Early Friday morning the internet went up in flames over Kanye West’s announcement that if he had voted in the election, he would have voted for Trump. If that didn’t seal the deal, Kanye West telling African American’s to stop focusing so much on racism because it isn’t going anywhere, was definitely the straw that broke the camel’s back. This is Kanye West, the beloved rapper who used to address social issues in his music. The same rapper who told us that George Bush didn’t care about black people because of his lack of empathy towards those who died in Hurricane Katrina. The same rapper who told us to fight the power against commercialism and hipped us to how racist the fashion world truly is. Yeah, that Kanye. However, many have drawn the conclusion that the “new” Kanye only sees these issues when they affect him, otherwise, we should all get over it. Keep in mind, he told us last year that “racism is a dated concept,” should we all be surprised?
Don’t forget the little people, though. Don’t allow the bubble inside your mansion in your gated Calabasas community, shield you from what’s going on in the real world. While your racism was just from the fashion world, many people are experiencing racism that is leaving them dead and bloody on the pavement. Many children are being called “n*ggers” because they weren’t engaged in the classroom. Many people are being harassed on their daily commute to work and being told to leave a country in which they were born and raised, all because of the color of their skin.
The fact is, racism isn’t something many of us can stop focusing on because it is surrounding us. In recent months it has been heightened and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Racism is becoming more bold and in your face. Children are being targeted. It’s not something that we can ignore simply because the fashion world finally let Kanye drop a clothing line.
This isn’t just about racism, either. There are a lot of issues that affect the middle class and below, that don’t affect the upper class. There are many problems that need to be addressed, both economically and socially. There are many conversations to be had and many voices needing to be heard. The same things you dealt with before the fame, when you were broke, still affect people today — sometimes at a multiplied level.
When you’re buying the newest cars, eating the finest foods and traveling the world, don’t forget those who aren’t privileged to do so. Don’t believe that just because you don’t experience it, it isn’t happening. Don’t forget those who have to live under society’s thumb and will never see a way out from under it. This is why I appreciate those celebrities who keep their ears to the streets and always know what’s going on. I respect those Ballers who have compassion for their fellow man and use their voices to educate their fellow priviliged brethren. We can’t all be rich and famous, but we should have a fair chance at life. Those who understand and are their “brother’s keeper,” we thank you.
There’s an art to “not forgetting the little people” that many don’t master, and that’s okay. That is when it’s time for those who don’t get it, to just be quiet.