The Outspoken Kanye West
During last Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, we witnessed a “Kanye Being Kanye” moment. When Taylor Swift won the category for “Best Video by Female Artist”, Kanye stormed the stage in the middle of her acceptance speech and opined on who thought was more deserving of the win. He stuck up for Big Sister-in-law, proclaiming that “Single Ladies” was the “best video of all time.”
Outspoken, albeit in extremely poor taste. Here’s a more positive example of Kanye’s outspokenness, though:
A lot of people write off Kanye as a narcissistic individual who pretty much says whatever comes to mind. He blurted out that Bush doesn’t care about Black people. He interrupted a 19 yr-old musician’s acceptance speech because he didn’t think she should have won. If you look at the actions strictly at its face, you may conclude that the poor guy suffers from turrets.
The truth is, I didn’t complain when he said what he said during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They were controversial statements that needed to be injected into public discourse at the time. The point wasn’t whether or not Bush cared about black people. That’s actually irrelevant. The larger issue at hand is the government’s lackluster support to one of the major U.S. cities. The issue was the media’s ridiculous portrayal of American Black citizens as refugees and looters, while simultaneously describing courageous tales of survival when covering White citizens. Kanye’s comments got the public talking. He said what millions of people, across all racial lines, were surely thinking. Such outspokenness is refreshing and absolutely necessary. There should be more, not less.
So, I hope Kanye learns from his mistake at the VMAs. This is in no way an attempt to defend his actions last Sunday. What he did was absolutely wrong and embarrassing for all parties involved. What I hope doesn’t happen, though, is him shying away from generally speaking his mind, particularly on important every day issues. I hope he actually steps it up. Maybe he’ll focus his opinions into a more activist approach and discuss issues slightly more important Taylor Swift’s improbable win.