The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Kanye West Should Button It Up (And The MAGA Cap Is Revealing)

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HIP HOP performer, producer, and clothing line mogul, Kanye West has stepped up the potential for sales of his soon to be released album via publicity only a charlatan would seek. As I mention the word charlatan, I remind that West has been over-the-top visibly appearing alongside Donald Trump and as shown above adorning a MAGA cap.

West took his publicity quest to responding to social issues which span the breadth of this nation. He is ill-equipped for such comments.

Let's explore.

Van Lathan, TMZ producer, vehemently differed with West's follow-up statements about "being free."

Personal perspective?

Before we join in following another wealthy (I got mine) celebrity down a primrose path, we should re-run the segment Don Lemon just sat through on CNN. 

CNN's Brooke Baldwin hosted a couple of afternoon segments regarding West's comments. Of particular note the 2-minute segment with fellow show host Don Lemon.
I have issues with Lemon and his past suckling with Trump, but yesterday's guest segment with Baldwin was point-on. The CNN host most assuredly irritated me to the point of personal temporary contempt via his use of the N-word on his show, but he literally nailed the fallacy of West's remarks. West implied an absence slave revolt.

After reading a comment today about US slaves, not taking a stand as did the slaves of Haiti, I gave the comment a moment of thought. My conclusion? A very flawed analogy at best and the comment was ridiculous at worst. Yes, a flawed comparison to the maximum. Slave revolts were few and revolts which took place failed; obviously. Black people (slaves) in Jamaica revolted but didn't wrestle their freedom away from Britain. It also seems the majority of slave supported islands in the Caribbean didn't revolt like Haiti. I posit Haiti was a vastly different reality. Wasn't the United States was instrumental assisting in slave uprisings in Haiti? For that matter, 12 million Africans were forced into slavery in South America, was Haiti the only land of revolt? If so, why? Another story and far too involved and too deep for this web page. Nat Turner and his band of slaves revolted; how did that turn out? Not as easy as one would think, I suspect.
No, Kanye West gets no quarter from me.

It should be noted. West also took exception to the thought of Harriet Tubman's image on the $20 bill. He posited for Michael Jordan instead. MICHAEL EFFIN JORDAN! Michael "....conservatives buy tennis shoes also" Jordan? While West and Jordan have at least one thing in common, but West should not busy himself with inane arguments which could easily be kept to himself. 

West also spoke recently about Malcolm X, Martin Luther King along with the Harrier Tubman remark. The linked video is very long. The point of interest starts around the 38-minute mark and ends when you decide you have heard enough. My interest in the interview ceased immediately after I heard West's utter ridiculous comments about the 1960s Civil and Human Rights leaders. People who literally devoted their lives so that people like West could hope for some semblance of equality in America. 

Why so much willingness to wipe away critical African-American and US History simply because he doesn't want to hear nor read about it? A human foible he doesn't suffer alone. Why have other HIP HOP performers so willingly offered words of conciliation to those in the nation who as in the majority with potential for discrimination or the oppression of others? Not all HIP HOP by any means, but we do not hear similar talk from performers of other genres. Didn't Common (rapper/actor) get into a bit of a fix about his comments that we should reach out an offer love for white people? I believe I recall Pharrell (spelling incorrect ) dabbling in a similar mess?

Is it possible once these performers realize they have a revenue base which reaches into the white community, they experience an "I got mine" mental state? Kanye West self-imposed kerfuffle reaches far beyond simply assuaging his fan base. 

North Carolina State associate professor and historian Blair LM Kelley offers West a few basic perspectives on US slavery and the futility of simply working to weave it into a form of let's not go there oblivion. The following link provides a path to the embedded tweets (below).

The News Observer

Blair LM Kelley, an associate professor at North Carolina State University, also found West’s comments offensive and challenged West’s claims on Twitter Tuesday, in a tweet that has been shared and liked by thousands. Kelley has taught courses on African-American history, African-American women's history and civil rights, according to her university biography.

Haven’t watched the whole Kanye event today, working my way up to it. I will say, that a milder version of the “slavery is a choice” argument is made by uninformed people all the time. I’ve had young men in my courses say “they never would have enslaved me.”

People aren’t aware of the alienation of people ripped from their homes, abused, walked hundreds of miles across Africa, sometimes so far they ceased understanding the language spoken around them...

People don’t know the brutality of the slave castles were people were held on the coasts, branded still holding out hope for escape, or reconnection with loved one....

Could they have survived the devastation of the middle passage, packed less humanely than animals below the deck of the ship, chained to people who were sick and dying?

Could they have survived being sold like a good at market by people in a foreign land speaking a foreign tongue? Could they have survived torturous work, in scraps of clothing eating the food that was unwanted?

Not only did my ancestors and Kanye’s ancestors survive, they managed to make a way to make a new culture, remake family and faith. And in the process, make a culture so formidable that it continues to change the world.

Slavery wasn’t their choice at any step. We know that freedom was always their choice, resistance was their choice when they couldn’t escape.

Denigrating their lives at this point for attention and spare change is such an embarrassment.

While making millions feel good to simply ignore the insane utterances of a person they worship as a celebrity, it serves up a dangerous end. It would be simple to write him off as undereducated, or uneducated, in US History and the global institution of human bondage but there is an inherent danger in allowing West an uncontested platform to reach the minds of those who find all things Kanye West acceptable.

Van Lathan has a far more important perspective on West's remarks.

Hollywood Life
Five Things To Know About Van Lathan (Video)

If we don't stand against remarks uttered by West, we literally enabled his narcissistic insanity.  It should be noted that West is a Trump supporter. While we won't go there with Trump as a racist, we will not hesitate to remind of "....fine people on both sides."

UPDATE: Another piece for the seemingly prodigal entertainer.  Linked here.

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