The Worst Part About Society’s Depiction of Kanye West

Present mainstream America has created many things that are hidden within our subconscious. For example, do we question our nation’s value on Eurocentrism? It’s perfectly fine to be a Francophile, but what about a Sinophile? Although, I would argue that adoration of Japanese culture by the west has been booming ever since Gwen Stefani (damn you Wapanese!). If you think this is my main point, you are wrong. I am hinting at something more pervasive, something more patent in Amerikan society: White supremacy.
White supremacy is not so simple to define. The definition is not confined to KKK or Neo-Nazism. And in many ways it is not constricted within the United States. I’m speaking about how, in many people’s mind, White’s are seen as better. This is a problem. Sure we can go through the history books and see what bias’ come up or how white supremacy but you need to educate yourself. I would like to make this more relatable. We can look at how we value celebrities.
American society has created a culture that values celebrities, almost as much as dietys, in ways that are definitely unhealthy. Instances involving celebrities like Justin Beiber (not American) or Miley Cyrus cover the pages of Newspapers and morning/afternoon News broadcastings. This is our culture, it is a pity but this is what we have as a priority. As much as I hate it and try to avoid it – it feeds my mind whether I want it to or not (as it does to most of America).
It is a method of distraction…. But I digress. We go on in our daily lives hearing updates about celebrity lives dispersed by TMZ, Perez Hilton, OMG!, etc. And this is a normal day. But every other week or so, Kanye West pops up in the media. I would like to think this happens because they see Mr. West as a fascinating person – his mother, Donda West, was a professor, himself having a diversified portfolio of accomplishments, and how happy he is with his new found family. But mainstream media, for the most part, blocks this and puts it into a negative light. They never mention his mother, the scholar, they speak and critique his work as failures, and they think it crazy he can find happiness with Kim Kardashian.

Recently, he was featured on an interview with Zane Lowe, and in the interview he mentions many serious topics within his life, the most pervasive being racism from White executives in the fashion industry. Then Jimmy Kimmel, someone who epitomizes racism and patriarchy in Amerika, goes an turns the interview into a comedy bit – not taking serious the theme of the interview, while having racist undertones in doing so. If Kimmel’s skit meant to make Kanye West, a Black creative genius, look silly it did it’s job. The skit infantilized Mr. West, and this is sad because this isn’t the first or last time someone is going to do it. His tweets are seen as rants, and his outbursts of true raw emotion are seen as hysterical. This marginalizes the fact that he is the most critically conscious mainstream emcee in society today.
In many ways, the way we depict Kanye West is not within our control. It is controlled by mainstream media in what we see/hear/read about Mr. West and how we contextualize all the information. We do not see Black creatives in the same light as White creatives. How do we feel when what we think we thought is unjustly manufactured by the uncommon peoples ruling America today? Conspiracy theory? No. Racism is in plain sight, but it’s color-blind.


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3 thoughts on “The Worst Part About Society’s Depiction of Kanye West

  1. Woot! First comment! But seriously, this is probably one of my favorite articles on the class blog. It’s easy to forget that the reason why our society is racially divided because this country was built on racism. It’s not always open or direct; it’s indirect in everyday practices as well as our Constitution, but it’s blatant in the country’s legislative system and in the media’s hegemonic format, esp. in the American entertainment industry. Kanye West is not the only black man whose creativity was scrutinized by the hands of the media; there is also Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and most of the black artists in the 1940s and 1950s. What all these artists have in common is that they were the true innovators of American pop culture, their music helped develop the genres of rock-n-roll and pop music. However, in a time of segregation, music labels refused to allow them to advertise their music and/or took the rights away from black artists and then used their music to push the popularity of white artists. Chuck Berry was the “true” king of rock-n-roll music, yet everyone knows swears up and down that that title belonged to Elvis Presley. The only reason why The Beatles were so prolific in the history of American music is because they copied the style of Little Richard’s music. The cycle of cultural appropriation is forever repeating itself, even in today’s music. I just hate how the media critiques black artists more harshly than white artists because they don’t want to sell out as crossover artists, like MC Hammer and Will Smith.

  2. I agree that the depiction of white people are superior to another other race. Why? That is freaking America for you. Came up through white dominancy, seems like it’ll remain that way until I don’t know when. I personally love Kanye West and it is sad to see his reputation transform from a confident artist into an “obnoxious, arrogant rapper.” Although his actions have been pretty dramatic lately, the media ONLY focuses on that. They do not mention the fact that he did come up with those ideas but they scrutinize him for it. He is the only person who expresses himself in a real and angry way. The media will always portray anyone who has their own opinion in a negative light.

    – Margaret Nguyen

  3. Ahriz Diaz

    -I do agree with the white asserting its power to the minority in order to keep control of the privileges to themselves;asserting dominance. I do agree to the fact that Kanye West has been transformed into a joke by the media and I do also think that in this way Kanye’s influence has gone down. The messages he used to promote and advocate are being put in the back and the ludicrous actions he’s been doing are being highlighted. The media became harsh on Kanye west and his reputation tarnished due to the political opinions he advocated. The white media did not agree his views and since Kanye is black he was more targeted.

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