One of the things I love about my job is that I get to do a lot of research.
And the topic that came up today was Kanye.
I may not follow Kanye West attentively on social media or in the headlines (because I genuinely don’t care about celebrities) but after watching interviews of Kanye and hearing what he has to say, I got intrigued to write an article.
Of course, I have an opinion I want to share on Kanye.
I’m a big believer that everyone has the right to an opinion and has the right to share that opinion unless it incites or is directly hate speech.
Now, Kanye doesn’t get the ‘hate speech’ part.
He posted an anti-Semitic tweet last week:
And of course he got into trouble.
It was racist and anti-Semitic; no one can deny that.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, Morgan tries to make Kanye recognize that the tweet was racist but Kanye doesn’t let it slip. He admits the wording was wrong yet doesn’t say he regrets the tweet.
Piers Morgan says to Kanye:
One form of racism does not justify another.
Instead, Kanye decided to go off on a tangent explaining why “Jewish people wronged him”. His generalizations of Jewish people are obviously wrong.
Some Jewish businesspeople may have wronged him in the past yet he wrongfully says that it is due to them being Jewish that they wronged him (obviously tying into the stereotype that Jewish people are obsessed with making money).
Please watch the Piers Morgan’s full interview with Kanye for a good laugh.
He does criticize the Black community in ways but only because he feels the Black community should improve – it’s the way he says it that comes off as wrong or hate speech.
Regarding George Floyd’s death, Kanye also spoke out saying that it was drugs that killed Floyd rather than police brutality.
Here’s where the line gets blurry. Is that just Kanye’s opinion or is it simply him questioning the George Floyd case? Can he even have an opinion on George Floyd being killed by the police which is considered to be a proven fact?
(My skeptical self would say: ‘Question everything, especially the authorities’ but we’re not here to talk about misinformation and corruption)
Kanye also believes that BLM is a sham.
He wore a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt to the Paris Fashion Week because he thinks white lives do matter since all lives matter. His dad even texted him: “A black man stating the obvious”.
Now, everyone can sense why this comes off wrong. But does Kanye really mean to offend the Black community? Or is he trying to raise a point, but doing it the wrong way?
In an interview on FOX News, he explains his reasoning behind the t-shirt:
Freedom Of Speech
I am a firm believer that no one should be banned from social media because social media is the medium for freedom of speech.
I do feel, however, that media platforms like Meta and Twitter should regulate hate speech better.
Kanye’s tweet was not an ‘opinion’ but direct hate. He should take responsibility for what he writes.
Such statements, written by anyone, should be removed immediately.
Furthermore, some people disregard his statements because of his mental health issues. Kanye was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after being hospitalized for a psychiatric emergency in 2016.
He has also referred to his bipolar disorder as his “superpower”, according to The Cut.
However, just because Kanye has mental health issues does not mean that as consumers on social media, we should disregard his outbursts and not do anything about it.
In 2018, Pete Davidson did a short comedy sketch on SNL about Kanye’s ‘outbursts’ and he famously said:
Being mentally ill does not give you the excuse to be a jack-ass.
Kanye should be held accountable – just like everyone else.
Kanye is influential, and he’s so influential that this happened:
This is what is happening in the United States of America. We should be ashamed that people have become so manipulated by hate speech that they’ve become neo-Nazis. What has America turned into? (Again, another discussion to pick up for another time)
Here’s What I Think
I think that Kanye isn’t as dumb as the media makes him out to be.
I think that some of his points may be valid, however, he clearly doesn’t know how to present an argument. Instead, he decides to talk jumbo and blab his mouth off about unrelated topics.
And this leads to his opinions being worded in a hateful way. He may not mean for such statements to be ‘hate’ but the wording is definitely hate!
I also feel that people on social media are quick to attack him and cancel him without hearing his interviews.
Please please do not read news articles about him – they’re all biased since they’re projecting a particular agenda. Hear his words to see the blurry lines.
Finally, I do also believe that as children, we are innocent of the traumatic experiences we face, yet as grown-ups, it is our responsibility to deal with such problems and heal from them.
Kanye may have had a difficult past, but that ultimately means that he has to work on himself to become a better person and grow.
So, really, no Kanye, you can’t talk shit about whatever you want because clearly, you don’t know the difference between opinion and hate speech.
And someone needs to make him realize that.