As a man who is fully comfortable roiling in controversy, there is little surprise that we are once again reporting on the activity of Kanye West.
West, a hip hop superstar whose eccentricity it outmatched only by his popularity, has been an outspoken supporter of President Trump over the course of the last few years – breaking with the counter culture traditions of the rap world. His outbursts on the subjects of Trump and America have drawn highly divisive reactions on social media, and caused more than a few celebrities to weigh in with their own amateur opinions as well.
The latest criticism of “Yeezy”, as West is often referred to, comes from a political speech he made during a visit to Saturday Night Live this weekend, in which the artist complained of being bullied backstage for his choice to wear a “Make America Great Again” hat when addressing the audience.
“So many times I talk to a white person about this and they say ‘how can you like Trump? He’s racist,” said West, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. “If I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago.”
“You see they laughing at me. You heard ’em, they scream at me, they bully me. They bullied me backstage,” said West, who has said he’s considering a presidential run in 2020. “They said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on.’ They bullied me backstage. They bullied me.” …
“And the liberals bully you and tell you what you can and cannot wear. And they look at me and say, ‘It’s not fair. How the hell did you get here?’ ”
In an apparent reference to Trump, Yeezy said: “If someone inspires me and I connect with them, I don’t have to believe in all their policies … We need to have a dialogue not a diatribe, because if you want something to change, it’s not going to change by saying, ‘F**k that person.’ Try love. Try love.”
I don’t believe that any of us would have believed that Kanye West would be the most prescient and sensible figure in American politics this week, but here we are.
And this fact just proves Kanye’s point: Without the hate and “resistance”, we could be looking for solutions instead of stoppages. We could be exploring all that America has to offer, and not just one side’s ideology versus the other side’s.
America is all of us. Bipartisan politics isn’t. We must remember that, always.