One of the most curious things about life as a Black person in America is that we are often placed in a position where we must protect misbehaviors that would otherwise not be in synch with decency. Such is the case with Kanye and his advocacy related to the release of Larry Hoover, a notorious Chicago gangster currently serving time in a maximum-security prison.
The thinking is that if he is released, he may be able to forestall or eradicate some of the violence in Chicago’s beleaguered communities.
This is just one of the ideas Kanye presented to President Donald Trump during a recent visit to the White House with famed footballer Jim Brown in tow. Trump sang both of their praises, virtually gushing regarding his admiration of them, while Kanye returned the sentiment saying, “I love this guy!”
A lot of African Americans are expressing outrage over Kanye’s antics. They are embarrassed by him and some wish he would just disappear. But the fact of the matter is that Kanye West was able to get an audience with the President of the United States, no matter how disliked he may be.
Kanye, lacking an official agenda, basically rolled out a series of ideas in a “stream of consciousness” manner, that he felt could help Black people and the country as a whole.
The big story here is that the Black community views Kanye as just someone suffering from a bipolar disorder who is duped by Trump (notably, Kanye said that he is not bipolar – he is sleep-deprived). Many consider him an embarrassment, and often use the excuse that he needs his mom. This is curious because, as an adult male, the idea that he behaves the way he does because of his mom’s absence due to her untimely death signals that we never expect him to grow up. Interestingly, as he discussed his life with Trump he said that he missed a male influence growing up – his father was absent. Wearing Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” cap, he said, made him feel like superman!
Among other ideas expressed during the meeting with Trump was a need for Trump factories that would help improve the economic conditions of citizens; he said Trump was on a “hero’s journey,” and emphatically stated that people must understand “If Trump doesn’t look good, we don’t look good.”
He opined, regarding criminal justice, that we don’t need sentences, we need pardons. He spouted the notion that Black people kill each other more than the police kill Blacks, but quickly acknowledged the power dynamic when police are involved. Moreover, he claimed that racism is an “invisible wall,” and then advocated for tax breaks. He actually mentioned a need for reparations and said that we should release the love and give opportunities.
One of his more ridiculous ideas was that Trump should have a high-tech I Plane, which should replace the outdated Air Force One. Regarding education, he shared that there should be special curricula developed to attract people from the streets because regular schools are “boring.” He pointed out that he opposes “stop and frisk” policies. Interestingly, Trump, who has been said to be pro “stop and frisk,” said that he would re-think the issue.
Kanye further stated that guns were not the problem in violence-prone communities, but that “illegal guns” were the issue. He drove home the notion that “we are one country.”
One of his more controversial musings was that of getting rid of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. This is probably his most misunderstood point. Basically, he was saying that it was flawed because it was written with a back door that would inadvertently allow slavery while theoretically abolishing it. The proof of this is that slavery is still allowed via incarceration.
Ultimately, some of Kanye’s ideas could be viable had they been presented to a reasonable president. In this regard, Kanye comes across as somewhat naïve, because the concepts that he champions are at direct odds with the direction headed in by the Trump administration.
Unfortunately, both the Black community and Trump might overlook some valid ideas because of “politics.” A Luta Continua.
This article originally appeared in the Chicago Crusader.