The Connection Between Black Representation And Black Representatives.
The issue of Kanye-Trump is that we as a people hate White Supremacists but we love the luxuries of White Supremacy. For Kanye West to side with a White man who promotes the White Supremacist agenda is fair reason to generate backlash from the Black community, understandably. However, misogynistic lyrics including the (at one time) constant public shaming of his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose; the large glorification of Victorian aesthetics throughout much of his Art Direction; his disproportionate celebration of women of lighter hue (note, Kanye's only publicized relationships where with women of lighter skin, while his darker girlfriends of earlier days always played the background); the exclusive celebration of European fashion and its designers found throughout his music; and really his deep appreciation for all things European have all seemed to escape our outrage for well over a decade.
Yes, Kanye famously said "George Bush doesn't care about Black people" but, he said it leading up to his nearing album release. His line in Gold Digger, "and when he get on he leave yo' ass for a white girl" proved to be more of a confession than a hot line. Most importantly, when Rocafella split he turned his back on Dame Dash (the person who took a chance on him, signing him to the famous label) and instead went with Jay-Z (the guy that made him pay to get into his concert despite him previously producing several of his hit records).
A person's character is not seen in what they say, but instead, in what they do. I personally don't know of Kanye West having a track record of actions that speak to Black liberation. Kanye does things like show up to an Award show with a bottle of Hennessy, interrupt a young woman's acceptance speech to make his own, then philanthropically suggest he's doing so on behalf of Beyonce. (Beyonce didn't send him up there).
Kanye West once wined about being 8 Million dollars in debt, as if to make himself equal to the young debt laden generation of millennials, yet less than 6 months later he realeses a pop-up line of screen printed, low quality, pre-branded sweat shirts, t-shirts, denim jackets, and (re)sells them at foolishly high profit margins. The culturally addicted flocked to the pop-up shop and spent without question - he hasn't mentioned his 8 Million dollar debt since.
Strategically speaking, Kanye panders to the public like a politician (and makes enemies of those who fail to endorse him, just like a politician). We were amused when he declared his running for Presidency in 2020, but shocked to see him befriend a now actual politician and President. A man's words do not have to be taken seriously, but a man's actions sure do. And Kanye's action are... consistent. I can't fault a man for consistency.
To my point though, I believe we as a people are conditioned to value the products, ideologies and platforms born out of White Supremacy (made intangible by social inequality). We, if even subconsciously, measure a Black person's greatness by their ability to access these elements of White Supremacy. When a Black man or woman stands on white stages, buys products intended for white consumption, adopts historically Eurocentric ideas and philosophies, or is awarded white recognition we hold them in the highest honor. Truthfully, we should have always measured Black Greatness by a Black person's sacrifices for and acts of service to the Black community. Those who are to be seen as most valuable to the community are those who add the most value to the community.
The discussion is bigger than Kanye-Trump. I see Kanye West as both product and victim of the White Supremacist agenda. We can attack or pick him apart if we want, at most that would only prove self destructive to the community. Kanye West, however, should serve as a lesson to the Black community; a lesson on Black leadership and doing a better job of choosing our representatives. Kanye undoubtedly needs a better support system. Still, when we redefine for ourselves the goals and standards of the Black community, we limit the possibility of - in the words of Kanye West - giving one man all that power.