Alright, I’ll just say it upfront: Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” stunt was a lame ploy designed to garner attention by causing controversy. There was no legitimate political statement in this display, and he knew it.
That being said, the reaction coming from the hard left has been nothing less than braindead. The insufferable handwringing and pearl-clutching has become even more tiresome than usual as black progressives pretend West did the equivalent of joining up with the Ku Klux Klan.
Enter blogger Ja’han Jones, who penned one of the most absurd hit pieces for MSNBC’s The ReidOut Blog. In the article, he makes a series of mindless, but predictable remarks on the controversy.
To start, he attempts to pull on the heartstrings by bringing up the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was murdered in Georgia in 2020, who said through her lawyer that the phrase “White Lives Matter” “would direct support and legitimize extremist behavior, [much] like the behavior that took the life of her son.”
I’m not sure whether she or her lawyer wrote that statement, but it is untrue nonetheless. Racists are not going to be somehow emboldened to run around murdering black folks because a rapper wore a shirt that said “White Lives Matter.” It legitimizes nothing.
The author said he believes that “Ye’s legacy of racist hatemongering will deservedly eclipse his legacy as an artist.”
As an example of this supposed “racist hatemongering,” Jones pointed West clapping back at a black female editor for Vogue after she criticized him for wearing the shirt.
“There is no excuse, there is no art here,” she said in a video. “I do think if you asked Kanye, he’d say there was art, and revolution, and all of the things in that T-shirt. There isn’t.”
West responded, posting a now-deleted picture of the editor with a caption saying that “this is not a fashion person.”
Jones characterized this exchange as the rapper “siccing a swarm of hateful social media followers on a Black woman.”
Apparently, this is an indication that West hates black women because everyone knows that if a melanated female says something critical of you, it is racist to respond in kind. I have no doubt that the exchange elicited a response, but this is social media. The editor knows how this works. Black women aren’t so fragile that they can’t handle some heat on the interwebs.
He then tried to link this to former President Donald Trump, who is obviously the source of all evil in the world.
“You’ll remember: Trump has used this tactic against several Black women,” Jones wrote, “That includes Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, a mother-daughter duo who served as election workers in Georgia until Trump sicced his rabid followers on them, falsely accusing them of helping steal the 2020 election from him.”
Of course, anyone with an IQ above room temperature and a shred of honesty knows Trump did not primarily direct his ire toward black folks. Indeed, the Orange Man What Is Bad™ is equal opportunity with his vitriol.
The author then gives a series of bullet points illustrating that West has “been remarkably consistent about his derision toward Black people.”
The first was West branding himself as the opposite of the image of gangster rappers. “He’s always shown an obsession with purported preppiness — Abercrombie shirts and all — that he and others portrayed as a high-minded alternative to typical rap,” he wrote.
So let’s get this straight. The only way to truly represent people if you are a rapper is to embrace the “gangster” image. Because black men are all gangsters. Sounds like a sentiment Richard Spencer would co-sign.
Jones then cited the instance when West suggested that black people chose to remain in slavery during a conversation on TMZ. Okay, I’ll give him that one – it was probably the dumbest statement West ever made. But this does not somehow mean that he is anti-black. Moreover, he apologized and clarified the statement later.
But, of course, West’s true unpardonable sin is that he supported Donald J. Trump and dared to don The Red Hat of Doom™. “He joined a fascist political movement led by a man whose party wants to suppress Black votes,” Jones wrote.
And here is the crux of the matter.
Yes, it has become quite cliché to point out that the left despises black folks who don’t get in line and remain on board with the Democratic Party. But this op-ed is a prime example of that type of mindless thinking, especially after everything the party has done – and is still doing – to the black community. The idea that either party is perfect is absurd, so whining over West’s decision to refuse the “team sports” approach to politics is quite rich.
There are plenty of valid criticisms and even defenses for Kanye’s “White Lives Matter” stunt. But instead of engaging in an intelligent conversation on the issue, progressives chose to do what they know: Pretend everything is about white supremacy.