreck-it Ralph or waxed poetic about his many ideas about "color palettes." Kimmel, whose job it is to make fun of things, took the more humorous segments of the interview and had kids reenact the lines, a similar bit to the time he had Josh Groban sing Kanye's tweets dramatically. It was funny. Only West didn't see it that way.

West's tweets are deleted now. But perhaps the most telling was the first, "JIMMY KIMMEL IS OUT OF LINE TO TRY AND SPOOF IN ANY WAY THE FIRST PIECE OF HONEST MEDIA IN YEARS." This captures West perfectly: He's straddling the line between a normal reaction and hyperbole. He's right that during the BBC interview, he spoke candidly about how the ugly cloud of racism still blots out even the brightest of our culture's stars. But West is wrong for saying Kimmel shouldn't have poked holes in the interview, and that it was the first honest media in years.

West is one of the biggest stars in popular culture. When he says odd things or acts immaturely, he will be called out on it. This is true of all celebrities. And West doesn't get a free pass because he's black. This is the problem with the claim that his white critics are racist. Saying that everything West does is genius, and that his grating ego is a necessary weapon against a society that tries to keep him down, only ignores what's really happening: West is his own worst enemy, and that's frustrating.

See also: Sorry, But Kanye Is the GOAT

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23 comments
mrpoizun
mrpoizun

What's wrong with just calling him a no-talent jerk?  It has nothing to do with him being black.

Christian J. Caulfield
Christian J. Caulfield

Also, this is the same paper that fired Michael Musto and axed Savage Love and Free Will Astrology. Just another sub-Murdoch weekly now. oop

Christian J. Caulfield
Christian J. Caulfield

All I'm reading is peons with no aspirations to social capital, cultural capital or actual capital. Keep comment-boxing for cosigns; history doesn't favor the morally-grounded, it favors the ones who made people like you mad.

Sylvia Barreto Monge
Sylvia Barreto Monge

Geez, its a late night talk show, if you can't laugh at yourself you are taking yourself WAY to seriously!!!

younggreencard
younggreencard

@1000TimesYes FACT: nobody that's used the phrase "pulling the race card" has followed that up with insightful racial commentary

Barry Polis
Barry Polis

This article is attempt by his publicist to save his worthless career ... This guy is absolute jerk, a womaniser, a complete selfish talentless, rude, worthless, PUTZ. Game over you showed the public what you are, you are the example of what is wrong in the world, selfish values, zero give back to helping society and phony fake jive !!!

King Marcus Rock
King Marcus Rock

I must say, it doesn't matter which country was conquered by the English, most of their subjects tended to WANT to speak in a different accent, possibly as if they needed a language of their own to speak in protest against their oppressors, but just like being a buyer of music, I can choose what I listen to. Rich and uneducated is not what I want to be.

Charles Bogdan
Charles Bogdan

Its not racist to not like a self centered Asshole with no talent.

El Manana
El Manana

Obviously it does not! In fact, thinking about it and pointing it out is the actual racist fact...

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