I haven’t been a fan of Kanye West. I don’t really care for rap. I didn’t like the Rolling Stone cover which had featured him as some new aberration of Christ Jesus, either. Pretty arrogant stuff. He unfairly criticized President George W. Bush in off-hand, uninformed remarks following Hurricane Katrina’s massive devastation in New Orleans: “President Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Those statements were unfair, to say the least.
A decade later, Kanye West went public wearing a MAGA hat last week, signed by President Trump. On his Twitter feed, he commented: “You don’t have to agree with [T]rump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”
This is huge. A black celebrity, a music legend, a trend-setter in his own right comes out supporting President Trump, aware of the looming backlash, but unafraid. The mainstream media will spend more time questioning Kanye West’s sanity and integrity. They have begun obsessing over all the celebrities who have stopped following him on Twitter. Macy Gray wore a hat which read “Make Kanye Great Again.” Whether she realizes it or not, Kanye is already great. He broke the Internet and fractured the false narrative that black people must stand by their Democratic men and women, who have sold them down the river politically. Of course, since the liberal, sclerotic media remains in the tank for Democrats, they will do whatever they can to spin or suppress Kanye’ West support for Trump and his MAGA agenda.
This break-out from the rapper shouldn’t come as a surprise, however. President Trump’s election not only signaled a populist uproar against the political class, the establishment within both parties. Trump’s victory not only manifested a seething backlash against political correctness. Trump’s election and continued policy victories have given minority (i.e. non-white) voters the freedom to think for themselves. In Michigan, candidate Trump visited with historically black churches and other communities, but not just because they were black. He faced these audiences, addressed their concerns, and voiced their frustrations with the political process, but offered a solution with his campaign: “What do you have to lose by trying something new?” Even in California, historically black communities like Oakland, Compton, and Inglewood took his advice, and voted for Trump by a larger margin in 2016 compared to Romney in 2012. That advice has paid off, as blacks are gaining under this Republican President, and Kanye West was not afraid to show his love and appreciation for President Trump.
Perhaps there was some truth to Kanye’s criticism of George W. Bush, when taking into account what’s happening currently with Trump in office. While Bush and previous Republicans seemed more interested in talking a good conservative walk, they ended up playing the same big government, globalist game. Under Trump, black and Hispanic unemployment are at their lowest numbers in recorded history. Blacks are doing better and making more under this Republican President, and black communities are noticing. President Trump has rocked the political world, and now the MAGA movement has triggered a cultural shift.
Kanye’s selfie with Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge and music industry executive Lyor Cohen was beautiful, refreshing, and encouraging. I almost couldn’t believe this was happening. Finally, more black people are waking up. To witness such a prominent figure in pop culture, and a black guy to boot, standing out for MAGA—that takes real dragon energy, which Kanye West defined on his Twitter feed as “Natural born leaders/ Very instinctive/ Great foresight.” Sounds like Trump, to be sure, but Kanye fits that profile now that he’s leading the discussion in another sphere.
And Kanye didn’t stop with his MAGA photos. He violated another taboo, criticizing the First Black President: “Obama was in office for eight years and nothing in Chicago changed.” In fact, things got worse. That’s has been happening for decades in areas run by Democrats. Trump boldly told black voters as it is, like in Detroit. Now he is governing to end this rotten political exploitation. Kanye has picked up and run with the news.
Following after Kanye West’s MAGA momentum, Chance the Rapper chimed in on Twitter: “Black people don’t have to be [D]emocrats.” This weekend, Kanye dropped a new song, “Ye vs the People”, featuring rapper TI as “the people”. This track is a raw debate, a raw discussion of two different minds. It’s not hokey, but heated; it’s not preachy, but powerful and to the point, a much-needed dialogue among blacks, both celebrities and citizens.
I had hoped for this day. After Obama’s re-election, I wrote a letter to a local progressive rag that Democrats had been putting blacks in the back of the bus since the very beginning of the party’s inception in the late 1820’s. I also paraphrased Kanye West: “President Obama doesn’t care about black people.” Five years later, Kanye West raps freely what so many black Americans have learned the hard way but have found even harder to say: “The Democrats don’t care about black people”. From the run-down urban ghettoes to forced unionism, the failing government schools which trap blacks in a cycle of ignorance and poverty, to the welfarism that targeted black communities during President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society programs, and now rampant illegal immigration—these policies define the Democratic Party, and all of them hurt blacks.
Now it’s time for more black Americans to rise up and shout: “Stop putting us in the back of the bus!” Kanye rapped it this way: See that’s the problem with this damn nation/ All Blacks gotta be Democrats, man, we ain’t made it off the plantation.” But now blacks are breaking free. This line in “Ye vs. the People” says it all: “I know Obama was heaven-sent/ but ever since Trump won/ it proved I could be President.”
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.