Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kanye West Is No Emmett Till

I generally speaking do not read celebrity news, nor do I write about it; however, occasionaly some fool says something so beyond the pale that I am forced into commenting.  In case you have forgotten, Kanye stood up at the video music awards, drunk like he had been pickled in a bottle of cheap booze and proceeded to inform Taylor Swift that she did not deserve the award that she had won.  He also said that the award should have gone to Bey Bey.  I was absolutely inclined to agree with him at the time (note: I loves me some Bey Bey, so I might be biased) though I absolutely disagree with the way in which he registered his disapproval.  I also felt sympathy for the man knowing that he not gotten over the death of his mother.  When you are mourning, you are not yourself.  Of course, the White feminists registered their complaints, while I thought if Swift was so upset at the time, why didn't she open the mouth God gave her and tell the man to sit.  I simply could not imagine him stepping to Mary J Blige and not being told about his trifling self.  But I digress...
Anyway, White people used this occasion to let their inner racist out.  What they saw was a Big Black Sambo scaring poor little Missy Ann into silence.  You cannot have an interaction between Black men and White women without some people absolutely losing their shit.  Ironically, many people had not even heard of Swift until the Kanye open mouth and insert foot incident and this gave her career a huge lift.  Kanye then dropped off the radar ( and certainly into obscurity for me because I never listen to his music).  Unfortunately for the world, it seems that West has decided that his time in purgatory is done and besides, the man has a new cd to promote.  Time to let the past be the past and prove to the world that the trifling drunk ass Kanye, who dared interrupt a White woman is gone forever. 

Well it seems that in his sojourn in Japan and Italy, what he really learned is to minimize Black lives to make himself look like a victim.  For those of you that are not aware who Emmett Till was - he was a young teenage boy who allegedly whistled at a White woman and was lynched and beaten to death for his trouble.  Below you will find before and after pictures of Emmett. (note: image is below the fold because it is disturbing)

Emmett was 14 years old when he died of 1955.

To this day, his death is a marker of the evil that has been visited upon Blacks in the name of  creating and maintaining White supremacy.  His mother decided to leave the casket open because she wanted the world to see what had happened to her baby.  The last moments of this poor child's life must have been absolutely horrific.  In some communities today, his name is still whispered with reverence and fear.

One would think that any self respecting Black man would not take a historical event of such importance and pain for Black people to make himself look better -- but then I suppose the key word here is self respecting.  I am sure that West felt viciously attacked after he interrupted Swift in a drunken stupor, but when he said that he was beaten up "like a modern day internet version of Emmett Till,"  my mouth dropped so fast I could not even stutter the words negro please.  Then of course he finished by saying, "I needed that  extra piece, it's like you have to go through hard times in life to develop your character."  Oh no he didn't...Emmett is dead.  Dead. Never to take another breath or see another sunrise.  He did not have his "character developed" by a lynching.

Kanye could have said that he felt racially attacked.  He could have said that he felt that his actions were viewed through a White supremacist lens, but oh no -- his highness had to go and compare himself to a poor 14 year old boy whose life was cut brutally short.  Even as my mind screamed stop it, stop it, I came to think of all of the poor analogies that we make on a daily basis -- for instance making rape comparisons because we don't take the time to think about how our language might actually be hurtful to others.  There is nothing like lynching; there is simply being lynched.  And shame on West for taking a very painful moment in African American history and applying it to him. Comparing himself to Till did not make him look like a victim, it made him look like the same arrogant asshole who felt his thoughts, ideas and feelings had supremacy over others.  This my friend, is your brain on unstoppable arrogance.