Black America gets that Kanye West’s angry outbursts against the media represent retaliation against racial oppression and other pain, Gerren Keith Gaynor writes at Ebony. Unfortunately, because of racism, everything that he does reflects all African-American men.
Recent polls conducted by TMZ reveal a majority of respondents agree that Kanye is a “danger” to Kim Kardashian, so dangerous that they deem O.J. Simpson and Alec Baldwin far less threatening. In addition, over 70 percent said that he should be in jail, which isn’t surprising considering America’s remedy to Black aggression is always incarceration rather than reparative therapy, which is what Black men really need.
Yes, we, Black America get Kanye. We understand his aggression is a part of his rugged exterior, one that, underneath all the anger, is a lot of hurt and pain from the loss of his mother, nearly losing his life in a car accident and the complexities of growing up young, Black and gifted. But the rest of America doesn’t get that. When they see Kanye, they see the very same thing Zimmerman saw the night he murdered Trayvon: skin color. And it’s going to take a hell of a lot more to shake America’s rooted bias than a few Grammys and a padded bank account.
Unfortunately for Kanye, in the eyes of far too many people (even some of us), everything he does is a reflection of African-American men. It may be unfair to give him that kind of responsibility, but we live in a country where, as Black men, we don’t have the luxury of doing whatever the hell we want to do. Not when our own are being gunned down for one simple offense: being a Black man in America.
Read Gerren Keith Gaynor’s entire piece at Ebony.
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