Joy Reid, Kanye West and the Spirit of Blacks Canceling and Dis-inviting Blacks from the Cookout
This week we had two cultural figures be brought before the public, each with their star power equally being challenged based on misguided statements they’ve made. First we have Joy Reid, host of AM Joy, described by the New York Times as heroine of the anti-Trump resistance. She’s come under fire starting after Thanksgiving 2017 for blog posts she made around 10 years ago in blasting politicians hinting that some are in the closet and also expressed her distaste for gay sex. This has caused predictable outrage for a number of reasons. For one, she’s a seasoned journalist, so she should know better. If she had started out as a blogger who then progressed to television and media, one could see it, but by 2007, she had been running a news site since 2000 and on television as far back as the 90s.
Reid gave a sort of half-hearted apology where she didn’t exactly admit to writing the posts, instead stating she felt her site had been hacked, going so far as having a full-fledged FBI investigation, resulting in no evidence of tampering. She’s since said she couldn’t imagine that she wrote those words and that she isn’t exempt “from being dumb or cruel or hurtful to the very people [she advocates] for” and proceeded to say she was sorry. Whatever. Now putting this into context, she apologized apparently as best as she’s capable of while trying to save face among advertisers and looking out for her career. But to put this into perspective, it’s only been a few years that gay marriage has even been looked at as a viable thing to stand behind politically. Even President Obama started his political career and even entered the White House being against it, but he’s since “evolved” as he said, so why can’t she? Are we seriously going to hold her career in limbo and publicly flog her over things she wrote a decade ago? We need to accept her apology and move on.
Next up is Kanye West. Kanye tweeted that he liked how black Conservative Candace Owens thinks. So he chose to publicly support a Republican. Hollywood has a tendency to shun all affiliates of the Right, but that isn’t a major offense here. Who he chooses to support politically is up to him, not to mention, all he did was write one tweet essentially giving someone a shoutout so technically, no big deal. He then went on to take a picture in a Make America Great Again hat, President Trump’s signature campaign hat. That’s fine. Supporting your president can be seen as patriotic. That’s his decision and the dissenters should quite frankly grow up. No one asks Hillary supporters for a dissertation on their support so, why should he? But the issue came during a TMZ appearance where he stated slavery was a choice. Putting the statement into context, he was piggybacking on the video he watched from Candace Owens on black people and victim-hood. It was spoken more so in the context of mental slavery but poorly articulated. Then the source has to be considered. He had just met with Candace Owens, a racial arsonist who speaks for the sole purpose of angering her liberal audience to the point of protest, not to be informative or attempt at educating people.
Even taking all of the above into consideration regarding where Kanye got his facts from, in the media, coverage of what he said was buried in the second or third paragraph that he was not taken his medication as prescribed. What type of medication? Well, whatever he was given following his breakdown he had last year after his wife was tied up and robbed in Paris which left him feeling helpless in the situation. During the course of the interview Kanye admitted to getting liposuction to satisfy his insecurities of TMZ calling him fat, getting addicted to the opioid pain medication he was prescribed and whatever medication he’s taking following his breakdown, he went from taking the prescribed 2 to 3 pills a day to 2 a week. Clearly nothing good can come of that. We published another piece stating Kanye’s mental health matters, which as a former mental health professional I can wholeheartedly say it does. If a person is obviously having an episode or you’re aware that their mental state is within question, that has to be stated first for context and their words afterwords.
Kanye’s words all took place over the course of a 24 hour period. The idea that a person’s career should be trashed and tossed to the side over their actions in a single day is absurd. T.I. came to his defense explaining how as an artist, he thinks differently than everyone else. Anyone who has followed Kanye’s career would agree with that. He’s also contributed too much to our culture as T.I. said to let go of him over something so trivial. In situations like this, if what he’s saying is wrong, correct him, but to wash your hands and say he no longer deserves to have his music played, clothes purchased or foundation supported is wrong. It stems from a recent social media trend of media figures that say things that some mythical black delegation has determined as being outside of their interest and they’re written off or “cancelled” on the spot instead of having an intelligent conversation both about what they’ve said and a conversation with them regarding how they came to where they currently are.
At the end of the day, someone has to be the adult in the room and call out wrong when they hear it. That’s why I appreciate T.I. for coming out in defense of Kanye because T.I. is a man who has lived through plenty of scandals. From prison sentences to infidelity, T.I. could have been thrown away a long time ago as a bad example for black people and had his reality show canceled but that isn’t what happened. People deserve second chances and the sanctimonious attitude of one strike and you’re out flies in the very face of the black community’s current push for leniency in the criminal justice system. But that’s another topic for a completely different discussion. So let’s be adults when making personal judgments about the words of people in the public eye and think about how you’d feel if that were you.
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