I knew that Kanye’s White House visit had been planned, but nothing could have prepared me for the sight of him, in his MAGA hat, leaning across the president’s desk to give him a hug as if he were Stephen in Django Unchained.
It was bad optics to say the least, and I’m concerned that it could lead to a lot more than just embarrassment.
Kanye was there to, among other things, show the president a picture of a spaceship he found on the Internets, to replace Air Force One. Well, really he was there for a photo op, in an attempt to get out the black male vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
It was widely reported, back when Kanye declared that he shared “dragon energy” with the president, that Trump’s approval rating amongst “the blacks” had doubled. This was based on something the president tweeted. Come to find out, it wasn’t really true—it was Fake News. The report that he’d read, probably on Facebook, had actually stated that Trump’s approval rating amongst black men had doubled. His approval rating amongst black women probably hadn’t nudged a bit.
The latter is hardly surprising, given that black women are more ideologically homogeneous than black men—or any other group, for that matter. I’m sure black women themselves would argue that they’re more ideologically pure … which I could almost believe, if I hadn’t just sat and watched the blue checkmark brigade reflexively cape for the white chick who runs the hip-hop exhibit at the Smithsonian (who’s a lovely person, I’m sure).
Also, perhaps more importantly, black women don’t fuxwit Kanye anyway, because he’s married to Kim Kardashian. Not only is Kim Kardashian white (er, not black), but she’s got beef with Beyoncé. Every time Beyoncé drops an album, Kim Kardashian posts a naked picture of herself on the Internets, thus hijacking the news cycle, especially in men’s interest publications. Black women could give a rat’s ass that Kim Kardashian recently sprung a black female drug dealer from the pokey.
Kanye has his own plan to dismantle the prison-industrial complex, and it’s this that I’m most concerned about. It centers on a plan to repeal the 13th Amendment, i.e. the one that freed black people from slavery. The 13th Amendment is a flawed piece of legislation in that, as Killer Mike pointed out in the song “Reagan,” it didn’t really end slavery, it just shifted slavery into prisons, but I wonder if it’s necessary to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Can’t we just get rid of the part about slavery still being legal in 2018?
My fear is that, if we do get rid of the 13th Amendment, Trump, Kavanaugh, Jeff Sessions et al. will just use it as an excuse to reënslave black people who aren’t even in prison, the same way they’re using the repeal of the Voting Rights Act to drop 50,000 black people from the voter rolls in Georgia, to prevent the election of a black woman with $200,000 in credit card debt. I’ve been out of a job since August, and I’ve been critical of Kanye for longer than I care to admit, so I’m especially vulnerable.
I’m not about to start playing kiss-ass with Kanye just because he’s now arguably the most powerful black man in America. But if I do get locked up, I might have my lawyer argue that I shouldn’t have to work, due to a psychological aversion to putting forth effort, citing the Eight Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. I’m sure that Kanye, of all people, would agree that mental health is no laughing matter.
Take it easy on yourself,