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Viewpoint: Kanye West throws dirt on his own legacy

Viewpoint: Kanye West throws dirt on his own legacy - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

FILE - Kanye West arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. West’s Twitter and Instagram accounts have been locked because of posts by the rapper, now known legally as Ye, that were widely deemed antisemitic, according to reports, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has made headlines for weeks for behavior ranging from antisemitic comments to false statements about George Floyd’s death and his decision to highlight “White Lives Matter” at the Yeezy Paris fashion show. 

Why should any of this surprise us? 

In 2016, Ye was diagnosed with bipolar disorder following his hospitalization for a psychiatric emergency. 

This was the beginning of Ye’s on-and-off relationship with his medication. 

In 2017, Ye stated that he had been off his meds for six months as it was best for creating music at the level of his most popular albums.  

For the next five years, Ye’s behavior worsened as he continued to neglect medication for his mental health, from running for president to urinating on his grammy award and having his family issues in the spotlight.  

It is hard to have sympathy for someone who neglects their mental health. Knowingly refusing to take medications because it disrupts creative ideas has damaged Ye’s legacy to a point of no return.  

Ye has been chasing unnecessary attention for years, and the reasons for that have remained unknown. 

His aspirations to become a pioneer in the political space are comical because he lacks acknowledgment of his wrongdoings for his many outrageous comments. 

His propagation of “White Lives Matter” through a fashion statement so it can be contrary to “Black Lives Matter” has rubbed people the wrong way. 

This ties to Ye’s ignorant statements about the death of George Floyd during the Drink Champs Podcast, which is hosted by rapper, N.O.R.E. 

Ye said Floyd died because of fentanyl instead of Derek Chauvin causing cardiopulmonary arrest or cardiac arrest. His actions pushed Floyd’s family to file a $250 million lawsuit against Ye. 

Obviously, putting “White Lives Matter” against “Black Lives Matter” will always carry a lot of backlashes. Then, doubling down to spew lies about the death of Floyd at the hands of Chauvin will always cause outrage.

What seems to have gotten the least amount of attention is Ye’s comments on the Jewish community.

It started from a now-deleted tweet as Ye wants to go “Death con 3 on Jewish people” because he believes Jewish people have toyed with him and have tried blackballing those who oppose their agenda. 

In that same tweet, he explained why he can’t be antisemitic: because Black people are Jewish. 

Again, empty statements with no solid evidence behind them. 

The antisemitic comments continued on the Drink Champs podcast as he blamed the “Jewish media” for the suppression of Black voices. 

The comments continued in an interview with Chris Cuomo on NewsNation as he criticized the “Jewish underground media mafia,” stating that every celebrity has Jewish people in their contracts. 

There was no proof that any of his statements were true. 

What surprises me is that we let this pass as “having your own opinion,” but your opinion can’t be hate speech. 

Hate speech doesn’t give you the right to free speech. 

Ye’s actions have caused self-inflicting harm to his main sources of income; Adidas, Gap, Balenciaga, Vogue and JP Morgan have ended partnerships. 

On Oct. 25, West’s Donda Sports Agency lost two superstar athletes in Los Angeles Rams, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown. Both athletes released statements about their departure from this agency. 

Two days later,  Ye’s Donda Academy, which is an unaccredited private school that opened in August, closed for the rest of the school year but was reopened hours later. It has caused confusion about what’s going on for those students and their families.

When people say “I miss the old Kanye,” it’s because we miss the person who was focused on creating art through music and fashion. Now, his persona has wrapped itself around a political agenda that has become tiring to listen to.

As a fan of Ye’s music, I won’t let my biases cloud the difference between right and wrong. 

Is he an all-time great artist? Yes. Should that allow him to say whatever he wants? Absolutely not.

You can tell that he has been surrounded by people who don’t push back any of his ideas.

This isn’t a matter of suppressing his freedom of speech. It’s about holding people with influence accountable for being ignorant. 

I hope Ye gets the help he needs because seeing his fall from grace has become less amusing and more concerning.

 

About the Author

Raul Trey Lopez
Assistant Editor
Raul Trey Lopez is a communication senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. He is a first-generation college student. In his spare time, he likes listening to music. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in journalism while also maintaining his family flooring business.

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