Kanye West is wrong, so are his detractors

The rap star Kanye West is being hauled by the entire liberal establishment.

Kanye West is wrong
Kanye West is wrong

What West said was wrong; what his detractors are saying is also wrong; it certainly doesn’t make the Right look wrong.

The rap star Kanye West is being hauled over the coals by the entire liberal establishment. His comment—which implied that the blacks in America choose to become and remain slaves for centuries—was factually incorrect and morally untenable, as it tended to justify racism in the pre-abolition era. But this is not the reason that he is being castigated. The real reason is his recently exhibited admiration for US President Donald Trump. The deluge of condemnation that his remarks have triggered has a lot to do with his pro-Trump stance. And it exposes liberals’ duplicity.

West was a good man when he slammed the Right, Jews, the Republicans, and big business—that is when he parroted the Leftwing lies. On September 2, 2005, he slammed the then-president George W. Bush during a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina victims, saying did not care “about black people.”

“Man, let me tell you something about George Bush and oil money and Obama and no money,” West said on November 26, 2013, during an interview. “People want to say Obama can’t make these moves or he’s not executing. That’s because he ain’t got those connections… Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people. Black people don’t have the same connections as oil people.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, a black author, wrote a long-winded fulmination, ‘I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye,’ in The Atlantic

It was kosher to make racist, anti-Semitic remarks; it was okay to hurl all manner allegations at the conservatives, but breaking ranks with the liberal establishment is the unpardonable sin no celebrity is allowed without the pain of perdition. Yes, West made a stupid, indeed obnoxious, remark when he hinted that slavery in America was a choice exercised by blacks, but it was no worse than his earlier anti-Semitic remarks.

In the conversation in which West made his unmannerly remarks on slavery, he also reaffirmed his support for Trump. Earlier, the rapper had earlier tweeted a picture wearing a cap saying Make America Great Again, Trump’s motto. “I felt a freedom in doing something that everybody tells you not to do,” he said.

Before that too, West had said, “See that’s the problem with this damn nation/All blacks gotta be Democrats, man, we ain’t made it off the plantation.” He also rapped: “Make America Great Again had a negative perception/I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction/Added empathy, care and love and affection.”

That, you see, is West’s offence: he has supported Trump, the man liberals couldn’t hate more. So, they don’t ignore or forgive the rapper, a college dropout, for his ignorance and disgraceful comment—the way they did when he ranted against the Jews (perhaps liberals didn’t even regard his nasty remarks against Jews as nasty or incorrect in the first place, thus precluding the need for forgiveness).

The anger against West is immense. Ta-Nehisi Coates, a black author, wrote a long-winded fulmination, ‘I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye,’ in The Atlantic; liberals are gushy about it. Coates writes: “There is no separating the laughter from the groans, the drum from the slave ships, the tearing away of clothes, the being borne away, from the cunning need to hide all that made you human. And this is why the gift of black music, of a black art, is unlike any other in America, because it is not simply a matter of singular talent, or even of tradition, or lineage, but of something more grand and monstrous. When Jackson sang and danced, when West samples or rhymes, they are tapping into a power formed under all the killing, all the beatings, all the rape and plunder that made America. The gift can never wholly belong to a singular artist, free of expectation and scrutiny, because the gift is no more solely theirs than the suffering that produced it. Michael Jackson did not invent the moonwalk. When West raps, ‘And I basically know now, we get racially profiled / Cuffed up and hosed down, pimped up and ho’d down,’ we are instructive.

“What Kanye West seeks is what Michael Jackson sought—liberation from the dictates of that we.”

So, Michael Jackson did not invent the moonwalk, Newton didn’t discover the law of gravitation, Edison didn’t invent the bulb, Tagore didn’t write Geetanjali—and perhaps Coates didn’t author the 4,900-word rant! This is the apogee of collectivist mindset, the mindset that fashioned such ideologies as socialism, communism, and Nazism. The essence of collectivism is: the collectivity—state, society, folk—is supreme and the individual is an insignificant, and therefore dispensable, part of it. The most important corollary is: the individual is expendable for the New World, Master Race, or any other fantasy that the particular collectivism conjures up.

Another corollary is: whatever an individual achieves, it is not as an individual but as a member of the collectivity; and most, if not all, of his achievement, is due to his being a member of that collectivity. For in his being and becoming, it is actually the collective consciousness that is expressing itself; his feat is through him but not by him. To use Christian terminology, the individual is the vessel of collectivity.

This is the real import of Coates’ rant, which gets the approval of intellectuals. Unsurprisingly, Coates is a Left icon.

What West said was wrong; what his detractors are saying is also wrong; it certainly doesn’t make the Right look wrong.

1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Ravi Shanker Kapoor
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