Some house keeping before I start:
These pictures are a response to this Jimmy Kimmel Sketch and this reaction from Kanye on his Twitter.
Ayesha Siddiqi’s Twitter can be found here and a easily read, time organized grouping of the tweets can be found here.
Now for a little commentary from me:
When I first heard about the video, Kanye had already seen it and gone on his “Rampage” or “Rant” or whatever else people define words that Kanye says. I read about it from Buzzfeed (link above), who handled it with all the grace and sensitivity that is typical of Buzzfeed (Re: demeaning title of “All Caps Twitter Ramapage). A friend of mine (here) led me to Ayesha’s tweets, which then led me to the video by Jimmy K.
I’ll be honest, my first reaction to seeing the Buzzfeed page was “LAWL, tell ‘em Ye.” I didn’t take it seriously because there is a part of me that believes Kanye’s a little crazy. I didn’t look for the video because I couldn’t be bothered to do a little research. I assumed it was just a joke. What’s wrong with a joke?
When I saw the tweets above (and more. I just picked some of my favorites.), I realized there was something wrong with me.
Now I don’t think I’m racist. In fact, I like to think I’m really good about not being racist. Ayesha’s tweets showed me that I might be.
This isn’t about me hating black people. I don’t. This is about me marginalizing the thoughts and feelings of another human being. I love Kanye’s music. I listen to it all the time. It is (mostly) fucking brilliant. Yet, even as a fan, I continue to disregard anything he’s saying not being backed by beautiful music. Why?
Why do I ignore what Kanye is saying when I know the things raps are (often) real, deep, and (to use definitions from hip-hop) conscious?
Because I live in a world where everyone thinks he’s crazy. Google “Kanye rants” and see how many links it give you. It’s ridiculous. And so, slowly, I begin to believe that he’s crazy, too. He must be. Buzzfeed says so. The LA Times says so.
But look where it comes from. Ayesha understands. And based on the number of retweets and favorites she’s getting, other people do, too.
So, I write all this just so I can ask you to, just for a second, listen instead of laugh. Pay attention to what is happening and try to understand where it’s all coming from. Maybe you’ll still think he’s crazy, but at least you’ll know why.