Much Ado About Kanye

September 15, 2009 at 11:01 am | Posted in Celebrities, Children, Hollywood, Kanye West, Racism, Regginocracy, Social Media, Twitter | 7 Comments
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Kanye West at the VMA's

Kanye West at the VMA's

There’s a lot being said recently on Twitter about Kanye West and his shenanigans on the Video Music Awards on Sunday Night.   Personally, I didn’t hear about it until Monday, because I opted instead to watch something else on TV that evening.  Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of Hollywood type award shows – they often come off to me as a huge circle jerk where all the Hollywood/Entertainment types just sit around and suck each other off.  Not my cup of tea.

I’m glad I had it recorded, because I would’ve never, EVER believed that a music awards show would be so STUPID as to allow this jackass (Obama’s words, not mine) to do this AGAIN.  Back in 2006, Kanye jumped the stage at another awards show to cry about things not going his way.

Apparently West took the mic from 17-year-old Swift, shouting, “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyonce has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!”.

Seriously?  He’s calling THAT one of the best videos of all time on the same show featuring a tribute to Thriller?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I haven’t seen Swift’s video.  I don’t even have any idea what song she sang.  I have, however, seen Beyonce’s video, and I liked the song.  The video, not so much.  It looked like it had a $10,000,050.00 budget, with $50 going to costumes, extras and such (since the Flip Video Camera that recorded it was probably already paid for), and $10M to Beyonce.  Not her best effort at all.  The song?  Very catchy.  Nice work.  That’s all you get from me on that, sorry.

What Kanye did, however, was inexcusable.  It was almost as inexcusable as MTV allowing it to happen.  Folks, had it been you or me who jumped up on stage that night, we both know where we’d be right now: in jail.  Frankly, that’s where Mr. West belongs as well, if for no other reason than trespassing, public intoxication and criminal rudeness.

Sadly, it sounds as if the VMA’s are going to ‘solve’ this problem by forbidding alcohol at future events.  That’s the same idiotic, problem-avoiding mindset that makes kids wear uniforms to school instead of punishing the kids who steal Air Jordans from other kids.

The real solution would be to simply ban Kanye from these events, although with the fashion of wearing sunglasses from the ‘Tame Elton John’ collection being what it is, he might be hard to pick out in a crowd.

9-15-2009 9-54-26 AM

Would Kanye have tried that move with, say, Eminem or T.I. on stage?  Likely not – he’d have gotten his clock cleaned for him.  Swift, I’m sure, seemed like an easy target for him.  Had he tried that on a grown man of ANY race, we’d likely be sending flowers to his hospital room.

At the end of the day, the message here is simple:  What Kanye did is…well…what Kanye DOES.  It showed a distinct lack of class, dignity and respect for his fellow artists. I’m pretty sure you’re not going to argue your way out of that one, but if you choose to try, feel free to comment below…well, very far below, because we’re not quite done yet.

See, we tell THAT story to get to the meat of the issue: racism.

Hey, dude! You saying that because Kanye is black and Taylor is white, it was a racist move?  Of course not.  That’s no more racist than Joe Wilson calling Obama a liar.  The two moves were the same: poor social conduct.

What baffles me is the outcry this has received in the social media setting, specifically on Twitter.

Hank [Editor’s Note: proofread more carefully next time.  My apologies to Mr HARRY Allen] Harry Allen, a self-described “expert covering hip-hop culture” who blogs and fancies himself the “Media Assassin”, recently posted a piece entitled, “Is Kanye the New O.J. ?”: The Real Haters Appear, In Order To Protect Taylor Swift’s White Womanhood From the Rape…Uh, the Rapper.“.

Hey, us bloggers all fancy ourselves somebody – like we fancy ourselves the Domestic Terrorists.  No harm, no foul.

It’s a good article, and he makes many valid points, a few of which I’ll list here in case you don’t feel like clicking the  link above:

That someone apparently so doe-like would engage in speech so rancid, though, should hardly be shocking to Black people, based on experience. As well, I suspect that those white people who say they are surprised by this level of cancer in their holds are, mostly, acting. Race is not a subject people tend to discuss truthfully in mixed company.

Please note that the selective capitalization above is Mr. Allen’s, and not mine. We’ll be gracious and consider it a typo.

He later goes on to post various examples, most of which appear to be white people using Kanye’s name and the “N” word.

(I won’t write that word here, but will instead substitute the word ‘nut’.  Deal with it – the word is offensive, it’s intended to be offensive, and I don’t want it on MY blog.  Will I use it?  Every time I want, thank you very much.  For some reason it’s just more offensive to me in writing, and for that reason if no other, I’m leaving it out.  Unfortunately, many people on Twitter are saying ‘nut’ left and right…and this didn’t just start with the Kanye debacle.)

Where Mr. Allen lost me (well, he never really had me but I was going in with an open mind since I highly respect the person who referred me to his article), was when he spewed forth this nonsense:

My ongoing call, however, is for non-white people to develop an understanding of race that is meticulous, logical, and systematic. Racism has a sole, functional expression: White supremacy. Racism is not historical. It’s futuristic. It is not going away. It is being refined. It is weaponized through deceit, secrecy, and violence, in that order. It’s chief tools are not clubs, bullets, or nooses, but words.

Now here I almost agreed with him, save for this line: Racism has a sole, functional expression: White supremacy.

Seriously?  You’re kidding, right, Hank?  Well, this next little bit may label me a ‘hater’.

As an aside, I absolutely LOVE how folks equate ‘those who disagree with me’ = ‘hater’. Whatever floats your boat, people.

I had to read it two or three times to really understand what this man was trying to say, and folks, he almost fooled me.

At the end of the day, Mr. Allen throws us a whole boatload of $50 words, but his insinuation that only white people are racist is, in fact, highly suspect at best, and racist at worst.

It’s so outrageous to claim that racism is a white-only problem that I’m not even going to comment on it.

Instead, I’ll simply offer a sampling, with commentary, of OTHER tweets I discovered in a very brief, unscientific, cursory 30 minute search.

Had Mr. Allen wanted to present an honest, fair, and balanced assessment of what’s happening on Twitter with regard to Kanye and racism, he’d have done well to include these:

9-15-2009 9-12-52 AM9-15-2009 9-08-39 AM

There are TONS of these tweets, claiming 1-2 million search hits on Twitter for the highlighted terms.  Here’s a clue for you clueless folks:  retweeting the 50 or so genuinely racist comments (yeah in 30 minutes I saw less than 20 actual racist comments, but I’ll give you 50 for arguments’ sake) is where the millions of hits are coming from.  Seriously.

9-15-2009 8-58-45 AM

Retweeting this nonsense is a large part of the actual problem here. JiggyJeff really tries to get the mob rolling here, and in the process the counts showing up in a search continue to climb.  If only Jiggy had some original thought to contribute, we might be able to better understand what he means.

9-15-2009 9-00-56 AMHere’s a nifty take on this.  Kyle seems to think that this is somehow linked to The President.  Sorry, Kyle, but every little bit of ignorance in the world cannot be linked to the fact that so many folks dislike Obama and his performance.  Obama was nowhere to be seen when Kanye pulled his last two stunts, but I’ll bet he got called a lot of the same names then , too.  Nice try though.  He, of course, wasn’t the only one crying foul on behalf of Obama (who was reportedly not pleased with Kanye’s performance, calling him a ‘jackass’).

9-15-2009 9-15-11 AM

9-15-2009 9-03-53 AM9-15-2009 8-41-38 AMThese above are a selective example of the ones I’ll call The Word Keepers.  These poor misinformed souls think they own the rights to the word ‘nut’.  Sorry, people.  That word belongs to all of us, and it’s not up to you to grant me or anyone else permission to use it.  Next time please check your arrogance at the door, okay?

Next up, a sampling of folks suggesting we just take this issue on using violence:

9-15-2009 9-14-11 AM9-15-2009 9-12-28 AM9-15-2009 8-54-17 AM9-15-2009 8-49-33 AM9-15-2009 8-44-19 AM9-15-2009 8-39-37 AM9-15-2009 8-36-15 AM

9-15-2009 9-04-52 AM

Violence, of course, isn’t the answer here.  Never is.  However, I thought that these two, showing up in the search next to each other, were kind of interesting:

9-15-2009 8-50-15 AMSoooo…@oneflynicca, please meet @lfregozo – go smack the piss out of him and let me know how that works out for you.  Remember, however: “Pics, or it didn’t happen!”.

There are also a fair number of people who simply want to search, retweet, and label the authors ‘racist’ – again, contributing ZERO to a solution regarding race relations in America:

9-15-2009 9-11-39 AM9-15-2009 9-04-15 AM9-15-2009 8-54-43 AM

How can we get past racism with people always on the lookout for it instead of trying to get all of us to get PAST it?

9-15-2009 8-51-03 AM

That last part of @Edoubleyou’s comment tickled me.  I saw Tim Wise on CNN yesterday – trying to sell his book.  Racism = profits.

There were also the share of random idiots just seeking attention – you have to wonder what goes through their minds:

9-15-2009 8-56-58 AM

9-15-2009 9-03-00 AMYoung lady, I predict that you won’t like who may be following you now.

So, were caucasians the only ones using this term, the only ones making racist remarks?  You tell me:

9-15-2009 8-29-50 AM

9-15-2009 8-25-27 AM

9-15-2009 9-14-32 AM9-15-2009 9-13-14 AM9-15-2009 9-08-39 AM9-15-2009 9-06-39 AM9-15-2009 8-56-36 AM9-15-2009 8-52-36 AM9-15-2009 8-35-46 AM9-15-2009 8-34-27 AM9-15-2009 8-33-25 AMSo, as you can see, we have people being anti-Semitic, anti Mexican, anti Nabisco and anti-Mobile-Homeowner, in addition to the anti-white, anti-black, anti-black-by-white and anti-black-by-black comments deluging Twitter over the last couple of days.

I personally wouldn’t give you 50 cents for ANY of these hateful, ignorant people.  Our society has zero room for racism in this day and age, but we sure could all do with a dose of 100% intolerance for sheer stupidity.

Racism’s sole functional expression is white supremacy?

Does that mean that racism only exists in a white people -vs- the rest of the world context?  Certainly not – but I believe that a lot of readers may have come to that conclusion given the context of the article on Media Assassin.

Mr. Allen, sir, the only context in which this is correct is the context that shows us that all racism is destructive and nonproductive.  Those who Lord over both you AND me shall continue to do so if we choose not to change it.

We have nothing to gain by fighting and alienating one another, and everything to lose when we continue to do so.

For The Legion,

NSR²

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7 Comments »

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  1. Good to see so many perspectives on this. Womanist Musings also did a good commentary, here: http://is.gd/3iUeV

  2. IMO, I took Allens point like racism doesnt hurt white people as much as non whites, therefore all racism leads to white supremacy. its a stretch but i look at it like this;

    to this day ive never seen a white person get mad at any ‘racial slur’ thrown at them besides white trash. there is a plethora of terms for any other race, color or creed. ive seen bloodshed over most of them.

    that is it, not saying other people are not racist, that other people cannot benefit from hate mongering, just saying white people have the most advantages.

  3. […] my post, “‘Is Kanye the New O.J. ?’”, from my blog, Media Assassin, in your post about Kanye West and Taylor Swift, “Much Ado About Kanye.” I enjoyed your […]

  4. Dear The Domestic Terrorist:

    Thanks for your piece, and for writing about my work.

    I have responded, here:

    http://harryallen.info/?p=5249

    Thanks, in advance.

    Produce Justice,
    Harry Allen

    • Thank you for your comments. I appreciate the dialogue, and especially like your closing: Produce Justice – something many of us see too infrequently.

      NSR²

  5. […] I was pleased to see that Harry Allen at MEDIA ASSASSIN posted an entry replying to my recent blog about Kanye West and Racism. […]

  6. Taylor Swift is 19 :o)


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