Kanye West and the Confederate Flag: I’m Not Buying What He’s Selling

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Remember Kanye West?

I mean the real Kanye West.

The witty, self-depreciating, backpack-wearing rapper who wasn’t afraid to poke fun at himself for the greater good?

You know, the one who used to dress up like a teddy bear?

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Now, the psychopath currently possessing Kanye’s body dresses in something else. From my gainful employer at AL.com:

Kanye West is reclaiming the Confederate flag, according to Kanye West.

The rappers has recently been spotted wearing the controversial flag and using its design on some of the concert merchandise for his Yeezus tour, People reports.

“React how you want,” he said during a radio interview with 97.1 AMP. “Any energy is good energy. You know the Confederate flag represented slavery in a way—that’s my abstract take on what I know about it. So I made the song ‘New Slaves.’ So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It’s my flag. Now what are you going to do?”

I get where Ye is going with this. By embracing the Confederate flag, he’s wiping away yet another piece of imagery that is so divisive in our country.

And for my readers who will say “the Confederate flag isn’t about hate, it’s about heritage,” well playa, here’s a much-needed dose of reality: Your heritage is a symbol of a mindset that wouldn’t allow me to be able to write this blog or even look you in the eye. If that flew over our nation’s capital, I would not be considered a human being.

So no, I don’t support the stars and bars.

That doesn’t mean that I consider anyone who wears Confederate colors a racist. Far from it. The history behind the flag is what makes me cringe.

That history is what Kanye is hoping to erase. Similar to the way African Americans have embraced and now “own” the Dreaded N Word, Kanye is making over the legacy of the Confederate flag to make it more palatable for his audience.

And just like black “ownership” of the Dreaded N Word, I ain’t buying it.

If Kanye is trying looking to open a true dialogue about the flag, bridging the gap between it’s horrid past and hopes for a more united future, I’m listening. But this is the guy who can’t go three days without playing Punch-Out with a TMZ cameraman so forgive me if I don’t see him as a symbol for tolerance.

At best, this will become the latest in a long line of ironically hideous Ye fashion statements, like his leather skirts and sunglasses that looked like Venetian blinds. At worst, deluded fans will parade around with a patch on their arms not knowing a thing about its history, only wearing it because Ye does.

If y’all wanna wear Confederate flags cuz Ye said it was OK, have fun. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting for a real discussion on bridging the culture gap.

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1 Comments

  1. Great assessment of this situation. I completely agree!

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