Late Cancellation: Yessertation

You all know I had to talk about the Kanye west drama. I can’t believe Watch The Throne was almost a decade ago.

We’ve seen celebrity meltdowns before. We’ve seen powerful people in the entertainment industry spectacularly fall from grace. Still, I don’t know if we’ve seen someone as culture-defining as Ye getting ostracized so quickly. Ever since sports company, Adidas announced they had cut all ties with him, one would think the episode was at its end. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. Ye has sought multiple other platforms to try and say a lot of unclear nothings while his fans and the black community continue to have conversations about what they feel about the man who gave a lot of people soul-stirring music and polarizing fashion.

It’s the position the black community finds itself in that I have taken a keen interest in because it feels as if certain things are obstructing the objectivity of Ye supporters. When I reference Ye supporters I do not merely address the ones who go to concerts, buy his shoes and follow his every tweet. I’m also talking about celebrities who have leveraged their proximity to Ye to elevate themselves. Back in 2018 when those infamous words were said- “..slavery was a choice.”, that should have been a point of no return for the multihyphenated artist.

I mean, how did it become so permissible to belittle something so traumatic to a whole group of people? Addressing the victims and telling them they had a choice to take off their chains and move on to better things. Telling people who have endured massacres, lynchings, stereotyping, segregation, red-lining, and many more that they had a choice to rise above their physical or mental slavery. And to come from a fellow black person. Seeing other black people join Kanye for his next album launch and subsequent concerts and other public engagements made me sick to my stomach.

I was well aware of Ye’s admittance that he was mentally ill and as someone who has battled with mental illness and has seen how my illness has affected those around me I was conscious of the possibility that Ye wasn’t managing his condition properly and didn’t have the right people around him to help, and it is clear those around the man who has allowed him to get to this point are probably never going to be held accountable.

Ye fans have taken multiple paths to arrive at why they feel Ye is somehow right and needs continued support, with suggestions ranging from his moves being a business move to the idea that this is all a lot to take down one black billionaire. There’s also the group of people who believe the conspiracy jargon Ye has been spitting. All things considered, I believe all groups are genuinely lazy and refuse to do the work of educating themselves on the key issues involved in this matter.

Ye’s words have been hurtful and can lead to significant harm, because as history has shown he was spewing well-documented conspiratorial rhetoric used by fearmongers to turn opinions against an ethnic group. These conspiracy theories ignore clear facts; Jewish people are not a globalist cabal hellbent on controlling media, finance and industry. They never have been. An overwhelming majority of the biggest companies and industry leaders in the world are controlled by investment companies, shareholders, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Hedge Funds and Venture capitalists made up of different people from large countries that are overwhelmingly white, so ignoring that and spewing this idea that Jewish people control everything just points to the fact that you are gullible and willfully ignorant.

I understand Ye fans don’t necessarily care for Ye because if they did it wouldn’t be his wealth that the concern would be about, it’s more like they see his well-being as paramount to their continued enjoyment of him and there is nothing unusual about this. This has always been the way fans and celebrity relationships have been transacted by and large. What becomes disturbing is the continued support of said celebrity when their utterances become hurtful and dangerous. So the concern right now is how these fans choose to ignore what harm Ye is potentially causing and the continued refusal of Ye’s community to hold him accountable. The celebrities and influential people who had the opportunity to shine a light on Ye’s wrong-doings shied away from that in 2018 (at least long enough) and let Ye continue to flourish.

Which is why I am baffled by the current situation. It almost feels as if we have normalized Ye’s misbehaviour and any action taken to hold Ye accountable is viewed as an attack. The problem with this approach is we’ve seen it work with people like Donald Trump as well and we see how it has turned the GOP into a haven for hate groups and QAnon acolytes. We do not need this kind of splintering in the black community. We have to recognize that permitting this sort of behaviour speaks against the effort to eradicate racism, stereotyping and hate that the black community has endured for centuries.

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Teniola

Entrepreneur, Humanist, dreamer & thought provocateur INDIE GRIFFIN