Photo Credit: Getty Images http://www.mirror.co.uk/
Photo Credit: Getty Images http://www.mirror.co.uk/

I recently wrote an article called, “Harry Belafonte Was Right About Jay-Z.” The article went viral, generating a huge response from the Black community and beyond.  A few readers were puzzled when I stated, “Kanye West…often laments about racism but strives to uphold the same materialistic values that help drive economic disparities.” Now, I will explore this more thoroughly.

There is no denying that Kanye West has had a tremendous impact on the music industry and pop culture. From the beginning of his mainstream career, Kanye has been critical of issues dealing with racism and the structures within it. His infamous, “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people,” statement caused a media frenzy and solidified the general sentiments of the Black community during the Hurricane Katrina tragedy.

Yet it seems with more fame and popularity, Kanye’s commentary has shifted from calling out racism because it’s wrong, to calling out racism because he didn’t get a seat at the table. This is the bigger issue.

Frantz Fanon
Frantz Fanon

The distinguished psychiatrist Frantz Fanon addressed this line of thinking in his 1961 classic Wretched of the Earth. In this literary masterpiece, Fanon deconstructed the colonized mind.

“The gaze that the colonized subject casts at the colonist’s sector is a look of lust, a look of envy. Dreams of possession. Every type of possession; of sitting at the colonist’s table and sleeping in his bed, preferably with his wife. The colonized man is an envious man.”

One cannot deny the lasting effects that slavery and colonialism has had on African Americans and people of African descent around the world. In a recent interview, Kanye vehemently states, “We’re all slaves!” I understand him to a certain extent. Indeed, there is a systematic glass ceiling that prevents people of African descent and people from low economic classes from upward mobility. Even when some rise up the ranks, there are still many barriers that prevent them from attaining certain goals because they do not come from a certain class (the old money class). This is where I understand Kanye on the fashion industry. They don’t want him and they never will. He will forever be categorized as “urban,” a description he is desperately running away from because he knows that this is another way of being pigeonholed and prevented from making a significant impact (beyond blackness and urbanism) in the fashion industry.

WEB_DuBois_1918
W.E.B. Du Bois

In some ways it coincides with  W.E.B Du Bois’ description of double consciousness:

It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

However, Kanye has time and time again demonstrated that he is displeased with the system solely based on the fact that he wants a seat at the table. His anger is steeped in envy rather than reform. And this is dangerous because we get away from transforming these hierarchical structures, to unknowingly reinforcing them.

For example, this is evident in his almost complete dismissal of Black models for his runway shows in Paris. He doesn’t seem too concerned about the pains of racism unless it’s affecting his own progress. Instead, he went with the flow and continued to allow for Black models to be denied a chance at equality. He also cheers on fashion brands that are known for their lack of diversity. The fashion brand Céline, was recently boycotted by the supermodel Iman, because of their refusal to hire Black models. Meanwhile Kanye West orders full wardrobes of Céline clothing, attends their shows and sports their brand.

Furthermore, he has a lack of respect for African American history. Much like the N-Word, no matter what way you look at it, the Confederate flag represents the deep rooted oppression of African Americans. In fact, it was used as a tool to remind us of our “place.” After the Brown v. Board of Education desegregation ruling, the state of Georgia started using the Confederate flag as a sign of the good ole’ days.

kanye-west-Confederate-Flag

The painful past associated with the symbolism surrounding the flag and what it represents is no laughing or fashion forward matter. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, about 500 extremist groups still use the cross on the Confederate Flag as a symbol of white superiority. This example is tired and old but I can’t imagine someone wearing a Swastika for fashion. I wonder if Kanye will start wearing symbols promoting the South African apartheid era next.

When Kanye speaks about racism or slavery, he’s not doing it for the ordinary people, but instead for sensationalism. He is using the Confederate flag to generate buzz, no matter how hurtful it may be.

He also has an incessant belief that Paris is the only fashion mecca and it has to let him in.  Kanye recently wanted to help the Louis Vuitton brand with his “influence.” They promptly rejected the offer.

Kanye has an obsession with getting acceptance, but not the “colored” kind. When the radio host Sway tried to encourage him to maybe create his own way, Kanye gave the now Twitter famous reply, “ You ain’t got the answers Sway.”

Indeed none of us may have the complete answers to racism and upward mobility. However, given his track record and current behavior, Kanye simply can’t be taken seriously on racism.  With every new Kanye rant we are witnessing a public display of internal conflict consisting of Fanon’s “dreams of possession” and Dubois’ double consciousness. Ultimately, he cares more about having a seat at the table with the same people he accuses of racism and classism, than bringing about change.

JamAllen2-nb-smallJessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is the founder of OurLegaci.com. To reach JAM, email her at JAMAiwuyor@gmail.com.

Follow JAM on Facebook at Facebook.com/JAMAiwuyor.

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347 thoughts on “Kanye’s Frantz Fanon Complex

    1. As I mentioned yesterday, it is apparent that the higher one climbs, the thinner the air, and one loses a sense of their orientation or coherence. From Kanye not being able to get a sit to LV asking why he felt it was important to meet with their execs to his impose ‘his creative genius’, it is apparent that self importance is what his issue is about. I do believe that Kanye has talent; immense talent but right now he seems more like someone suffering and delusional from what is commonly known as ‘the curse of the gift’, which in turn has taken shape or form proclamations and arrogance to think he could move the black in a particular direction over his trivial and personal matters with brands etc. Even MJ failed to move us against SONY (generally speaking), and come on Kanye, even you must know that your brand in comparison to MJ, is still a pup!! So focus on your music, nurture your child and please stop forcing Kim down our throats!! Lord knows we are tired of Kim, Kris et al!!

    2. i think you raise a very interesting and valid point with regard to the kanye west dichotomy. but food for thought; as far as i’m concerned the jury is still out on mr. west simply for one reason, his insufferable arrogance. i believe that kanye’s desire to “sit at the table” if you will, comes from the arrogance of believing he should be the one who kicks down the door even without the “black cosign”. i think he believes he has the ability/opportunity to breach the glass ceiling and he’s going for it unapologetic-ally. i’m not pretending to understand issues belonging to an aspiring billionaire but i do know that billionaires (and beyond) rule this planet, whether directly or indirectly, and he believes true freedom can only come as an economic equal. this economic equality would allow for complete independence of thought and a restructuring of social norms not based out of lack of options or default actions. i believe he sees what we don’t in that regard and has a genuine difficulty expressing that to others who can’t relate. i think he refers to himself in comparison to historic figures to put a frame on his intentions and ambition. is he tremendously emotional and crass at times? yes, but that same passion makes him courageous enough to strike at reality as we know it even without the support of black people who don’t see what’s at stake on a trillion dollar level. one thing we do know about kanye is that if he gets in, he’s bringing brothers with him. he’s done it before and i’m sure he’ll continue to, at least for those who see where he’s headed.

      1. He is headed for failure! To think that you can change the perception of one\s that are even more arrogant and selfish than you are is far-fetch from reality. To find your own way and make your own legacy is far more richer than trying crossover only to be sent back after you come up short in meeting the expectation of someone else standards. Set your own standards.

      2. @Speak Joy thanks, for @Quit the Madness, ???. you aren’t grasping what’s at stake and how reality is transformed. Nelson Mandela (may he rest peacefully) changed S Africa and the world from a jail cell. it took 27 years for others to grasp and /or support something he saw so clearly. kanye said he cracks a smile for 2013 but he’s frowning for 2023, what do you think he means? he’s not asking for acceptance he’s demanding his respect as an equal creative. he spoke to succeeding before he’s “out of his moment” because unlike you he sees his window as a popular artist able to earn closing in ways you haven’t thought of yet. us average income folks love to tell “rich people” how grateful for or how they should spend their money, because that’s what we’d think we’d do in that position. the truth is you have no idea what pressures or subversives you’d face in his shoes. i would never say that kanye isn’t “extra” on a lot of occasions but that’s not new and its what got him where he is. to think that he would be the type of “black person” that makes you comfortable by not ruffling feathers in the media is what’s not realistic. what i hear him saying is that with all the fame and money he’s amassed(only about 100 million), he’s constantly reminded that he’s still a “nigger” and he sees it happen to other black men all the time. tiger woods, michael jordan and jackson all have/had a glass ceiling over their ability to be strong minded, outspoken black men of wealth and influence. Jordan is still selling underwear for Hanes as the greatest in his field ever. Tiger has been subdued by his endorsement deals and the media while MJ was forced in seclusion and pimped(despite his great heart and mind) to his death. kanye doesn’t want acceptance from the fashion world his products already sell which is the true measurement of success in that industry. he wants equal power and footing to become an industry himself. that’s a noble ambition to want to empower yourself enough to empower others. wealthy families have generational wealth and power; they can employ, they can develop, they can research and they can sustain. he has to attempt to reach that status through the temperamental circus of entertainment. that’s a real tall order. try parking your emotions about it and being rational in your thinking. besides kanye’s emotional enough for all of us.

      3. He might bring “brothers” with him, but will he be bringing sisters? This is a man who was not just insensed but offended that Anna Wintour chose the FLOTUS – a Black woman (like the one who gave him life) – for the cover of Vogue, instead of his White baby mama. If you know anything at all about Vogue magazine, and he does I’m certain (he’s been featured many times), you know that they rarely have a BW gracing the cover, so for him to be angry that the first Black FLOTUS was on the cover instead of yet another WW (and a trashy one at that) makes it even more obvious what Kanye West is really about. And it sure as hell is not the betterment of Black folks as a group!

  1. Couldn’t agree more on this piece, pure perfection. Only to say the Swastika was a symbol of peace in the Asian culture centuries before the Nazis used it for a symbol of hatred and white supremacy. People give words and symbols power, this isn’t to say Wannabee Yeezy isn’t wearing the flag for Sensationalism.

  2. When I read the original article I thought of Kanye right away and posted the article on Facebook, asking how come Kanye has not spoken out against Barneys or JayZ. His statement about George Bush not caring about blacks leads you to believe that he is so pro black people. Not! These people no longer identify with the black community, they relate to what looks like money, makes money, has money.

    1. I can see that for Jay Z. However, I feel like Kanye is a little more grounded and pretty aware of his skin color because he’s had to deal with exclusion, even with all the money he has. Money doesn’t change the color of your skin. Maybe you should listen to a few of Kanye’s songs. Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it?

      1. I completely agree. If you truly listen to his music. The “activism” is in his lyrics. I feel tha his true fan base, understands completely where he is coming from.

    2. Is it fair to put all this responsibility on one person? That’s my main question.
      black artists have to be allowed freedom of expression just like everyone else. I really don’t think it’s right to put pressure on individuals to speak for entire demographics of people. If anything, we should be working to get more artists of color on the platform to speak their opinions and have a variety of ideas floating around through art. But artists are not spokespeople and I don’t think it’s fair to put them on that platform.

      If you don’t agree with someone’s art, you don’t agree with it and that’s fine. You’re entitled to that. But is it really fair to discredit someone’s entire career because you don’t feel that in the past 2 years they’re been working for the benefit of black people? Don’t buy the music, don’t support the artist but you I don’t think its right to their entire portfolio because you think they’re speaking for you “wrong”.

      Will Smith never speaks on on racism at all. And he does this for the purpose of his advancement in his career. And it’s worked for him. He’s a phenomenal actor. Should we discredit him completely because he hasn’t been speaking for ”us”? I think it starts becoming questionable when artist are being forced into stations of life they never asked to be in.

      I don’t know man, I don’t mean to be constantly standing up for Kanye. It’s just that I listen to him more than I listen to people talk about him and I sort of get it. Now I might not agree with all of it, but to me the issue is not so much what Kanye says, but that he’s the only person talking about these type of things in the mainstream. I don’t see many other artists facilitating conversations about race whether I agree with them or not.

      One person that seems to be stepping up to the plate is Nick Cannon. We’ll see where that goes and if people will support him.

      I’m just not ready to write Kanye off yet and I don’t understand why people are acting like the past ten years don’t matter. is our memory as consumers that short term?

      1. this was dope… to me.. to say “we are slaves” when the people ARENT.. is ridiculous… Everybody has the choice to buy what they want. Just because kanye west is one that makes these fads ‘cool’ does not mean that he dictates why they are. Nobody is ENSLAVED to buying high end products; or any product for that matter. Not saying that he has ‘all of the blame’ for anything. I am thinking this is regarding how he is using his power. He is putting a bad message out to the youth ultimately. He isnt saying it for the right reasons and it is easily figured out of his wording. People just takes what he says for the best possible meaning but what happened to ‘say what you mean ; mean what you say’. There is little responsibility for the message he sends to the children who ‘look up to him’. Sidenote: it starts with the parents to show their kids proper role models.

  3. I feel where you are coming from but I still think this is very inaccurate. Kanye is not just mad because he cannot get a seat at the table, he is mad that black people (hisself included) cannot get a seat at the table soley because we are black and “urban” and of course both urban and black have negative connotations. And he is also pissed that he and other black people (he named pharrell and michael jordan) do not have any say so in the fashion they are selling. You would be pissed too if you made nike 3k a shoe and they didnt give you any royalties and were pimping you. Thats not anymore selfish, than any other time blacks have tried to integrate stuff (ie. Jackie Robinson baseball, Brown v Board, Michael Jackson MTV etc.) Your article assumes envy and reform exist on a dichotomy and thats false. Black people’s envy of white peoples right to freedom is what moved us to fight for our freedom. Our envy of their ability to give their children good educations is what propelled us in the fight for equal opportunity in education. Why is Kanye being condemned for that? I bet sway didnt tell Marshall and the NAACP to stop trying to integrate public education and just go build up their own schools. And you oversimplified Kanyes response to sway suggesting he create his own stuff. He told sway and the world that he cannot create his own stuff and have complete control over it and it be successful because in order for it to be successful it 1) has to be able to compete with other fashion companies which kanye cannot compete with because it is an INDUSTRY which means they own factories and they have a monopoly on fashion. (hyper-racial capitalism) and 2) he does not have the time they have to run his own fashion company while also trying to make music to stay relevant. (Starburys are a perfect example of why creating your own line isnt that simple) The confederate flag t shirts along with the 150 blank white t shirts, the bound 2 video, etc are apart of a bigger picture in which kanye has been exposing the absurdity of hyper capitalism (ie. new slaves) through parody. He can literally put anything for sale and people buy it. 150 dollar plain white t shirt, confederate flag, etc. NEW SLAVES. Dont take this out of context.

    1. I agree with you, but much is left to be desired by his methods of getting this message across. He is only attracting negative attention, which we ALL know only gets your words cast into a muted situation (especially with “US”). He has to find a way to do it without making tabloid headlines. 😦

      1. No it isn’t just negative attention. Don’t forget Malcolm. I don’t know what you do Corey but you clearly don’t understand this game and what he (we) is up against. Sometimes you really have to shake the tree hard to get the fruit to fall.

    2. Although JAM makes many great points, I do highly agree with Taylor. Yes, i think Kanye can do a better job expressing is views. opinions, and the representaion of black progression and activism. But a lot of the ignorance in what Kanye exemplifies is created by media, and critics who are looking for more blog hits, bigger controversy for potential gain of there own; while Industry cators to the highclass (old money /racist) and not the majority of Americans.
      JAM: greaaat historical quotes used and they were greatly correlated to Kanye’s actions and words. Taylor: Thank you for keeping a open mind and sharing it.

      1. I would just like to say it is so refreshing to discover this community of genuine and respectful thinkers. I’m so moved, impressed and thankful for the valid, on-topic, informative and respectful arguments. As a non-american I often read comments sections of websites to get a sense of how everyday Americans think about the world. Sad to say I’m often disgusted by the ignorance and hate-drenched comments under the guise of anonymity. Will definitely be reading this enlightening site more! Thank you!

    3. I completely agree! I feel others take in account the media interpretation of Kanye (his out bursts, his interviews, his relationships) and their personal feelings about them, that they cannot comprehend the deeper meaning of his words, actions (150 dollar plain white t shirt, confederate flag, etc. ). It goes over their heads. At the same time, he’s so passionate about his ideas, his plight(as he should be), and he’s trying to get his point across, in these interviews that want to bring up anything/everything that does NOT pertain to the message he wants to send. He get’s so frustrated and that passion is misconstrued as anger. You cannot help but to think that even these interviewers are made to keep from getting his point across, or to at least distract listeners from taking in the reality of what he is saying…… Maybe it’s all meant to distract us, from reality and what we really need to do to break thru the “systematic glass ceiling”.
      ” IT’S A NEW FORM OF COTTON THAT WE ALL PICKING” – Kanye West

      1. Let us not forget who these interviewers work for. Talking heads today are the paid equivalent to hired guns of yesteryear, bounty hunters paid to discredit the threat to the glass ceiling. Kanye is an azz as our timid president surmised, but Kanye is an azz with a purpose and a passion. How many of us have the courage to risk it all to speak our minds and seem foolish in the process?

  4. Why be mad at him wearing the flag but not mad at him and many others using the “N’ word. Both are symbols of deep oppression. I personally dislike the use of both. But here’s another thought–Could our dislike of his pursuit of serious wealth be a sign of our oppression in this nation. You know, Not wanting to see our kind really succeed? Thoughts?

    1. Why should a black women care about his plight to get rich? If, I remember, wasn’t Kanye the one to say, “leave yo azz for a white girl?” And did he not do just that. Again, why should black women care about him helping to enrich not only himself, but the kardashian family?

    2. This, my friend, is a very very valid point. I’ve been trying to put myself in a position that’s against the trend by thinking: What is all the annoyance really for? Is it because we as a people haven’t gotten to the position he’s aspiring for that makes it seem inappropriate for him to aspire for that position? And in the process, trying to push down roadblocks and strongholds in his way, is such a method that we are so unfamiliar with.

  5. A beautifully written piece to the Author! In reading this, I have a question. In looking at Mr. West’s interviews in which he has now come under fire for, the ONE painfully obvious issue you have with him is his behavior, correct? For instance, yelling at Sway (who has always conducted himself professionally, and been a bright spot of positivity in Hip Hop), attacking the President of our country, as though he were involved in a street corner dispute, and a host of other moments. Outside of these horrible offenses, I must say the man made a few great points. So should we not be addressing his behavior as our points of interest? Dr. Fanon’s quote is 100% spot on, but in this case I must pose a question to his most insightful view. We, who wish to achieve economic equality, should we not seek to strive in this, the already standing, and functioning economic body? I ask this question in particular because WE (Black people) are a long way from a Sovereignty such as the American Indian. I mean should Mr. West NOT seek to put forth a product that not only appeals to the Urban existence, but also travels to consumer bases outside of that? For all his foolish antics, Mr. West made a statement concerning the design of a plain white button down shirt, or something resembling business attire, and then proceeded to state that such an idea could never come to fruition on the part of a Black Designer, in the current state of things. Wouldn’t the right thing to do here be to explain to Mr. West that while having a valiant idea/cause is great, deafening your own voice, with your own buffoonery is counter productive (I’m sure he already knows this). I only wish he knew that Subtlety is a much more powerful force than “Force” itself, and to achieve one such a goal, it will have to be done in a low profile, non threatening manner (such has been the path of just about every foreign entity that has gained economic strength, and put this country in a vice right under their noses). They should have never seen Kanye West coming, and most importantly in his case…. They should have never heard him coming either.

  6. “he cares more about having a seat at the table with the same people he accuses of racism and classism, than bringing about change.” For the record, he does care about change, or undermining the people who deny him the ability to share his creative endeavors the way he wants. He talks about changing the system at his concerts, but I see your point. As long as he continues to sit at their tables and invest in their clothes, he is not actively fighting the system that is fucking him over. Even though he is aware that what they’re ding to him is fucked up, he seems intent on gaining respect that they’re never going to show him.
    Fortunately, he is becoming increasingly aware of how fucked up the system is, it’s evident in his Yeezus lyrics, but actions do speak louder than words. He just has to take the revolutionary mentality in his album and act on it.

    1. Once upon a time we lived on the plains of African land. Once upon a time we were in shackles, Once upon a time we were not allowed to to read. Once upon a time were were not allow to vote. Once upon a time we were not allow to sit in a restaurant and eat a meal. Once upon a time… Once upon a time…Once upon a time.

  7. From a Marketing prospective… think about if Kanye was a porn star. Just because you got the cash doesn’t mean people respect your art or how you made your cash. Not all brands, especially high fashion are going to bow down just because some “artist” with money is interested. Off brand.

  8. All communities must be careful in selecting their role models. Wealth and talent does not and should not by themselves make you a role model. With regret the black community imposes the “role model” label on every famous and / or talented and / or wealthy black person. Why, when some are not worthy? There must be a closer analysis of substance over style. Kanye’s embarrassing appearance on stage to take away Taylor Swift’s gong demonstrated a complete misunderstanding of his perceived “influence”, as does his approach to Louis Vuitton. One thing I can bet you is that LV’s profits will not drop one cent because of Kanye. Kanye is a talented rapper etc who has tried his hand at fashion design and other design ideas. However that does not make him one to watch in terms of advancing any black cause. The black community is placing too onerous a burden on Kanye’s Celine fringed shoulders. Such over analysis of what this wealthy successful rapper does only further delays progress. If i wished to retard enlightenment within the black community, i would find Kanye a useful tool. “Look what happens when……..”

  9. First off, I truly enjoyed your first article about Jay-Z, and couldn’t agree more with what you said regarding him and now about Kanye. Sadly, Kanye is like so many other black people both famous and not; all of which are seeking acceptance and a seat at the table with ‘massa.’ Early in my professional career, I worked with a older brother who had ‘de-urbanized’ his first name, and admittedly confided in me, that the closer he to the time for his annual review, he would start shaving off his facial hair, in order to more resemble our white regional director. His justification for his actions, was that he felt the more he looked like them during his review, the more likely his chance was to getting a favorable review and substantial raise. It’s truly disparaging when African-Americans are more willing to comprise their ideals and integrity and expend so much energy in order to gain acceptance or entry into the places where we are not welcomed or wanted, instead of building and creating our own legacies. Examples of this flawed thinking abound, from decades ago when we sought to move into ‘white neighborhoods’ to black actors and actresses relentless pursuit of winning an Oscar. Despite popular belief, our community is in serious need of leadership and guidance. Anytime children believe its more possible for them to be like Rick Ross, than President Obama, you know we are dire straits as a people. Kanye, needs to quit fighting to get into the ranks of those who don’t respect him, and create something to help those who look like him to aspire to.

  10. I do think Kanye has lost the plot! Actually, I have thought that for a while. From his Taylor Swift antics, the Confed flag to attempting to boycott LV!! I just think his way of conveying a message is just too far out for this moment in time. From an artistic point of view, I think I get it…’the whole: take ownership of the flag from the racist symbol’. However, he is pushing it too far, and his ranting is just getting annoying.

  11. I don’t necessarily believe in being perfect but I’ll be damned if this post wasn’t perfection. I actually listen to Some of kanye’s music but there’s no doubt about him having serious internal issues that he needs to fix.

    1. whenever i hear him speak i realize i have an internal issue too. a lot of the music these artists make are as bad as wearing a confederate flag but we still find ways to enjoy and support it. dualities!

  12. Cool article, BUT: You don’t need an apostrophe for “ole” because you’re not replacing a letter (“d”). Ol’, yes, but not ole. Secondly, you can’t imagine people wearing swastikas for fashion? It’s happened about a billion times since the 1970s…punk…Bowie…ASIA.

  13. I love the incorporation of psych theory and Dubois’ double consciousness, and I think this article makes very compelling arguments about Kanye’s behavior with relation to his internal struggle with acceptance. I do, however, think that his struggle to be accepted at the table does say something about injustice and inequality. He’s climbed to the top of the ladder only to be rejected by such powers, entirely because of his race. I would ask, then, how his publicity of this rejection DOES bring about change or at least awareness of the issue. I, personally, have become more aware of corporate nepotism, societal hierarchy, and the corruption within the prison industry, all because of Kanye’s public antics. Awareness doesn’t necessarily equate with change. But I think a large part of present day racism is unawareness, considering a fair amount of our population live obliviously in some made up “post-racial” America. Furthermore, is it Kanye’s responsibility to change this large-scale systemic issue? Why do we feel the need to pin the responsibility on an artist who is only trying make people understand.
    Again, great article. I wrote a piece responding to Kanye’s rants as well:

    http://poeticjustice.me/2013/12/02/kanye-west-the-crazy-ranting-inarticulate-genius/

  14. While this article does make some excellent and highly insightful points (not to mention being beautifully written, kudos), I think it’s generalizing and overamplifying the role of racism in “the table.” Why wouldn’t Kanye want to be able to do things the way they have always been done by successful men who came before him, regardless of their so-called “race?” Don’t we all want a seat at the table? That’s what every man, woman, and child who’s come into this country over the years has come looking for.
    While I do agree with the author’s sentiments about the spinelessness of Kanye’s desperate need to squeeze his way into the binary, I do not agree that he necessarily needs to forge his own path. It seems that broadening the existing path would be a truer equality, the inclusion of black models for example (although I would have thought this would no longer be an issue in 2013, but…). This metaphorical “table” is an elitist structure and racism is merely one of the many tenets of hate employed to keep guest list low.

  15. Unfortunately like many Americans both Black and White Kanye believes in a history of lies and falsehoods.
    I see many Blacks folks that see America in the same way as he does. He supports a system that got it’s start in the surplus wealth generated from Slavery and exploitation of non whites. It fueled Empires and destroyed cultures.
    Todays Capitalism was born out of this system and to use a West Indian saying, What has gone wrong in the morning cannot be put right in the afternoon. ( I will not try to write in Jamacian Patois I’m English)
    The Culture and the system we support in the West is one that is corrupt at it’s root and however we dress it up it it is still the child of Slavery and Exploitation. (Putting a fancy dress on a pig does not change that it is still a pig)
    For those who want some more insight into why Black People still clinge to the distorted history and lies they should read Franz Fanons Black Skin White Mask to help them understand the Kaynes of this world and why Black folks buy into the system.
    White folks get fed the same BS and in America we have the Tea Party and right wing politicians to prove it and similar organizations in Britain, Germany,France, Greece, Italy et al. It uses racism to make poor White folks feel better about themselves and the system and scapegoats Black as the problem like Hitler did with Jews and Gypsys.
    Franz Fanon was required reading for the Black Panthers back in the day. I must say it was at this time I became aware of the evils of racism and racial hatred . Up until then I had been brought up in a society where the idea of Colonialism and Superior race prevailed especially where I was raised because the Tory Party had held sway there for generations ( 3 generations of the same family had held the seat until post 2000.) It was a time of many Colonial nations were getting their independace from Britian and a change we hoped that would lead to a better future for all. When young white folks like me were thrown out of or barred at the door from entering the American Embassy and Canada House in London in our efforts to get support for the ANC in South Africa and called “nigger lovers” and “scum”. Years later we were subjected to the hypocracy of Bush when North America was visited by Mandela with the hugs and backslapping of Mandela by the same people called him a communist terrorist in the 1950’s and 60’s
    I am lod and I know that the system doesn’t work it only corrupts those who believe in it’s lies and is not the way forward that humans need whatever colour their skin. We really need to find a better way

  16. You could also make some great connections between Kanye’s Paris obsession and Fanon’s illustration of the black, Antillean man’s experience of Paris/the métropole in _Black_Skin,_White_Masks_ .

  17. I also notice Kanye has clearly different speech when he is talking to a white interviewer vs a black interviewer. He is EXTREMELY disrespectful when blacks are interviewing him. Not the other way.

  18. It is very interesting to watch the journey of Mr. West as he continues his “mission” within this world. As African Americans, it doesn’t take much study of our contributions in the past to understand certain ways of life we all support and live in in the present. True, there are some in the world on greater platforms that could add tremendous gains for us a people, but that can very well be said about anyone. It’s real easy to look at someone and place judgement on what we feel the should be doing. No one is excluding and true to told Mr. West is very right about us being slaves within the socialization and indoctrination of us as a people in the Western World generated by the perspectives of Western Philosophy. Some where after the Civil Rights Movement we became complacent in our strives to creating a better world for ourselves. Integration has robbed as from so much that doesn’t allow us to actively continue to move forward in the things we merely talk about. It really doesn’t matter the notoriety of what anyone speaks or who it’s coming from, when despite millions of reads, listeners, etc; we still are only talking. He may not be going about what he is after in a “smart” way to a spectator, but give him some credit. He is trying, and he is only one person I’m sure isn’t working alone. It truly takes everyone to play their part. There is no ridicule when those pieces together in active motion produce brighter pictures in the establishment of stronger foundations to build better futures.

    The world is a lot more complex beyond surfaces we have be acclimated to be accustomed to. No one knows what anyone truly sees in the exploration of their lives in this world. We has African-Americans seem to be stuck in one sector of our own perceptions, when there definitely is a force responsible for our slumbers. That force is still present even in current days. We dissect ourselves trying to find answers to solutions, instead of taking it for it is and making those moves to usher in that change. We are content with quoting this brave souls who contributed to the advancement of us as a people when the harsh realities of our challenges were constantly in our face. They made those leaps within the bounds of their faith, which is why we quote them. Are we afraid to have the happiness? Are we afraid to walk away, and journey in the opposite direction? The direction that we know aligns with who we are, what we believe, and everything we know we deserve. The glamor of “Hollywood” doesn’t change the truth; it simply camouflages what the oppressor doesn’t want you to see within yourself- the strength and the power. The illusion isn’t fashion or anything of that nature when we all contribute in sustaining a world that was never intended to be created for us in us building it beyond plantations. How many black owned hospitals do we have that practices our own methods? How many broadcasting studios do we have? How many black owned bases to the regularities of our life are there to affirm or own stance? It’s not racism when in integration we missed the whole reason for the movement. The White House and governments they already developed and established. They created their world way before the inception of what we would know to be America. These aren’t new wars. We fought to build our own- not to continue to build them. We didn’t march to washington to become the surrogate bastard children of the ones who oppress in the world they already created. They knew exactly what would happen to us in integration. That’s why the welcomed it. Mental slavery and brainwashing is a very dynamic, complex, and powerful median for those who know how to use it. The education in schools they already developed. The broadcasting systems affirming the normalcy of their life and where they want us to continue to stand. Where is our representation within all industries in a capitalistic-democracy that holds no rules with what you can create within your capability? No one will do for US. No one is going to give US that affirmation. We have to do it for ourselves, just like how you would tell anyone that they have to do for themselves individually. US as a people are no different.

    We has a collective have around $863 Billion of consumer spending power with estimated growth to have 1.1 Trillion in 2015. We are only 14% of a country, which is considered to be the 16th largest nation in the world. That information can be found on the African American Consumer Report of 2010.

    That’s beyond Kanye West. That’s something no one can fault Kanye on subjectively when we all are to blame. No matter the fight, people on those highest tiers of their creation will never allow those “under” them to take control if those people they pit down don’t learn how to wake up and see it for themselves. That’s what he means when he says we are slaves. It doesn’t matter how free we think we are as a people, when we haven’t learned how to separate ourselves in the confidence of our own power, culture, and love. We haven’t found the confidence within ourselves. We haven’t the balance of US on this land. We haven’t began to walk with our heads high as a collective. We don’t know how to coexist without using the mechanisms that we know prohibit us as crutches, and trying to find exit strategies around a problem that we know is not going away without our full participation. Worlds are very dynamic. Ushering in worlds are not simple.

    When will we as a people begin to see the unlocking truth of our ancestors words? When will we as a people connect in the increase of social capital within ourselves and begin to do for ourselves what we do for everyone else? When will we as a people unit and use all we have gained and learned to the maturity of US? We truly do live on the land of the free. The problem is, we are not united.

  19. It is very interesting to watch the journey of Mr. West as he continues his “mission” within this world. As African Americans, it doesn’t take much study of our contributions in the past to understand certain ways of life we all support and live in within existing in the present. True, there are some in the world on greater platforms that could add tremendous gains for us a people, but that can very well be said about anyone. It’s real easy to look at someone and place judgments on what we feel they should be doing. No one is excluded in forward mobility of “Us” as a people, and “truth” be told Mr. West is very right about us being slaves within the socialization and indoctrination of us as a people in the western world generated by the perspectives of western philosophy.
    Somewhere after the Civil Rights Movement we became complacent in our own strives to create a better world for ourselves. Integration has robbed us from our self-identity that doesn’t allow us to actively continue to move forward in the things we merely talk about in our discussions. It really doesn’t matter the notoriety of what anyone speaks or who it’s coming from, when despite millions of reads, listeners, etc; we still are only talking. He may not be going about what he is after in a “smart” way to a spectator, but give him some credit. He is trying, and he is only one person. I’m sure he isn’t working alone in his pursuits. It truly takes everyone to play his or her part. There is no ridicule when those pieces together in active motion produce brighter pictures in the establishment of stronger foundations to build better futures outside of an individual person.
    The world is a lot more complex beyond surfaces we have been acclimated to be accustomed to. No one knows what anyone truly sees in the exploration of his or her life in this world that was labeled the “New World Order” we learned in history class. The growth of a seed can never stem away from the root of its inception. We as African-Americans seem to be stuck in one sector of our own perceptions, when there definitely is a force responsible for our slumbers; that force is still present even in current days. We dissect ourselves trying to find answers to solutions, instead of taking it for what it is and making those moves to usher in that change. That’s a philosophy we adopted from our oppressors, when our histories teach us that we focus on holism in the connection of all life. We are content with quoting these brave souls who contributed to the advancement of us as a people, when the harsh realities of our challenges were constantly in our face. They didn’t have the blessing of being comfortable. They made those leaps within the bounds of their faith, which is why we quote them today.
    Are we afraid to have our happiness? Are we afraid to actually see the manifestation of the eradication of the fight? Are we afraid to walk away and journey in the opposite direction- the direction that we know aligns with who we are, what we believe, and everything we know we deserve? The glamour of “Hollywood” doesn’t change the truth; it simply camouflages what the oppressor doesn’t want you to see within yourself- the strength and the power within you and not the image given to what prisons our freedom. The illusion isn’t fashion or anything of that nature when we all contribute in sustaining a world that many African American History scholars would agree was never intended to be created for us, or the intention of us being free within us building this world and way of life we are shackled to beyond plantations. How many black owned hospitals do we have that practices our own methods? How many broadcasting studios do we have? Is music our only method of accepted self-expression? Where are the blueprints that code the developments of a world we can be and truly be confident in? How many black owned bases to the regularities of our life are there to affirm or own stance and realities of the universes through our own eye’s sight? Where are our positive images beyond colorism, double consciousness, and any other term associated with our low self esteem and depressed state? Every other race has that beckon that shines them, where is ours?
    It’s not racism, when in integration we missed the whole reason for the movement. It’s not racism when we have a right to our own representation within our own truths. The White House and governments were already developed, established, and implemented. Those cash cows were already there. The social orders and classes were already developed. They created their world way before the inception of what we would know to be America. These aren’t new wars, and our oppressors don’t implement things on whims- when have they ever? We fought for the right to build our own- not to continue to build them like when our bodies were physically shackled to plantations creating the curse on this land erected by our blood and pain. We didn’t march to Washington to become the surrogate bastard children of the ones who oppress in the world they already created. They knew exactly what would happen to us in integration. That’s why they welcomed it. Mental slavery and brainwashing is a very dynamic, complex, and powerful median for those who know how to use it. No matter if Willie Lynch is real, the concept for a living African American can’t be ignored in it’s truth to how we view ourselves as a society in America. A theory of mind control in the early 1800s, why wouldn’t a government that was established by those same slave masters, not implement the same tactic on a bigger scale? Their education in schools was already developed. We weren’t learning knowledge. We were being socialized to confirm to the world they would continue to have us build and not be apart of without us even knowing it, while blinding us to truths they already knew before they sailed in Virginia to develop those 13 colonies. Their television, radios, and broadcasting systems affirming the normalcy of their life, image, and way are mere tactics to constantly reinforce the structure of the mental prison they created and expect us to depend on for jobs, entertainment, health, information…life. Where is our representation within all industries in a capitalistic-democracy that holds no rules with what you can create within your capability? They don’t want us to build that esteem that burns so passionately inside us. They know the legacies of greatness because they’ve seen it, and they’ve seen in active motion, which is why the “chose” us to be the builders of the world they blueprinted. The only one’s who don’t see it, is us. No one will do for US. No one is going to give US that affirmation. We have to do it for ourselves, just like how you would tell anyone that they have to do for themselves individually if they want to succeed in life. US as a people are no different.
    We as a collective unit have around $843 billion of consumers spending power with estimated growth to have $1.1 trillion in 2015. We are only 14% of a country, which is considered to be the 16th largest nation in the world. That’s a phenomenal statistic for such a small percentage of people that’s only a sub-sect of bigger group of people. That information can be found on the African American Consumer Report of 2010. That’s beyond Kanye West. That’s something no one can fault Kanye on subjectively when we all are to blame for whatever we feel is preventing us from making those enhancements to ourselves. We have to hold ourselves accountable and stop using each other as scapegoat to our problems, instead of focusing on the implementation of solutions.
    No matter the fight, people on those highest tiers of their creation will never allow those “under” them take control, if those people they pit down don’t learn how to wake up and see it for themselves. That’s what he means when he says we are slaves. I’m sure anything he emits for the public perception deals with personal things no one can readily call him out on, being that we all deal with our own personal battles; and unlike him we don’t have to deal with the scrutiny and harsh judgments made from the same people he advocates for. Yea, we can say he made that choice, but in the creation of monsters; where they always monsters or did we make them that way?
    It doesn’t matter how free we think we are as a people, when we haven’t learned how to separate ourselves in the confidence of our own power, culture, and love. We have culture. We are a special set of people within ourselves, branched from the motherlands of Africa that’s just a continent in comparison to mother Earth. Just because we are not physically there doesn’t mean that we aren’t here for a purpose and reason. We have culture. We emit in from having the confidence and pride of being who we are in the discovery of everything we claim to be. Who knows? There have been olmec heads found in the jungles of North America. I think it’s safe to say our footprints have always known the whole entire world.
    We haven’t found the confidence within ourselves. We haven’t found the balance of US on this land. We haven’t begun to walk with our heads high as a collective. We don’t know how to coexist without using the mechanisms that we know prohibits us from our oppressors as crutches. We can’t find exits to better beginnings if we aren’t being honest with ourselves with a problem that we know is not going away without our full vigilance, effort, and participation. Worlds are very dynamic. Ushering in worlds are not simple- as we know because we build this one; but we’ve built so much more before we were even brought to this land in this bracket of time. The ancient ruins of our past crystallize the memories of our greatness.
    When will we as a people begin to see the unlocking truth of our ancestor’s words? When will we as a people connect in the increase of social capital within ourselves, and begin to do for ourselves what we do for everyone else? When will we as a people unit and use all we have gained and learned to the maturity of US in the advancement of everything we were created to be beyond any oppressor? We truly do live on the land of the free. The problem is we are not united.

  20. Let me see… how can I say this… You don’t know what you’re talking about. You really need to (and I know you think you are) look below the surface. I know that you can only speak from what you know. However, it is apparent that you haven’t researched this issue one iota and you have just pulled from what you read and hear on the radio. The gossip. Any responsible journalist knows that you must do some really hard research to make a good story. It is clear that you are an intelligent woman and have some knowledge about African American history. But Mr. West is very well versed on African American History. He couldn’t get away from it. Anywhere he turned in his family it was being drilled into his head. Please read: The Fruit Innate http://wp.me/p1IVZj-2S via @SpeakJoy13 .

    I also find it interesting that you didn’t go deeper into the philosophy of WEB Du Boise’s The Talented Tenth whereby the issues that plague Mr. West as well as all of us are more clear. Furthermore as a brilliant woman it is hard for me to understand why you can’t see how you are acting as a crab in a bucket. I mean if you gone ride the dick at least ride it in such a way that brings people up and not tears us down. We don’t need more Tavis Smiley’s and Cornel West. Please excuse the vernacular but it was my first and honest impression of your article.

  21. I enjoy your work very much especially the Jay-Z article. We also need to examine why we are focused on being ‘equal’ to and ‘compliant’ with a group of people who prove over and over again that they despise us and see us as a threat to their way of life and even their very existence. One of the most insidious activities in America is the way in which African American scholars who have spent years of their lives researching and studying white supremacy racism are ignored marginalized by both mainstream media and the academic community. Please look at Dr. Amos Wilson’s ‘FALSIFICATION OF AFRIKAN CONSCIOUSNESS’ and Dr. Marimba Ani’s ‘YURUGU’ just for a start. We are not struggling with simple issues; I can see you know this, thank you for your efforts.

  22. confederate flags STILL represent criminality, pedophilia, rape, black hatred, whiter supremacy, everything blacks HATE and are offended by– bush -reagan stealing black votes and dumping guns and crack and aids in the BLACK COMMUNITY! THE flag says “I am sick and coo-coo, please forgive because I don’t know no -better because I’m a full time ‘skank.’ -don’t wear that b.s. in war torn chicago or memphis…
    KANYE, show some guts and wear some clothes representing VOO-DOO and HOO-DOO!

  23. All of us are entitled to our on point of view about any and every thing. Seem if a rapper who makes moves catch more slack for operating there own way in a industry that has blackballed and got rich off of years. Now that they demonstrate the power to strip down Americas grip on the way they use to control us its not approved. First we could’nt date white women , now we cant were this are buy from them. Who cares marketing comes with business and music is a business entertainment is a business.
    either you tune in or turn the channel who to judge a person values. Were is the good press at about how many jobs this dude creates such as the writers who has there 2 cents to say what is and what’s not… .

  24. There’s only one word needed to describe Kanye, and that word is ASININE!! The media really needs to stop perpetuating his PROPAGANDA!!

  25. What bothers me more than anything about this article is, more than its speculation about Kanye’s character as drawn from his ‘conduct’ (ironic considering what Fanon says about the use of the concept of ‘conduct’ to psychologically berate the black man, the colonized subject) is the blatant misuse of Fanon’s words and extraction of Fanon’s words from any legible context. Then the losing of those words on a cultural context in which Fanon himself was often viewed the way Kanye was — ill-mannered, sardonic/sarcastic, mean, petulant and a trouble-maker (some even saw Fanon as wanting a seat at ‘the table’).

    When Fanon writes of envy in “On Violence” the first chapter in The Wretched of the Earth, he does not do so critically of the colonized subject, he does so plainly devoid of moral judgment; Fanon observed the envy of the colonized subject as a source of violent hatred and a galvanizing force in the way of liberatory action, even violence. Frantz Fanon writes in the text above that which is quote here that this envy is born out of grave circumstances of inequity in which the colonized subject is trapped in the brutality of poverties. The colonizer recognizes this and sees in the colonized’s eyes an envy and a hatred spawned by the material conditions of abjection and then yields nothing to what Fanon is identifying a guilty conscience.

    No where in that passage does Fanon launch an attacked against a colonized subject. He goes on to talk about the educated class and the bourgeoisie later on as useless for revolution and problematic in the assembly of an economic structure that is truly independent from the metropole, but again he does not criticize black people for wanting material goods and on the contrary tells them to seek after them in a marxist way by controlling the means of production.

    Furthermore in Wretched of the Earth and Black Skins, White Masks, Fanon holds up an image of black arrogance, confidence, black ‘misconduct’ (as conduct is a white, upper class ideal which seeks to subordinate that which is ‘other’ into a way of thinking that of course maintains the power-relations between black and white, rich and poor), and general rebellion. Fanon ridicules discourses of respectability as a means for sifting out compliant and non compliant ‘negroes’ (you having placed Kanye in the latter category) and thereby determining that they have nothing of value to add (which you have suggested of Kanye on racism) to the system of respectability and governmentality. When Obama got up to belittle another black man in the media, calling him a ‘jackass’ to get some brownie points (some percentage points, actually) with white America, he exemplified this politics of respectability, a politics which he has worked tirelessly to uphold. Of course, we all just play into it. Kanye is messing it up for the rest of us, Kanye is being a coon, Kanye is spoiled. None of us see Kanye the way Fanon might actually see him, a black man trying to captivate and capture the control of the means of production for once to get the powers to which we supplicate out of the hands of the white man. Like any operation, any combative move, Kanye has to get inside to get the keys and he just so happens to want to do so in the least subordinate way, he has a different tact than the spook who sat by the door, and for those still thinking with the mind of the master (as Fanon might put it) it just looks like he has no tact at all. That’s your problem. Not Kanye’s.

  26. “A colonized man is an envious man.” Until we break the notion that there will ever be equality under capitalism and then strive for equality under an economic system whose purpose is equality, this mindset will not disappear. Capitalism will force this mindset to morph into class-envy and black-on-black violence (economic, political, social). We can’t all climb to the top so people will end up stepping on each other in a manner similar to Kanye.
    good article. I will learn more about Fanon as a result. Please keep writing.

  27. What goes to reinforce your arguments is that Kanye seems (or wants) to ignore the many billionaires or even millionaires that are in emerging countries and some are Africans (old or new money). Yet, he wants acceptance from the old world (read “white establishment”), when the same brands, created and managed by the people he wants respect from and that he worships, are looking towards the new world for financial gains (I hate the term “new world” ….but I digress). Of course I am pointing at Asia, Latin America and very soon Africa (the continent with the highest and most stable growth in recent and upcoming years). Dynamics are pointing at the new moon, yet he decides to stare at the old one. Kanye, indeed, this really makes us wonder what kind of acceptance you need and from whom …

  28. I cannot stop sharing and talking about this article, yu are pure genius to be able to connect the two! So thought provoking, i cannot say enough about this!!

  29. its always so much fun to knock someone and criticize their way of life, because we have it all figured out. I can’t speak of Kanye much, he has achieved extraordinary things and has a platform I can’t relate to. His actions are perplexing to say the least, but regardless of his motives, at least when he speaks, people listen and it gives bloggers a reason to write. Many other activists speak up about issues on a daily basis, and nobody (outside of the activist circle ) will be writing about it, re-tweeting it or debating it. They won’t do any of these because people with passive interest will not care. What Kanye is doing , is obviously having a larger impact. You can call Kanye an imposter all you want, but you need this imposter.

    1. While this was certainly food for thought, and there were some points worth considering, there were also some misses in this article. Just 2 that struck me the most:

      1. “They don’t want him and they never will.” This is where the author begins to lose me…wanting me in your institution has nothing to do with my intents on penetrating it. President Obama certainly did not ask for anyone’s permission or co-sign so putting up that mental barrier just serves to dissuade people from their goals in life. I generally ignore this type of “nay-saying”

      2. Fashion is Kanye’s goal. Not race relations. This author cries him down for wanting to be part of a historically segregationist institution but guess what…what long standing institution isn’t? Further more that dream was given to Kanye, not the author and has nothing to do with her agenda. See my Omaba example. My dream is to be a senior lecturer and publisher, yet you are going to criticize me for wanting to be part of a historically all white fraternity? Come on now.

      Finally, not only is this author trying to inject Kanye’s personal aspirations with the race issue, she is also wrong about him defending black models. In that same Sway interview he criticized the European imagery of what a beautiful woman is supposed to be as is seen on the catwalk, stating that all shapes of women are beautiful. So plz JAM be fair in your critique, instead of inferring correlations between his views on race and his personal consumer habits.

      Congrats to Kanye for dropping Nike and taking up an Adidas deal. I will be looking to see how this young man progresses in the fashion world.

      1. Kayne should use his own money to elevate his business to the level he wants to be. Berry Gordy did it and changed the musical landscape. John Johnson did it and established an African American magazine that still thrives years after his death. A South Los Angeles group of young black males created Cross Colors and energized hip hop fashion in the 90’s. So, in my humble point of view, Kayne needs to stop running his mouth and get busy with his hands.

  30. I really appreciated the way this article got me to think about Kanye. In fact, I appreciate every one of your articles, I’m finding. But your comment that the swastika example is “tired and old” threw me off. Seeing a swastika still generates terror, anger, and sadness, especially among Jews. There are still Holocaust survivors around, my grandmother included, and anti-Semitism is not dead, although I know, of course, that it’s nowhere close to as rampant and systematized as racism.

    And now I’ll get back to reading your work!

  31. Good article. I think it is entirely possible that Kanye is suffering from some kind of mental health disorder relating to the colonized mind. The behaviors are telling and I have no problem with the conclusions drawn above. I will say, however, that any discussion of Kanye’s behavior must include some acknowledgement that his public breakdowns and disconnect from clarity around issues dear to the Black African Diaspora, has occurred after the death his mother (who from all accounts was an intelligent woman with deep understanding white supremacy). It seems to me that after his mother became an ancestor, that nigga went crazy.

  32. Excellent article and one that I will forward to my teenage children. I wonder if in fact the issue is more simplistic and color blind. I suspect that Mr West could be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. If this is the case, as I suspect it is, his grandiose self perception will never change nor can or will he ever be able to express empathy for others. If it looks good, he will wear it. If it sounds good, he will say it. If he can get away with it, he will take it and without remorse.

  33. Kanye West will NEVER be accepted by the Fashion or any other industry but Music because he is a self-absorbed, arrogant ass who will say outrageous things and put companies in very compromising positions. Its not because he’s black, its simply because he’s a lunatic. If Givenchy made Erykah Badu the new face of its brand, there is proof that not all of them want to exclude diverse cultures. But most certainly all of them want to exclude Kanye, and I don’t blame them.

    1. You are 100% correct. Kanye loves to claim that he’s not getting what he wants – be it approval from White people in general or the fashion industry specifically, because he’s Black, but it is really because he’s an a-hole without no sense of propriety. He’s rude, disrespectful and and, yes, arrogant. But he has somehow convinced himself that these traits will get him further instead of holding him back. This fact alone tells me that the man is delusional.

  34. I LOVE your approach. You are really good writer. Your arguments are solid, there’s no doubting that. And you’ve pulled in quotes of some ‘greats’ that were dead on. Great read!

  35. Amazing piece! I’ve always said that Kanye’s problem is not injustice or inequality, but rather that he’s an adult toddler throwing a hissy fit because he got picked last at PE – in an adult it’s nothing short of narcissistic paranoia. Talking about symbols in fashion (and I guess general). There is a British brand “Boy London” (you must have seen the likes of Rihanna and Rita Ora sporting apparel with Boy written in bold font). One of their designs uses the eagle commonly used by Nazi’s. Going back further, the Swastika is actually a very positive, century-old Hindu symbol. The meaning of symbols, just like culture, is fluid and ever-changing, and meaning is attributed by people and society, which is how it should be not the other way around. The ignorant use of anything should be discouraged, but that doesn’t mean that Kanye wearing the confed flag makes him a bad person, in his defense it could be interpreted as a statement of “your symbols (ie your beliefs) don’t mean anything and have no power”, it’s a provocation of those that would use this symbol against him.

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