by Diane Rufino, November 2, 2018
I’m not a fan of rap music, I must admit. I love music; it’s a big part of my life and my personality. The music of the 80s has always made me happy and I’ve been a loyal fan of rock. Sappy 60’s love tunes and Motown hits feed my soul and classical feeds my mind. I have no need for rap music. It is nothing but noise and offensive words and themes to me. But I do admit that while I find many rappers obnoxious, disrespectful, and offensive, I’ve always thought differently of Kanye. He has always been his own man, seemingly cut from a different mold. His smile has always seemed sincere and infectious. And there certainly have been times when I asked myself: “What the hell is he talking about ?” But all that comes from observation and sound bites over the years. I don’t really know anything about him.
Recently, according to the news, Kanye has launched a new clothing range meant to promote a campaign he seems to be championing – the “Blexit” campaign, which urges black Americans to leave the Democratic party. Taking its cue from the Brexit movement and the Calexit movement (Britain leaving the EU, and California leaving the US), “Blexit” is short for “black exit.” And while we all know that he is super enamored with Donald Trump and feels “empowered” when he puts on his MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN cap, he also made a donation of several thousand dollars to a Democratic candidate running for mayor of Chicago.
Again, I don’t really know much about Kanye.
But here is what I know: Kanye West loves his country deeply. He is very patriotic and for some reason, the ascendency of Trump in politics and to the White House has energized and encouraged him very much. He has an obvious bond of affection with the man.
I also know this: Everyone has the freedom to think the way they want to think, to put into perspective those things which are most important, and to rely on those values (or not) that helped form one’s conscience. Every has the freedom to exercise free will and choice. While I have a choice over what music I want to listen to, he has a choice over which political party best speaks to his personal values and interests. He is a human being, and NOT a skin color. His mind does NOT belong to the Democratic Party just because his skin color is black. The mind, the one thing that makes us truly unique, must be free to follow the dictates of one’s conscience; otherwise blind allegiance to a party is nothing more than political bondage – political slavery. Like slavery, the efforts of those bound serve others. In this case, the efforts of African-Americans to support and further the Democratic Party serve the interests of wealthy powerful white political elites. In return, they get affirmative action and welfare — policies designed to reinforce that they are inferior. Kanye is exercising his God-given free will and the dictates of his conscience. I applaud him for that. He is putting his faith in the potential of America as embodied by a man who believes the same and who is working endlessly and unapologetically to achieve it — for all Americans. Kanye doesn’t see people in terms of color. He doesn’t see politics in terms of color. And he doesn’t subscribe to the racial politics that persons of a certain color must think and act the same way and in the collective. In fact, he has criticized a certain political party of focusing too strongly on the race. How ironic it is that about 55 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. started a great movement in this country to urge Americans to stop looking at each other in terms of race but in terms of our shared humanity, yet now we focus on race more acutely than ever. We are a land of individuals — of free and unique individuals. The only source we should all be looking for strength and guidance is the Lord Almighty and not a political party and certainly not government.