In a discussion on Facebook I initiated about Kanye West, I expressed the concern I have about motive as it relates to his recent church services.
In response, a friend commented in support of Kanye, “I think people should have room for growth.”
I read that statement and loved the truth in it. It’s something I try to live by in the way I treat people.
Yet I think about that statement and how it stares squarely in the face of a black man who put on a MAGA hat and said “It made me feel like Superman”, and realize that our capacity to let people grow shouldn’t exceed anyone else’s capacity or desire to grow for themselves.
Kanye does not want to grow up.
A PR stunt is one thing, but there is a serious issue with framing album promotion in some Godly journey, particularly when not too along ago, minister West was buddy buddy with a rabid racist that I would imagine God is not too fond of.
Of all the good in the world forgiveness is supposed to do, it’s execution proves to be particularly problematic when it comes to celebrities.
There are people, some I know personally, who refuse to free themselves of the emotional bondage they are in by not forgiving family and friends for years on end. They harbor anger that poorly informs their relationships with other people and keeps them from being free.
Yet these same people will look at a Kanye West and quickly think of forgiveness because he’s called a “musical genius”, and because he’s taking the message to a place where forgiveness is supposedly paramount.
I know forgiving friends and family is one thing and forgiving a celebrity is another, but just imagine if people carried the energy of openness and forgiveness in both realms.
I also can’t help but wonder if gender is playing a role here as well.
Chrisette Michelle wanted to use a performance at Trump’s inauguration as an opportunity to “unify”.
Now admittedly her strategy was poorly executed. Choosing to perform at Trump’s inauguration looked like support for him, but Chrisette never said she supported Trump in any way. Perhaps she should have hired a good PR firm to help her think through the optics and what she wanted her end result to be, but her career, already on a nose dive from her reality TV stint, ended instead.
She was cancelled.
Yet here we have Kanye West this time aligning himself with God on an apology tour after he blatantly sided with Trump, and black people have a “Wait and see” attitude.
Where was the “wait and see” for Chrisette?
Oh yeah. She’s a black woman. Men will always be forgiven before women are.
That’s part of the reason R. Kelly was able to stay relevant for so long. He’s a man, and one that was abusing the least cared about people in this country. Black women.
But I digress..
So as a review, this is how forgiveness works.
Never forgive family and friends.
Don’t forgive the black female artist who said she wasn’t on Trump’s side.
Forgive the black male “musical genius” who actually sided with Trump.
Perhaps debatable for some, but most will say Kanye is prolific when it comes to creating music, but that doesn’t make his actions worth just sweeping under the rug because he’s standing in pulpits across the country.
What does in a way give him some benefit of the doubt is the death of his mother. This is layered though.
It’s been said that the loss of a parent leaves a hole in you that never completely heals, but one that you can manage over time. The key to management though is acknowledging that you haven’t dealt with something in the first place.
Kanye’s mother passed away, and Kanye dove into work. Performances, a tour; his way of coping was working, and it’s been outbursts, questionable behavior and two acts that are particularly hard to forgive.
One was the aforementioned support of Donald Trump, whose “rhetoric”, which is really white nationalism and racism, has had a hand in the murder of many black and brown people this year.
Kanye West also married into a family that, aside from not contributing anything useful to society (expect for Kim who has just now decided to do something actually productive with her brand), has spent their lives appropriating black culture. Most if not all of the Kardashian sisters have surgical black bodies and an array of black boyfriends (or black ex boyfriends) to prove it. They love blackness as long as it keeps them popular on social media and reality TV, but none of them have done anything to fend for the black women they so desperately want to be.
Yet here Kanye is on an apology tour.. of sorts. So far it seems he has yet to say sorry for supporting Trump, and there’s no way he’s going to apologize for marrying the woman he’s still married to.
Also, so far, no one is talking about what Kanye should to apologize for. His support of Trump seems to be water under the bridge, and the Kardashians can do no wrong.
Now wait. It’s not that anyone needs an apology from Kanye. He could say tomorrow that he’s sorry for supporting a racist and for the behavior of the family he married into as it relates to their mistreatment of black culture, but doing that of course wouldn’t change the affairs of black and brown people in America.
However, if you’re going on an apology tour, kinda helps if you, you know, apologize.
Ever since his mother died, Kanye has been crying out for attention. Marrying Kim Kardshian was the first yell. His display for Trump has been his loudest outcry yet.
Kanye has refused to lift the veil of his mother’s death, and that covering of his eyes has influenced far too many decisions that he has made.
At this point Kanye has had all the time, space, and resources to deal with his grief, but he refuses to do so, making his actions beyond reprieve.
Another problem with all of this is money.
We all remember back in 2005 when Kanye blurted out “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” during a Hurricane Katrina telethon.
Fast forward to 2018 and at a bill signing by Trump reforming copyright regulations, Kanye says when he made that statement he was affected by a “victimized mentality”, and that black people, “get caught up in the idea racism.”
So now that someone is in the White House ensuring the rich will get richer with tax cuts for the upper class and big business, and signing copyright reforms that will help musicians like Kanye get richer, racism is just an “idea”.
This isn’t growth. This is “I’m not black I’m OJ”.
Funny how OJ rhymes with Kanye.
Kanye West can be in church from this Sunday til Resurrection Day and he still couldn’t convince me that he cares about anything or anyone more than himself.
What of forgiveness? I do know that holding on to anger and resentment is not good for the mind or body. I also know that Kayne doesn’t want my forgiveness, but he needs it as a pathway to my money. He knows that with his new album, forgiveness and money are not mutually exclusive because angry fans don’t buy music.
Being upset with Kanye is futile though, so I’ll forgive him, but I’m going to stand over here and forgive him while he’s standing over there in the pulpit with his new album.
Jesus will always be king, but forgiveness should never necessitate relationship.