I want to say from the outset that this is not a post meant to excuse anything Kanye West is saying or doing—because a lot of what he is saying and doing is very damaging for black folks, and I cannot get behind that no matter the cause.
Yesterday, I wrote about Kanye’s visit to The Fader and how he spouted off some crazy rhetoric. I quipped that he is obviously still stuck deep down in the sunken place and said his antics during that visit proved “our nigga gone” for real now.
I take it all back.
It’s easy to make jokes and fake diagnoses when the subject is someone who is not close to us. Kanye’s star status and his constant need for attention put all his bad behavior on display. As the audience, we form our opinions and dissect his behavior and blame it on his wife’s vagina, the Kardashian curse, his mama’s death and any other number of things we think might explain what we are witnessing.
Because what we are witnessing is painful to watch, distressing and disturbing.
But what we are also watching is Kanye just being Kanye.
We can make all the excuses in the world for him, but if you really think about it, Kanye has always been a low information person who doesn’t read.
Like, when has Kanye ever been deep?
We love his music and his production for other people, but when have we ever looked to him as a bastion of reasonable information?
As someone said to me earlier today, “I wouldn’t trust Kanye’s opinion on anything but beat selections and mixing. Beyond that? No.”
So when he gets on Saturday Night Live and delivers a speech advocating for Donald Trump that leaves Chris Rock saying, “My God,” we should no longer be surprised. This is who Kanye West is.
People reports that in an unaired third performance at the end of the show, Ye delivered a Trump championing speech. Even as some audience members booed him, he pushed forward with pro-Trump rhetoric.
“It’s so many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, ‘How could you support Trump? He’s racist.’ Well if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago. We don’t just make our decisions off of racism. I’ma break it down to you right now: If someone inspires me and I connect with them, I don’t have to believe in all they policies,” he said.
Oh, and did I mention that prior to his appearance on SNL Saturday, he announced that he was changing his name to Ye?
We can try to blame the people around him, but no one is responsible for his behavior but him. Even when he has been called out privately by friends, he ignores their advice and posts screenshots of their texts on Twitter. This is who Kanye is. This is what Kanye wants to do.
Don’t cry for him, Argentina. He wasn’t supposed to be immortal or immoral; he was just supposed to pick beats and make bomb mixes.
Everything else is just extra.
But again, this is not an excuse for Kanye’s behavior. This is an acceptance that this is who Kanye chooses to be. No matter what anyone says about him—and you know he hears, sees and reads it all the time—he still pushes forward with his “free thought” lifestyle.
It would appear that the biggest part of that lifestyle is being the biggest, blackest cheerleader for a racist, xenophobic accused sexual offender that advocates for, promotes and caters to other accused sexual offenders, racists and xenophobes.
That is what Kanye is choosing to be. Repeatedly. No matter the blowback.
It’s what he wants.
That’s it, and that’s all.
And if that’s who he wants to be, let him.