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Kanye Is Just As Much Our Fault As Anyone Else’s.

I do think many people, including myself, had hope for Kanye. We wanted ‘College Dropout,’ ‘George Bush doesn’t care about Black people, ‘ Kanye. We wanted, ‘My mama was raised in the era when
Clean water was only served to the fairer skin
Doin’ clothes, you woulda thought I had help
But they wasn’t satisfied unless I picked the cotton myself’ Kanye.

We were always hoping that Kanye would get some help because we understood how close he was to his mom, Donda West, and how tragically losing his mom affected him. We saw a Black man in crisis and longed for him to get help. We wanted our Kanye back. The Kanye that made walking with Jesus cool and mainstream. The Kanye that rapped through the wire. We knew when he said, “And when he gets on, he’ll leave your ass for a White girl,” that Kanye would never leave us. At least, we thought. We were family. Kanye was ours. We had seen the industry chew Black men up and spit them out. So many of us overlooked Kanye’s antics. We labeled him as eccentric. Many swore he was playing chess in a world where everyone else was playing checkers. And because of that, many Black people overlooked his MAGA hat-wearing antics. Many dismissed his meetings with Trump. Many shrugged it off when he said slavery was a choice. When Black women spoke about Kanye, we were haters, betraying our own.

Because he was family, and as Black people, we don’t ever throw a family member away.

Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, the documentary about Kanye came out on Netflix. We tried to make sense of Kanye then and Kanye now. We saw the special bond with his mom. We tried to play doctor and diagnosis him, “Well, maybe if he just gets some therapy and medication, he will be fine.” Because we wanted our Kanye back before Victor formed this hideous monster we do not recognize.

What Kanye has become is just as much our fault as anyone else’s. While many Black people, particularly Black women, spoke up, collectively, we didn’t take a stand and say enough is enough. We didn’t want to see the truth because it wasn’t a truth we wanted to believe.

Perhaps it’s because we wanted to believe he would be better. Maybe it’s because we don’t get to see many Black men rise in an industry that reproduces them and discards them with no regard. Perhaps because we understood that Black men are often silently in a mental health crisis. Maybe because he was ours, and we still wanted to believe the fairy tale as we kept watching the throne, praying that one day Kanye would get into his zone and come back to us.

But you can never cross the same spot on a river. It ebbs and flows. Always changing. Some things will never return. The old folks used to say you can’t unscramble an egg.

The Kanye we once knew is gone. Even though I am sure it pained her, Harriet had to leave some people behind.

Still, don’t be surprised, that many will leave the light on for Kanye should he ever decide to find his way home.

2 replies »

  1. I have honestly never liked Kanye West as an artist nor did I ever like his personality. I always viewed him as a diva type, as such I never thought he was a good representative of Chicagoans, albeit a wonderful ambassador for the city. Kanye has shown flashes of this “new Ye” from the beginning in that he has always wanted to impress the company he kept. The difference, he kept Black people as company before, now he wants to be among the fashion elite. A group of people notorious for having fringe views.

    I never had a light on for him to begin with so I can’t keep it on for him. Especially now. If anything I’ll put up a No Trespassing sign for him. You can’t sell out home and return once the people you sold out for toss you to the side.

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