November 18, 2016

"Stop focusing on racism. We are in a racist country — period."

Said Kanye West, who didn't vote but if he had, "I would have voted for Trump."
"This is my platform and I'm going to talk about the paradigm shift that's happening right now," he said at the top of a 40-minute political speech that came at the cost of several songs.

It's hard to ascertain exactly the point he was trying to make as we only have tweets and videos from attendees, not a transcript, to go off, but it sounds as though he was mostly praising the disruptive nature of Trump's campaign, which 'inspired racists to reveal themselves'.

60 comments:

320Busdriver said...

Why does anyone care what KW says?

Especially since he's dumb enough to say he did not vote. What a loser.

Matthew Sablan said...

Man. 2016, am I right?

traditionalguy said...

Kanye is smart enough to get ahead of the trends. "Racist" is fast becoming an irrelevant category now that Hispanics and Muslims are declared to be oppressed RACES.

He is the black Trump. Their skill sets are similar.

Ann Althouse said...

Saying West is dumb is like saying Trump is dumb. You are failing to see the way that they are smart. It's a way that makes a lot of money and wins a lot of supporters. To call them "losers" is absurd.

AprilApple said...

Kanye is proof ideocracy is real.

Matthew Sablan said...

I feel it is unfair to say the speech is dumb until we get a transcript and can read it in its entirety. A lot of performers are much smarter than the persona they play gives them credit for. I remember Eminem gave a radio interview, and he was really well spoken, and it wasn't until the interviewer thanked him that I realized it was him.

Kanye the person may be very different from Kanye the persona; I don't know much about him outside of his job, that he apologized for his stupid comments about Bush, and apparently he wants to president, so I'll hold off on weighing in on if he is dumb.

But: We're almost at peak 2016. All we need now is Jesse Venture or Arnie to decide to run for president -- and for Arnie to try and convince a constitutional amendment so we can have the Presidentnator [not to be confused with President Nader.]

mccullough said...

Kanye said W hates black people right after Katrina. Obama called Kanye a jackass after his stunt against Taylor Swift. Kanye thrives on publicity. Will Trump give him more?

dreams said...

Its fun to watch the racists, idiots and just plain liberal dumb-asses self-identify.

Richard Dolan said...

Well, we are certainly in a race-conscious (and race-self-conscious) society. Some have benefited but overall it hasn't worked out quite as advertised, and that particular arc of history seems to be bending in the wrong direction.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Expect to see a lot more if entertainers and business people popping up to try to be president.

Every billionaire or famous person with political ambitions is kicking themselves right now saying "I coulda been president!" I'm guessing Mark Cuban has been on suicide watch since last Tuesday.

320Busdriver said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the people who spent a lot of money to see him perform were elated that he chose to pontificate on a point that was not entirely clear and not generate the noise he is known for.

He makes a lot of money, and has many followers. That does not mean he is not a loser.
Maybe it's racist for me to say that. I should probably just ask him.

Nonapod said...

Kanye West is the living embodiment of the question: Does trying very hard to be iconoclastic actually make one an iconoclast?

Fernandinande said...

It's a way that makes a lot of money and wins a lot of supporters. To call them "losers" is absurd.

I bet state lotteries make more money than this person does, so I look to the lottery officials for guidance in political matters and personal grooming.

bagoh20 said...

Kanye, Honey Boo Boo family, the Kardashians, the Jersy Shore crew, yea, not losers, but really smart? I think the word you are looking for is "famous". All kinds of ways to get there, smart or not. I would offer that outside of pure luck, like the lottery, fame is by far the best way dumb people get rich, but they are still dumb, and it's still luck. Kanye is by no means one of the best at what he does. Mediocre, but getting born with those pretty eyes, and meeting the right people at the right time - genius.

mikee said...

When racism is defined as being white, as it is now defined by the Left, rather than as holding a stereotypical opinion of others based on others' skin color, as most rational, civilized people and even the French used to do, what does it matter if someone calls me a racist? All it means is that I am white, by their definition. I can own that, without any self-hatred, and no requirement to perform any atonement for it, as I had no choice in accomplishing that supposedly odious feat (Rachel Dolezal notwithstanding).

Similarly, nobody who is not white can now be racist, per those same Leftists, no matter what unjust opprobrium they heap upon others of differing skin tones. And my God, does the Left ever heap that opprobrium unjustly on the basis of skin color. So being non-racist has also lost all meaning, and all supposed virtue. It just means the non-racists have skin tones that are not pinkish, a relatively meaningless distinction among humanity's wonderful and multitudinous types of variability.

Racist: now about as hurtful a condition, and an epithet, as being from out of town, or perhaps nearly as horrid as being a male.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, who is this West guy? Someone I should know about?

rhhardin said...

Racists today mostly wish blacks well.

Blacks have a stake in thinking they're holding them back.

Thinking that is holding them back.

Say from good character.

Owen said...

Does rap lead to cognitive deficits?
Do cognitive deficits lead to rap?

Important questions. Somebody should design and run clinical studies.

Volunteers needed.

FullMoon said...

Scott Adams just said Kanye is not playing 2d chess.

William said...

West better tread carefully. The only black man in public life that it is permissible to openly and fulsomely criticize is Clarence Thomas. (If you couch your criticism carefully, it is possible to say negative things about Bill Cosby, but it must be done with tact and regret.) The one sin that the liberal media find irredeemably deplorable in a black man is voting for a Republican. Perhaps they'll overlook this single outburst, take care, Kanye. Ponder the example of Gen. Powell. All that talk of him being a war criminal, or mendacious, or a dupe of Dubya vanished when he declared his support of Obama.

n.n said...

He's probably referring to [class] diversity schemes that saved and progressed institutional and individual racism. Who could have predicted that so much damage could be accomplished by reducing human life to colorful clumps of cells under the guise of reproductive rights and fantasy of spontaneous conception.

320Busdriver said...

Maybe this helps.

Let me rephrase. He's a jackass.

Wilbur said...

He's no less arrogant as those celebrities who use their entertainment platform to run down Trump or anyone else. I find them all equally odious in this regard.

traditionalguy said...

Note: Kanye is a Christian believer. He said, " I am like a vessel and God has chosen me to be the voice and the connector." And he aso has no trouble naming that God: Jesus.

Sounds like the Black Trump has found a connection in The Donald. And he is quick to deliver messages whether anyone wants to hear them or not.

Bay Area Guy said...

Nothing rings more of political success than having Kim Kardashian's husband endorse your presidency:)

However, anything, I mean anything, that "un-demonizes" Trump or the GOP in general in the black community, is a good thing. The goal should be to have 30% of blacks vote GOP. This will be good for blacks, the GOP and America in general.

So, I avidly support Mr. West.

320Busdriver said...

"Saying West is dumb is like saying Trump is dumb."

I said he's dumb for saying he did not vote, not that he IS dumb.

But since I voted for Trump and helped deliver a Wisconsin win for him does that make me dumb?

I will defer to the immortal Frank Zappa when he said:

We are dumb all over
Dumb all over,
Yes we are
Dumb all over,
Near 'n far
Dumb all over,
Black 'n white
People, we is not wrapped tight.

Mic drop

mikee said...

Zappa also cautioned against eating the yellow snow. Words to live by.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Saying West is dumb is like saying Trump is dumb. You are failing to see the way that they are smart. It's a way that makes a lot of money and wins a lot of supporters. To call them "losers" is absurd.

Your last sentence does not follow from your first 3 sentences, Professor. It would be absurd to call West a loser when he's clearly very successful in his chosen field (and is well know, reasonably wealthy, etc). That doesn't say anything about whether he's smart or not--if you watch many interviews w/him it'll be pretty obvious he's not all that bright. How about--I don't think he'd do very well on the LSAT.
The proper response to that, I think, is "so what?" He can be a successful artist/musician and possibly even make a good point or two/have something "important" to say without himself being a very smart guy.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

As someone who opposes the Left I genuinely hope they embrace the idea that 48% of the nation is shamefully, irredeemably racist. That seems like a good way to break the reflexive emotional reaction/affiliation many centrists appear to have towards soft Leftist appeals ("think of the poor children!" etc), so I truly hope the Left goes HARD for the line that about half of the nation (coincidentally the half that doesn't automatically agree w/them) is racist.

Talk, Kanye, talk!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

YT Kanye West video Can't Tell Me Nothin' (with Zach Galifianikis)

DanTheMan said...

West/Kaepernick 2020! I know I'll be voting for the oppressed multi-millionaires.
Dan
PS Look! Flying pigs!


Fabi said...

If Chuck is around -- I haven't received an email from you regarding a shipping address. Please send it along -- a good bottle of Scotch is ready to be sent your way!

320Busdriver said...

Well Kanye is right it turns out.

I just got an email from Bill, the guy who I get my spices from.

Bill tells me that since I voted for "openly racist candidate" Trump he doesn't want to sell me any more spice. He says something like the 80% who did not vote for Trump are going to treat us like the kinds of people who would vote for an openly racist candidate for the next four years. It's gonna be a tough 4 without spices.

So hey, Kanye. You're a racist too!! You don't happen to know any good spice guys,
do you?

Sam L. said...

The Left is racist. It's all black and white to them.

DanTheMan said...

Thanks 302B! Just in case Kanye doesn't reply, I just ordered from

https://www.thespicehouse.com/

Apparently they are a different branch of the Penzey family, and welcome Trump voters.

Use promo code NOPOLITICS to get free shipping on your first order...

mockturtle said...

What will be next? The 'Mark of the Beast'?

“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17

Fabi said...

Kanye is a super genius! He likes fish sticks.

Quaestor said...

...who didn't vote but if he had, "I would have voted for Trump."

West has a lot of money. I wish I had a small fraction of his wealth. He's also got a lot of time on his hands. I'd like to know just how he spends his days. Are his nights so filled with sex and mood-altering chemicals that he can't find the time to vote? Just like Colin Kaepernick, — quite happy to fling insult his country, but too goddamned cool to vote.

This is why I think voting should be made less easy and more onerous. We need a class system in this country. The Democrats have been busy since the late Sixties creating the notion of an American working class, basically as groundwork for a thoroughly Marxist party to emerge (someone should explain to them that they can't throw funding bashes in the Hamptons and keep that working class mantra going, but that's the difference between ignorance and stupidity...) so we're already comfortable with the idea. The class system should be this, voters and the madding crowd. Voters should be held in awe by people in the despised non-voting class, who should be encouraged to feel excluded and jealous; it would be like owning a pair of unstealable Nike Air Max 95's or a fy-shiu jade ear plug.

"If only I could be a Voter," the downtrodden non-voter would sigh, "then I could elect an non-racist, non-sexist, exclusionary of no one but hetero white males President of the United States! But woe is me, I cannot master those olympian registration requirements. I could sooner walk from Katmandu to Ulan Bator than I could obtain a copy of my birth certificate and carry it to the local Board of Elections office. Oh, curse my non-voting fate!!"

JaimeRoberto said...

We live in a racist world. It's part of human nature and probably comes from evolution. You never knew when those outsiders were going to raid your cave and steal your women. Given that we are a country of over 300 million people with billions of human interactions every day and billions of opportunities for people to be jerks, I'd say we do pretty well. I saw far more racism when I lived in Europe than I have in the US.

Wilbur said...

To 320Busdriver and DanTheMan:

Wilbur just ordered 4 jars of Bavarian Spices from the company that doesn't openly hate me. As promised, free shipping on first orders if you put the promo code in.

I can't much help what they might think about me sub silentio. And that's fair enough for me. His relative needs an attitude adjustment.

mockturtle said...

I don't really think racism is 'part of human nature'. And I think the less said about race, the better.

Static Ping said...

Kanye is not stupid. It is very difficult to be a talented songwriter like Kanye and be stupid. However, given a long history of outbursts and general jackassery, I can assert he is not wise.

DanTheMan said...

>> Wilbur just ordered 4 jars of Bavarian Spices from the company that doesn't openly hate me. As promised, free shipping on first orders if you put the promo code in.

I hope they are swamped with orders, just so they can remind the other half of the family that yelling "Racist!" at half the country is not a winning plan. Just ask Hillary.

Danno said...

I know very little about Kanye West. But please Lord, spare us from having the Kardashians in the White House!

JaimeRoberto said...

@mockturtle, "I don't really think racism is 'part of human nature'." How about tribalism then? Kind of like how I can't stand the Seahawks. Well, mostly just Pete Carol and Richard Sherman.

Jon Ericson said...

"Maybe Obama can become the fourth member of the Dixie Chicks."

Freder Frederson said...

To call them "losers" is absurd.

The problem is we have absolutely no idea how successful Trump actually is, other than what he claims. He is obviously very wealthy, but since he has refused to release his taxes and all his companies are LLCs. It is almost certain that he exaggerates his actual wealth because he is a liar.

We do know that he managed to lose 900 million dollars in one year. That is pretty staggering.

Bad Lieutenant said...

The spice house blend called Back of the Yards Garlic Rub is magic on a steak or chop.

campy said...

It's the Gateway to the North Maple Garlic spice for me.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Saying West is dumb is like saying Trump is dumb. You are failing to see the way that they are smart. It's a way that makes a lot of money and wins a lot of supporters. To call them "losers" is absurd.

Lol. Then what's your take on the intelligence level of prostitutes? They must count as geniuses, in your book.

Not all talent is of an intellectual nature.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I would offer that outside of pure luck, like the lottery, fame is by far the best way dumb people get rich, but they are still dumb, and it's still luck.

So how does that make him different from the way you got rich?

Unknown said...

Well he is a racist, so there is that.

EMD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EMD said...

"Lol. Then what's your take on the intelligence level of prostitutes? They must count as geniuses, in your book."

Not quite understanding the point here. I'm sure there's a few super smart high-priced call girls out there.

As for Kanye, he's arguably the most musically-gifted hip-hop performer of all time. A lot of rap stars stay fairly within a very narrow band of musicality. Kanye, for all his faults, bends and blends genres all the time. I also think he's hilarious because I know better than to take him too seriously.

The Godfather said...

I'm 73 years old. In my lifetime racism in America has decreased tremendously. I've seen it. I don't claim that it's been eliminated, but if you say it hasn't even been reduced, then you might as well say f*ck it stop trying.

Robert Cook said...

"I don't really think racism is 'part of human nature'."

Sure it is. The fear of the unknown is part of our animal nature--as the unknown may present peril to our safety. We teach our children to see people of different colors or physical types than ourselves and our tribe to be dangerous...because they are unfamiliar. We try to mitigate our fear of these unknown others by thinking of them as "dumb," or as "savages," or as otherwise inferior to us. This dehumanizing perspective allows us to inflict--or tolerate, or ignore, the infliction--of social and physical exclusion of these "others." This social and physical exclusion can be violent, murderous.

"And I think the less said about race, the better."

That's a sure way to insure a social ill is cured!

Bad Lieutenant said...

In general, Robert, the less that is said about anything, the better:

If a word is worth one coin, silence is worth two. (Talmud, Megilah 18a)

mockturtle said...

I said: "And I think the less said about race, the better."

Cookie said: That's a sure way to insure a social ill is cured!

Cured? Like talking about drug abuse has 'cured' the problem. Or, for that matter, any of our social ills, like poverty or even obesity or 'gun violence'. Talking about them hasn't produced any positive results.

Gahrie said...

"I don't really think racism is 'part of human nature'."

Sure it is. The fear of the unknown is part of our animal nature--as the unknown may present peril to our safety.


If you change "racism" to tribalism, I could agree. Every human culture divides the world up among "us" and "them". Tribalism explains everything from the Troubles in Northern Ireland, to the massacres of Rwanda, to Giants fans hating Dodger fans, to the Left having a meltdown after Trump wins.

And I think the less said about race, the better."

That's a sure way to insure a social ill is cured!


The only way to end racism is to stop discriminating based on race. Today our government and public institutions still discriminate based on race. Yes there is institutional racism, and it is directed at White, heterosexual men.

Kirk Parker said...


"Especially since he's dumb enough to say he did not vote."

Why should he vote? I'm sure he has people to do that for him...