I have been hesitant to write anything about Kanye West. I don’t know him from a can of paint. He’s a performing artist. He’s obviously in distress. And he has values I deeply disagree with. What more is there to say? But the conversation around Kanye has opened up some questions about bigotry that I do think are worth exploring. And so, I’m weighing in as a roundabout way of getting to the truth of racism in the United States.
As most people know by now, Kanye West, the Black conservative media personality Candace Owens, and a host of models appeared at a Paris Fashion Week show last week wearing shirts Kanye had designed that read ‘white lives matter.’ Days later, Kanye followed this spectacle with a terrifying threat to Jewish people. Consistent with his embrace of Donald Trump a few years ago, Kanye is championing white-supremacist thought. (Misogyny is also a recurring theme in Kanye’s public statements about his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian.)