Kanye West

Kanye West Is Misunderstood

Yeezus gets crucified for our sins.

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Shortly after Donald Trump won the presidency, Kanye West, the successful and controversial hip-hop artist and fashion mogul, tried to start a conversation about political pluralism. On stage during a show in San Jose, California, he admitted something he knew would alarm a lot of his audience: While he hadn't actually voted, if he had, it would have been for Trump.

"That don't mean that I don't think that black lives matter," he clarified. "That don't mean I don't think that I'm a believer in women's rights. That don't mean I don't believe in gay marriage." Still, West told his San Jose crowd, it was time to "stop focusing on racism.…We are in a racist country, period…and not one or the other candidate was gonna instantly be able to change that because of their views."

Most of his friends and family were for Clinton, he conceded. And he knew none of his political ruminations were apt to please his fans. "I guess we're just not gonna sell out the rest of the tour now," he said, presciently. New York magazine chided him afterward for turning himself into "basically the uncle you really wish you could avoid at Thanksgiving dinner," and R&B singer John Legend told a French magazine that "for Kanye to support [Trump's] message is very disappointing."

A week after the San Jose show, West canceled 21 remaining tour dates, was hospitalized for "stress and exhaustion," and disappeared from public life and productivity for a year. He later attributed his troubles that week to trying to wean himself from an opioid dependency; he has since publicly identified himself as diagnosed bipolar, and he often talks about when he is or isn't on his meds.

He became active again in 2018, releasing a string of albums that he either performed on or produced in early summer. This time, it looked like his politics might not hinder his creative ventures. His solo record Ye quickly hit No. 1. A week later, a collaboration with Kid Cudi called Kids See Ghosts debuted at No. 2, while Ye held on to No. 5.

But during this same period of artistic fertility, he also dove back into politics, doubling down on his support for Trump. The cultural storm he generated by praising the president didn't initially drive away his core audience, but it did result in months of increasing pressure that culminated in a late October announcement from the singer that he would be eschewing political arguments to focus on just being creative. The bumpy road leading to that declaration demonstrates the toxicity of politics today—and, as collateral damage, likely ends West's ability to use his influence to do real good for real people.

'The Mob Can't Make Me Not Love Him'

West's public announcement of his bipolar diagnosis and struggles with addiction were a relief to admirers who hated the president. It allowed them to write off the Trump talk as a side effect of stress, mental illness, and/or a drug problem.

Then, in April 2018, after being absent from Twitter for over a year and having released no music in the interim, West tweeted a photo of himself in a "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) hat. People got mad all over again. In response, he tweeted that "the mob can't make me not love" Trump. "We are both dragon energy," he said. "He is my brother."

West also struck up an unlikely ideological alliance with Candace Owens of the right-wing advocacy group Turning Point USA. Owens, a black woman who pushes black support for the Republican Party, became a frequent public companion, including at the release event for West's Ye album, which he issued about a month after launching himself as a born-again MAGAite.

Hearing "love" anywhere near "Trump" caused the tastemakers of hip-hop and respectable popular culture to see red, as West well knew it would. In his songs, if not always in his copious interviews, he has frequently been his own most intelligent observer and critic. Despite his reputation as an arrogant maniac, he consistently looks on himself with usually wise judgment and vivid self-awareness.

In response to the MAGA controversy, West and rapper T.I. rush-released a duet single, "Ye vs. the People." In it, T.I. stands in for "the people," capturing the baffled incredulity of Trump-hating Kanye fans. "This shit is stubborn, selfish, bullheaded, even for you," he raps. "You wore a dusty-ass hat to represent the same views as white supremacy, man. We expect better from you."

West counters that his wearing a MAGA hat rebranded it: "Make America Great Again had a negative perception. I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction. Added empathy, care, and love and affection." He analogized reaching out to the MAGA world as "like a gang truce, the first Blood to shake the Crip's hand."

Justice for Alice Johnson

Anti-Trumpers in pop culture remained on T.I.'s side. The current cultural mode, after all, is constant watchful hostility against one's political enemy and all who stand with him (or her).

A couple of West's subsequent public pronouncements fed the assumption that anyone, even a black man, who supported Trump must be soft on racism. He made a certifiably outrageous statement to TMZ in May: "When you hear about slavery for 400 years…For 400 years? That sounds like a choice."

Yet when West explained himself later, he touched on a line of political philosophy that goes back as far as the 16th century: the controversial idea, associated with classical liberal theorist Etienne de la Boetie, author of Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, that where rebellion is physically possible, the oppressor often forces on the oppressed a mindset that on some level justifies the slavery to the enslaved.

As West put it later, "My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved."

In late September, Kanye tweeted that "we will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment." He meant—as would be obvious to anyone familiar with the details of that constitutional amendment or the lingo of the modern prison reform movement—the part of the 13th that allows involuntary servitude for "punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." Kanye was advocating an end to the often brutal yet completely legal practice of forced prison labor. But confused onlookers, thinking of the 13th only as the amendment that largely abolished slavery in the United States, assumed crazy Kanye wanted to send blacks back to the plantation.

For his apostasy from standard liberal opinion on Trump, West became a victim of "cancel culture," the practice of completely writing off anyone—celebrity, relative, and everyone in between—who does or says something sufficiently disagreeable. Yet West's public attachment to the MAGA cause had already freed a woman from jail. In June, Trump took a meeting with the rapper's wife, reality star and media mogul Kim Kardashian. She asked him to commute the sentence of a 63-year-old black grandmother named Alice Johnson, and he did so.

In October, right before a controversial televised Oval Office meeting with West, Trump told Fox News that he was on the artist's side when it came to America's penal system. "There has to be a reform," he said. "It's very unfair to African Americans, it's very unfair to everybody, and it's also very costly." The president added that if a conflict arose between West's vision on prison reform and that of then–Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump would overrule Sessions in favor of West.

It wouldn't be fair to infer that West and his wife were the primary influence on Trump's surprising embrace of criminal justice reform; the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner is its biggest supporter within the White House itself. But in May, less than a month after Kanye's MAGA tweeting began, Trump hosted a prison reform summit at the White House. "Our whole nation benefits if former inmates are able to re-enter society as productive, law-abiding citizens," he said. And Johnson's release does seem directly connected to the president's relationship with the Kardashian-Wests.

Kanye West analogized reaching out to Trump's MAGA world as "like a gang truce, the first Blood to shake the Crip's hand."

During their notorious October White House meeting, West physically embraced the president, told the country to lay off Trump because if he doesn't look good we don't look good, and said that wearing the MAGA hat makes him feel like Superman. He reinforced Trump's proclivity for trade protectionism via calls to bring manufacturing jobs to West's native Chicago. And he used the air time to offer, from beside the leader of the free world, a consistent positive message of mercy and reform for people stuck in the prison system. West was at the very least a prominent public part of the chorus of voices in Trump's ear that led him, in November, to say he'd be happy to sign the FIRST STEP Act if both houses of Congress can agree on a final version. That bill would, among other things, shore up re-entry programs and job training for federal prisoners and make it easier to rack up "good time" credits toward earlier release. The legislation, which has bipartisan support on the Hill, would also reduce some mandatory minimum sentences for repeat drug offenders and limit the sentencing impact of possessing a firearm while committing a nonviolent offense.

The only two policies West explicitly spoke in favor of in his meeting with Trump—more industrial jobs in America and prison reform—are perfectly consistent with a 21st century progressive political agenda. These are also the only items on Trump's policy slate that West has ever actually endorsed. The rapper has been looking for points of agreement and commonality in places where other people from his world are blind, and he's been crucified for it.

Insane or Visionary?

The fractured, twisted, manic style of West's public statements, in addition to his admitted history of mental health problems, led many to write off his adventures in MAGAland as byproducts of mania or depression, not worth engaging.

This "ignore him, he's crazy" campaign is the most unsavory aspect of West's public shaming. Don Lemon and a panel of black pundits on CNN indulged in such rhetoric at length after the Oval Office visit. "No one should be taking Kanye West seriously," declared CNN's Tara Setmayer. "He clearly has issues. He's already been hospitalized." This is a shockingly retrograde view about mental illness and fitness for participation in civic life from commentators who ought to know better.

The connection between genius and madness is complicated, and the insights offered by a perpendicular view of the world should not be so readily dismissed. As music critic Chris Richards pointed out in a spot-on 2017 Washington Post essay, there are strange parallels between West and the eccentric and visionary science fiction author Philip K. Dick: Each man had an experience in a dentist chair that led him to believe he'd been stabbed with beams of divine wisdom.

Dick turned that revelation into a final series of novels, most prominently VALIS, and a sprawling, much-lauded journal thinking through the meaning and reality of what he thought he'd learned. West turned his experience into one of his most emotionally powerful songs, 2016's "Ultralight Beam," in which he marvels that "this"—the universe? his music? his life?—is "a God dream. This is everything." The song is beatific, mysterious, humbling, gorgeous—all the things people willing to apply the imperatives of "cancel culture" to West are rejecting.

Richards wrote in the Post that "we should remember to recalibrate our expectations" about West. "If he sounds as though he's lost his mind, it might mean he's found himself."

That's what West seemed to think happened. Most of the world disagreed, violently.

'It Hurts When People Try To Tell Me What To Do'

The vehemence of the public reaction to West reveals something unyieldingly dogmatic about our current politico-cultural moment. Even T.I., willing to be his foil in the "Ye vs. the People" single, publicly abandoned West after his White House meeting with Trump, saying on Instagram that it was "the most repulsive, disgraceful, embarrassing act of desperation.…I've reached my limits. This is my stop, I'm officially DONE!!!!"

This, even though Kanye has never expressed support for any actual policy of Trump's that the so-called #resistance is against. What turned progressives against West was his notion, per Owens, that a black person should have the ability to make a choice about his partisan allegiance.

Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images

West—the man who once said on live TV that George W. Bush "doesn't care about black people" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina—was still concerned about the plight of his community. He just didn't see his friendship with the president as undermining that concern. He told a Chicago radio station in August that "I feel that [Trump] cares about the way black people feel about him, and he would like for black people to like him like they did when he was cool in the rap songs.…He will do the things that are necessary to make that happen because he's got an ego like all the rest of us, and…he can't be the greatest president without the acceptance of the black community." West laid out explicitly what he thought could come of open, friendly communication with the president: "It's something he's gonna work towards, but we're gonna have to speak to him."

West doesn't talk like a political strategist, but if you pay attention to what he's done (use his family's star power to secure a black grandmother's release from prison and to get Trump to tell Fox News that he supports reforms that would make life better for many inmates) and to what he has not said (that he supports any particular Trump policy other than industrial production in the U.S.), what he was trying to pull off was clear enough. He wanted to open a dialog with someone he thought could make a positive difference in the world. Sadly, all "cancel culture" saw was a lunatic rebel with a cause they were too prejudiced even to try to understand.

What did it cost West to have opinions he took seriously shredded and mocked as signs of insanity? As he said in a video rant posted to Twitter in October, it's "like someone touched your brain with their hands…how that would hurt you, that's how it hurts when people try to tell me what to do when I'm going from my heart."

That was a vivid artist's way of expressing something that any citizen of a post-Enlightenment nation should be able to relate to at least a little: the sense that freedom of expression is important in part because what we think, feel, and believe is emotionally and intellectually core to our being. Pressure to force it underground can seem like an intolerable violation of our autonomy.

Such pressure to conform, whether you feel it from others or impose it on others, makes the world an uglier, narrower, more unpleasant place—and all for little gain other than the pleasure of hating and disdaining people who seem to think differently from you.

No Safe Space for Trump Fans

By late October, West was in public conflict with former political consigliere Owens over her attaching his name, apparently without his permission, to a product for her "Blexit" campaign to encourage blacks to abandon the Democratic Party.

Soon thereafter, he tweeted some of the things he stands for politically, including "holding people who misuse their power accountable." He continued: "I believe in love and compassion for people seeking asylum and parents who are fighting to protect their children from violence and war.…I support creating jobs and opportunities for people who need them the most, I support prison reform, I support common-sense gun laws that will make our world safer."

West's final political tweet, an apparent effort to close out the Kanye-MAGA saga, read: "I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!" While some people were clearly willing to take the prodigal back, the declaration was also greeted with tons of salty responses such as "unstable sellouts suck" and "just go away," as well as slightly more substantive rants insisting this was an insincere attempt to win back cultural market share and assuring him it was too late to regain their respect or attention.

West has gone to some considerable trouble to distance himself from Trump's immigration and firearms policies. He merely said he loved the man and, as he put it in an April radio interview with the media personality Charlamagne tha God, believed the reality star's election "proves that anything is possible in America.…I'm not talking about what he's done since he's in office. But the fact that he was able to do it."

Wearing a MAGA hat or meeting with Trump does not make you personally to blame for, say, the president's policies toward refugees. By any sensible standard of guilt—which should mean that you actually caused the thing to happen—even people who voted for Trump are not responsible for every bad thing he does, since his victory would have happened whether or not any specific individual cast a ballot for him.

At that San Jose concert in 2016 where he expressed his affection for Trump, West said that "whether you voted for Hillary or Trump, this is a safe space for both of you." As his public shellacking shows, many Americans are not interested in such safe spaces. Even at the expense of a dialog that literally led to freedom for an unjustly jailed black prisoner, they'd rather pillory, abuse, mock, and "cancel" than engage or even just ignore.

The sour but real joys of expressing contempt, however well-earned, for Trump have thus become more important to people—in Kanye's case and many others—than art, friendship, family, or even seeing literal justice done. That's a choice anyone is free to make, but given that no number of angry snubs of Trump fans will limit the damage wrought by his policies one iota, doing so simply makes the world a lot less pleasant.

West can take it; he loves being a provocateur, and it has long been his stated policy that "soon as they like you, make 'em unlike you, 'cause kissing people's ass is so unlike you." But in a country with tens of millions of Trump voters, one hopes the example of Yeezus sacrificing his reputation for the freedom of Alice Johnson will make people think twice about filtering all their human interactions through an acceptable set of political beliefs.

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96 responses to “Kanye West Is Misunderstood

  1. Kanye is a gay fish.

    1. only cuz he likes fishsticks.

    2. Rap is Crap!

      1. I have always stuck up for Reason, but this article is awful if out and put deceptive. Theres no mention of the , truly bizaare behavior that KW engaged in during this time – lile showing up at a radio station to read from a dictionary while describing how he had poured “positive energy” into his custom MAGA hat, or freaking out at Drake for following his wife on Instagram (while accusing him of sending some sort of subliminal insult through the use of a purple demon emoji). The mental gymnastics required on the part of the author to legitimize the West/Trump summit are likewise jaw dropping. Probably the most audacious line compares commercial trash “artist” West whose meaningless hypersexualized lyrics & musically retarded “beats” have captivated a nation of illiterates to Phillip K Dick, who (regardless of the relative merits of his work vs Kanyes dubious cashin aural abortions) was capable of constructing a meaningful sentence in both spoken and written form. Perhaps this can be a series repairing the self imploded images of rap/r&b stars. I hear R Kelly is “misunderstood”, also, Reason.

  2. Trump wanted to get rid of three strikes? That’s so racist!!

    1. Its part of his eleven dimensional form of racism.

  3. Kmele Foster ghostwrote this.

  4. I’m glad he thought with his mind and not his skin color! Not all conservatives are alike, and many of color are walking away from the Left keeping them dependent…
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

  5. The biggest problem with Ye is that he is a black person who wandered off the liberal plantation. You can be racist as you want towards him due to wrong think. Call him uncle Tom, house N*, whatever. Claim he has mental issues, no problem! Don’t you dare be a minority off that plantation.

    The funniest part is Snoop calling him an Uncle Tom. Snoop literally does commercials with Martha Stewart.

    1. It’s not just blacks.

      It’s hard to get most liberals (err, democrats) to admit that Trump may have accomplished some good in line with their stated beliefs. You have examples of this all day long.

      Hell, on most days I am less than pleased with Trump, but it is hard to deny he has accomplished a lot that should give liberals AND libertarians cause for celebration.

      Give the devil his due.

      Looking forward to being called out as a fascist for stating the obvious.

      1. Care to cite these things that liberals and libertarians should celebrate?

        Stock Market, continuation from Obama
        Unemployment, continuation from Obama
        Tarriffs, taxation on US citizens.

        About the only thing I can think of you mean is withdraw from Syria, but even still, that seems to be more of a give me to Putin/Assad, where the job is not done. I want the wars ended, but not in a way that is going to make us less safe.

        1. You are dumb.

          1. Thats the best you can come up with? Care to state how I am dumb?

            1. Joe is right. You’re dumb.

              Which Obama policies, be specific, are still helping the economy?

              1. What policy of Trump’s is currently helping the economy, or was? The tax break that did nothing to help anyone but the rich to buy back stock? The tariffs taking money from us citizens? The destruction of who industries to attempt to prop up dying industries, that is doing little to nothing to prop them up?

                I said the economy was already climbing under Obama, so it is a continuation, that is literally the meaning.

                Its funny all of you want to focus on ad hominem attacks rather than defend the original premise I commented on, not a very reasoned response.

                1. First trump has reduced nearly 120 billion in regulatory costs. Second the tax break released pent up expansion capital for business, you can literally read any business survey the last 2 years if you didn’t want to be ignorant. Third trump undid regulatory hurdles for energy expansion on federal lands.

                  What you did is make a broad, non factual statement devoid of any facts. Nearly a third of the economic growth post recession was in the energy sectors on private and state lands. Obama restricted federal explorations. Youd know this if you had basic information.

                  Likewise the recession ended 5 months into Obama’s presidency before a single one of his policies were implemented. This was credited to TARP. So why are you giving Obama credit? You’re dumb.

                  I focused on ad hominem because your post had no substance.

                  1. pent up capital that has been used to buy back stock…

                    rapping federal lands for energy exploration…

                    Actually what I said is the only factual thing in this post. You are stating beliefs and opinions, I gave hard numbers.

                    Ad hominems show a lack of, well reason..And inability to rationally argue a point. Its why it is called a fallacy.. You still have not shown a single thing that was a positive.

                    Shoot even the White House itself only claims 23 billion in regulatory cost reduction, yet you claim 120. I mean unless you think 120 is near 23..And yet you still ignore the costs, the very real costs of those regulatory actions.

                    1. You are stating beliefs and opinions, I gave hard numbers.

                      No you didn’t. You made sweeping generalizations without any support to back it up at all.

                    2. So my exact numbers on the stock market and UE percentages are sweeping generalizations without support to back it up? I am not sure you understand what that phrase means….

                    3. So my exact numbers on the stock market and UE percentages are sweeping generalizations without support to back it up?

                      Your claim that they are continuations of Obamas were. Try to keep up, shitlib.

                2. No, sorry MO FO, you came out and specifically reached into your “stupid and crazy bag”, and gave Obama credit for everything good that happened after he left office. Defend it, or shut the fuck up.

                  1. Actually no, I came in and denied Trump credit for everything that happened since he took office. Those are not the same thing. Also I HAVE defended it, and the best you can come up with is attacking me, not the message..

                    1. You still refuse to point to an actual specific Obama policy dummy.

                      You’re uneducated. That’s fine. Stop trying to have intelligent discussions.

        2. Off the top of my head-

          Sentencing reform, withdraw from Syria, deescalation with North Korea, regulatory reform (if you want to be more like Sweden, it starts here), not signing the TPP (as well as renegotiating other trade deals), and a low unemployment rate.

          And let me point the finger back to you- besides the ACA, what did Obama accomplish?

          1. Obama, with his sober, steady, gentleman’s manner, did what? Sent more immigrants back than Trump has, boosted a drone system, world-wide; over saw the mess Ed Snowden has revealed, and I did not see much push back on the Big Brother Patriot Act, signed into law without most even having read it. And I’ve missed a lot here. And whoever said Black people don’t have as much choice to pick a political party as any other American, no?

          2. Obama, with his sober, steady, gentleman’s manner, did what? Sent more immigrants back than Trump has, boosted a drone system, world-wide; over saw the mess Ed Snowden has revealed, and I did not see much push back on the Big Brother Patriot Act, signed into law without most even having read it. And I’ve missed a lot here. And whoever said Black people don’t have as much choice to pick a political party as any other American, no?

            1. You left out arming ISIS in Syria & helping to making the humanitarian crisis there much more massive & along with HildaBeast destroying Libya, a stable nation & murdering Qaddafi because he wanted to create a Pan-African currency backed by gold!

            2. Also forgot limiting a resurgence in American energy production by limiting access to federal lands, de li saying permits, and denying transport systems.

              1. Good One:

                How about his EPA harassing small farmers & their ponds with big fines for nonsense?…Using Ex. Privilege corruptly in Fast & Furious?….A litany of Illegal Ex. Orders regarding ObummyCare?…Screwing stockholders in Illegal bailout of GM?…Committing War Crimes in Yemen?…Using the IRS to harass political opponents? …Queering the State Dept. & other agencies?

          3. The ACA was an accomplishment?……LOL!!!

          4. How did he deescalate NK? They are still testing weapons underground, and still talking crap…..

            Byu regulatory reform you mean allowing industries to kill more people? I covered Syria.

            There has been no sentencing reform, yet…

            I covered Unemployment, it was already super low…

            As for what Obama accomplished, lets see, you already mentioned the ACA.. There is the stock market which lets see

            Dow 9k to 19k
            S&P 500 1k to 2200
            Nasdaq 1600 to 5400
            Unemployment 7.6 to 4.8 %

            Again, these things have only continued what was happening under Obama, and shoot not even increasing, decreasing in the case of unemployment, at the same rate as under Obama.

            1. So in the near decade Obama was president, the only things you can point to is the ACA and a rising stock market.

              Yeah.

              Meanwhile, if the stock market had crashed during Trump’s reign, I doubt you’d say it was an after effect of Obama’s polices. That it is continuing is all Trump.

              Relations with North Korea aren’t better now than at any time during Obama? Do tell.

              Per Obama, Syria was mostly humanitarian. To claim them as a threat now is rich.

              As I said, the left is unwilling to give Trump his due. He hasn’t been that bad.

              1. If the stock market had continued to crash under Obama I would have said Obama continued Bushes, and we cannot determine how much was Obamas and Bushes, the same with Trumps continuation..

                NK is still creating ballistic weapons, they are still talking their rhetoric, they are playing trump.

                The issue with Syria is not the Syrians, it is ISIS, and the Kurds we are leaving behind…

                You mean besides allowing people to harm other for profit, the deficit increasing by 50%, the joke he has made us to the world. The raping our natural resources to make a buck, the continuing to destroy the environment. The continued war on drugs and other issues with police having free will to do what they want.

                1. You are an unbelievable dumb fuck.

            2. The fact that you think reducing regulations gives industries a license to kill people shows you’re an idiot.

            3. You are of course aware that the President has little or nothing to do with the rate of unemployment or the performance of the stock market. If not, go read a book. You should also be aware that the unemployment rate as reported is largely a fiction: it does not report the number of unemployed, but only the number of people receiving unemployment benefits.

              Your comment about “allowing industries to kill more people” is worse than stupid. The mountain of regulations promulgated under Obama simply make it increasingly difficult if almost impossible to do business at all, which can be good news only to those who want to see capitalism disappear. It would appear you are among that crowd.

              1. UnrepentantCurmudgeon

                Hmm, that is actually false.. The president does have an impact on the stock market, but I will agree with you on the UE rate in general… BTW people who are not looking for jobs, or are stay at home moms are not “unemployeed” technically…

                As for the industries to kill people, hmm, there is the reclassification of nuclear waste. There is the asbestos, there is the car pollination… The amount of regulations Obama did or did not promulgate has nothing to do with Trumps very real actions that will harm, and kill people.

                JesseAz

                I never said those industries can go out in the street and shoot someone, but the actions they allow will kill. For instance allowing employees to not wash their hands will harm many and could even kill. Allowing cars to pollute more will kill people. Allowing you to dump more pollutants will kill people. This is not hyperbole there is a real and calcuable cost to these things in human lives. That you somehow thing that things like pollutants cannot kill people is what makes you an idiot if there is one.

                1. You are a lying sack of shit.

                2. I never said those industries can go out in the street and shoot someone, but the actions they allow will kill. For instance allowing employees to not wash their hands will harm many and could even kill. Allowing cars to pollute more will kill people. Allowing you to dump more pollutants will kill people. This is not hyperbole there is a real and calcuable cost to these things in human live

                  Yeah, it’s hyperbole.

                  1. so you really believe that pollutants, such as lead and mercury do not kill people?

                    1. I believe you’re a silly drama queen who needs to be placed in bubble wrap.

                3. BTW people who are not looking for jobs, or are stay at home moms are not “unemployeed” technically…

                  Oh, NOW liberals want to pay attention to the employment to population ratio that they ignored for eight years under Obama?

                  1. We have been, conservatives under Obama were like retired folk are unemployed you must calculate them, then under Trump, never mind….

                    1. We have been

                      Stop lying. If Obama’s responsible for the entirety of the UE in the last nine years, he’s responsible for the E-P ratio during that time too.

                      You shitlibs can’t even keep your arguments consistent.

            4. Hey dumbfuck. Instead of quoting general economic indicators, point to the actual policies that you be look ive drove the behavior. Who is president is not a driver. The economy is robust despite who the president is. The president can help or hinder economic expansion. It can be clearly pointed out Obama hindered it due to his energy policies and low growth.

              It is amazing you cant point to a single policy or its economic effect.

              You’re dumb.

        3. CB; you are safer than any time in history. You have bought the soup du jour; FEAR. Try to lose it before you need a plexiglas navel. Talk to any mechanical engineer; the Twin Towers could not have fallen the way they did without additional explosive assistance, and try to think from there. Chris Bowen; more people, including you, are safer than any time in history.

          1. It depends, thanks to conservatives I am less safe from my own government, after all Trump is the embodiment of a fascist government, authoritarian with extreme nationalism. Police are generally allowed to do what ever they like. Also I work with literally dozens of mechanical, electrical, and many other engineers, and they would disagree with you.

            1. The only president to kill a u.s. citizen on order without judicial input is Obama. Trump is literally reducing federal regulatory power, the opposite of fascism dumbfuck. Obama was literally spying and handing out search warrants against media personalities he didnt like. You are a know nothing.

              1. You obviously do not know what fascism is, again, it is authoritarianism with nationalism. Obama was not a nationalist, though even I see him as a authoritarian… I also never said Trump has killed anyone, so please stop with the strawman fallacies.. He is enabling the police to kill people…

                Also federal regulatory power has nothing little to do with it either. I mean it is like you have never read a dictionary.. I mean Hitler reduced the federal regulatory power as well, yet he was still a fascist, because he was an authoritarian with extreme nationalism…

                You do realize the president does not hand out search warrants right? A judge does….and you call me a know nothing…

                1. You obviously do not know what fascism is, again, it is authoritarianism with nationalism.

                  Your middle school-level understanding of economic systems shines through.

                2. My God Chris. How fucking dumb are you? What authoritarian policies did trump expand? Hes literally reducing centralized regulatory powers you moron.

            2. Yeah, police are SO out of control compared to when Obama was president. Examples please.

              I am a licensed professional engineer are you are a dumb fuck and I do not believe for a single moment that you are and engineer. If you actually work with engineers, I seriously doubt you represent them fairly. Most engineers are intelligent, unlike you.

              1. Reason, again, and for the umpteenth time, how about some editing tools?

                Sigh, “AN engineer,” not “and engineer”

          2. And most of the safety from the rest of the world is on the backs of killing other innocents, which in the long run makes us less safe.

            1. Which Obama did in large numbers with his drone policies in the Middle East. Someday, someone with a shred of honesty will deconstruct his administration and its policies and reveal to everyone what we already know: it was a corrupt disaster inside and out.

              It should also be pointed out that you miss something: Congress. If by “fascist government, authoritarian with extreme nationalism” you are referring to things like the Patriot Act, please remember that it passed with bipartisan support and was continued without significant change under the Obama administration.

              1. I never once claimed to like Obama policies there, but Trumps we are talking about trump and he is bad…. The patriot act continuation is one of the things I disliked about Obama, but that made him extremely authoritarian, he did not exalt the nation with it.

      2. Qsl; your day is very short, dark and twisted if you believe Russian agent criminal Trump has accomplished any, any good “all day long”. Simply not so, amigo.

        1. The “evidence” against Trump vis-?-vis Russia is entirely concocted by the Democrat operative Christopher Steele and his lackeys at Fusion. The Clintons are more wrapped up with Russia than Trump could ever be. And don’t forget, it was Obama who failed to act when Russia invaded the Crimea.

          1. and by entirely concocted you mean mostly proven.. Also how is Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS a democratic operative, when their first worked under the republicans….

            Clinton vs Trump? WTF, Trump literally has millions in loans from them, properties being developed, his son literally admitted to collusion with the Russians by going to them looking for dirt, what is clinton wrapped up with, the urainium one deal which she had nothing to do with? Clintion is crap, but nothing like what you are claiming..

            Also where is trumps action on Russia and the Ukraine?

            1. and by entirely concocted you mean mostly proven

              No, it is not. It may become so … depending on what Mueller eventually comes out with. To date, you have some Trump associates caught lying to cover up things that were perfectly legal in the first place.

            2. How is Steele and Fusion GPS a democratic operative, when they first worked for Singer (a Republican) get research on the candidates?

              Why did Hillary pay her law firm to hire them to produce the dossier (claiming she wasn’t involved in it) and get it published and used to spy on Trump’s people and campaign? Steele wasn’t involved when Singer was paying for legal research, nor were Russians. Most everything linking Trump to Russia was from Steele

              Politicians do research on their opponents all the time. Hiding one’s payments and using that research to corrupt the government to spy on a political opponent is something entirely different. Fusion GPS and Steele hate Trump, and mostly work for the Democrats. That Singer would use them means nothing, because he didn’t pay them to manufacture fake dirt on Trump to get the government to spy on him.

              1. There is no proof that Hillary was involved in the creation of the dossier, none at all.

    2. Martha served time in prison.

      1. Kitchen cred?

    3. >>> Snoop literally does commercials with Martha Stewart.

      dude.has.a.game.show.

    4. ‘N*’?

      Is that a wildcard? Call him all words starting with ‘N’?

      1. Nagger?

        1. Niggardly?

    5. Conservatives are calling blacks who for Democrats Uncle Toms every time they use the term “Democratic plantation” As long as you use that term you have no moral right to complain about how we liberals talk about black conservatives.

  6. “basically the uncle you really wish you could avoid at Thanksgiving dinner,”

    Dog whistle for Uncle Tom?

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      1. You replied to me Frapples!? WTF?

    2. No, speaking of that weird Uncle that likes to go on and on about politics at holiday parties even though he runs counter to the rest of the family. I could be that wierd uncle in my family, but I avoid it like the plague.

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  8. “Ultralight Beam”…The song is beatific, mysterious, humbling, gorgeous…

    No, it is not.

    1. Rap is Pure Crap!

  9. It may be a revelation to some people that Kanye West is misunderstood but I’ve never understood a damn thing about him since I first became aware that he even existed. NWA I understood, anything since then not so much.

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  11. touch the sky.

  12. Reason’s description of what Kanye said: “What turned progressives against West was his notion, per Owens, that a black person should have the ability to make a choice about his partisan allegiance”

    What Kanye said: “Blacks are 90% Democrats That sounds like control to me

  13. Excellent article

  14. Kayne West’s crucifixion is fully justified.
    No one should offer opinions that do reflect the politically correct diktats of our wise and enlightened leaders.
    Make remarks contrary to what is in the best interest of The State should be acted upon quickly and violently.
    No one has the right to the leave Uncle Sam’s plantation, especially minorities where they are best suited to live.
    After all, our ruling elites know what’s best for all of us, but especially know what is in the best interest of people of color. This is why you one would witness the wealth, the joy, the well ingrained indoctrinated and the crime free areas our ruling elitist turds have provided these people in government enclaves called “the projects.”
    White people look in awe and envy at these places and secretly wish they too could live there somehow, someway.
    Therefore, it would behoove Mr. West to get with the program and praise those who in power who have made black lives so much better off than the lives of white people.

  15. You can even love a rabid dog, I guess; but, and the rabies does not go away.

  16. I confess to know nothing about the man as an artist, but the market has made him very wealthy.
    I did not vote for Trump and missed the oval office drama with Kanye.
    However, I did see him do one interview on some chat show.
    It was obvious immediately that he was operating on a different, more enlightened level than most people I have heard. As Jimi Hendrix might have said, He has been experienced.
    He may not be economically enlightened like some libertarians, I cannot say.
    But enlightened he is. His intentions seem noble, not evil, not power hungry, not racist.
    He got something done too.
    I was a bit shocked and impressed too.
    Happy new year all!

  17. From the Confederacy to the KKK to now, Democrats have always hated it when an intelligent black man thinks for himself.

  18. He wasn’t punished for being too political, he was punished for wrongthink.

    1. Yet another case of the mob eating their own for daring to not conform 100%.

  19. At least he thinks with his mind, not his skin color…

    1. Unlike black people who don’t agree with you?

  20. All those that refuse to engage with the President have cut themselves out of the debate. Kanye gets his views a seat at the table. For all his critics they need to think about it.

  21. “Sadly, all ‘cancel culture’ saw was a lunatic rebel with a cause they were too prejudiced even to try to understand.”

    I disagree with Doherty here. What Democrats saw, was a famous black person, wandering off the plantation, and to let other blacks know how they felt about it, they trashed West. Thus any black who speaks well about any part of a conservative or Trump, knows how Democrats will treat them if they do. Democrats aren’t “too prejudiced to even try to understand”, they are enforcers of Democrat thought.

    1. And conservatives treat black liberals with the greatest respect? Any black person who votes Democratic can count on conservatives to call them brainwashed, or looking for free stuff, or “just automatically voting for the black guy” if the Democratic candidate is black. And then of course there’s the slur in the use of the term “Democratic plantation” which makes blacks who vote for Democrats out to be Uncle Toms and is also a major insult to those who suffered under real slavery. The kind that you couldn’t leave by simply filling out a card and checking the “Republican” box.

  22. Why isn’t Laura Ingraham all up in arms about Kanye West? Why isn’t she demanding he shut up and sing?

    1. She likes what he’s saying more, would be my guess.

  23. Kanye’s political commentary is orders of magnitude better than his “music”.

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