Imma try to say this as clearly as possible- what Kanye said recently that got him excommunicated warrants the reactions & outcome he’s receiving- but his actions before that also warranted this reaction. We PEEPING what makes pearls get clutched & keeping receipts.
It’s telling that even when the right thing is done (parting ways with Kanye) it is not because it first came at the expense of Black People, Black Empowered Movements, and our Literal Fight for our Lives being trivialized, monetized, & called fashion (probably for shock value and certainly not because an actual point was made).
It does not escape me when the world FINALLY moved and said we shutting you down. The White Lives Matter shirts weren’t enough for Balenciaga and Adidas and whoever else has finally decided to part ways to say… we not vibing with this.
It was a tweet that did him in… a tweet about a particular group of people compounded by a speaking tour in which he rambled nonsensically so much so that one show “The Shop” didn’t air what he said and another show “Drink Champs” deleted the video after receiving their own backlash for giving him a platform to say those things in addition to completely misrepresenting the murder of George Floyd at the hands (and knee) of Derek Chauvin. What was lost in the backlash of the tweet and the subsequent fallout was the shit that happened before the tweet that lead to him tweeting in the first place. That was the shirt that spat in the face of Black Folks fighting for their lives and for justice in a land that has never given a reason to have faith in justice.
Did I care if Kanye got cancelled when he created white lives matter shirts? No I didn’t. It didn’t really matter to me. I had decided I was done rocking with him before that and I thought that sensible people (and companies) would do the same.
It was not until I saw the world Move- because of the things he said that weren’t about or for the purpose of flying in the face of Black people, movements and lives- that I really gave a damn whether or not he was cancelled. Not because I wanted him to be cancelled but because mutha fuckas moved when they Wanted to… and it was proven that they could. (We have always known that they COULD move… now, however, it’s as clear as employees who don’t come to the office and work from home post pandemic- we SAW YOU MOVE.
I found everything that Kanye said offensive, I found everything that Kanye did offensive, and I found what it took for some folks/companies to finally be offended- offensive.
And We keeping receipts because now not only do we know you CAN move- we have SEEN YOU MOVE. So we will know why you don’t move when you didn’t move. And why you do move when you do. I was hesitant to write this. And I was angry at myself for being hesitant to express myself – not because I feared how it would be taken but because I don’t want my words misconstrued.
This is no defense of Kanye. I stopped defending him when he said slavery was a choice. This is however a message to some that we see you… and I really just wanted to know if YOU see you too!
The cancelling of Kanye underscores how institutions of systemic oppression function- they have the ability to acknowledge oppression, genocide, and morality but choose not to when it is a direct attack on Black People. They will however move for the RIGHT people. And how are Black folks to receive that?
Because, the world did not act when it was us in Kanye’s crosshairs and did when the statement was deemed Antisemitic – what are we left to conclude beyond the world places Antisemitism above AntiBlack Racism while simultaneously placing price tags on Anti-Black racism. They are equally deplorable and that is where the companies- Adidas, Balenciaga, and so many others failed us.
Honestly, I never wanted to see Kanye fail or lose and I was proud to see him win. Proud to see him help others. Proud that, in spite of his eccentricities, he was showing us how to move in a room full of vultures. The purpose of this article is not to campaign for the cancellation of Kanye or for the acknowledgment of white companies. It is to highlight and underscore the fact that Yeezy was still in partnerships when his rhetoric was (just) anti-Black.
We never expected anything more from these companies and many of us lost hope for Kanye even if some of us silently prayed for him or at least rooted for him to find the spark he had in the beginning that drew us to him in the first place. The light went out a long time ago. Kanye once told us before the day he died… he was gonna touch the sky. And he did. Then he flew too close to the sun and now it’s all falling down.
Black Lives Matter is US Shining Because they Hate Us proud cause they Degrade us. We been fighting for our Lives and our 40 acres. And for that Paper, look how low Ye Stooped, only to discover even if you worth a billion, you still a Nigga selling shoes.