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Very cool, Kanye

May 3, 2018

 

DESTIN SHIMER

Staff Reporter | dcs033@latech.edu

 

SHIMER

 

Where were you when Yeezy declared his Trumpism?

 

Perhaps you were walking through the Quad, “The Life of Pablo” surging through your earphones. You nodded along to the beat, the lyrics really resonating with you although you have not a single broad in Atlanta. Upon opening the Twitter app, you see it.

 

“My MAGA hat is signed,” Kanye has tweeted, attaching a photo of the crimson red cap with that infamous phrase emblazoned upon the panel in Vinegar font.There, on the brim in black permanent marker, it lay: our Commander in Chief’s entirely illegible, angular signature, its width spanning almost all eight inches of the bill. Following the phrase were exactly 30 flame emojis.

 

Is this Yeezy? Yeezus from Chicago? Kanye’s beloved Chicago Donald Trump claimed was “a disaster, a total disaster?” The Donald Trump who insinuated most Mexican immigrants, legal and not, are rapists and drug runners? The Donald who referred to men who organized a nazi-tinged white supremacist rally as “good people?” The Trump who spent $85,000 in advertising fees rallying for the death of the innocent Central Park Five black teens?

 

The answer to all is yes.

 

There are many layers to Kanye’s perspective, and it is completely impossible to discuss them without mentioning the reason his support for Trump is so jarring. Kanye is a black American.

 

Eighty-seven percent of black voters are Democrats, so his support for a Republican politician is statistically uncommon. He is also what the GOP considers a “Hollywood Elite,” a label created to dehumanize successful left-wing artists and other liberal millionaires by declaring them “too rich to get it,” so his wealth, pedestal and influence are somewhat unusual traits of a typical Trump supporter.

 

But that is oversimplifying this. The reason we are all kind of freaking out about this situation is not because Kanye came out of the Republican, red tie-filled closet. It is because his support for Trump also means his approval of the national neglect of marginalized groups.

 

Hip-hop and rap music are deeply rooted in the expression of people of color’s struggles and journeys through a society that does not value their existences in the way it does Caucasian people. Kanye’s political views are seen as contradictory to his art, which acknowledges the stifling of people of color’s freedom by a racist, Caucasian patriarchy.

 

But, you do you, Yeezy.

 

Destin Shimer is a sophomore theater and political science major from Shreveport who serves as a staff reporter for The Tech Talk. 

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