Kanye West just donated money to a Democratic candidate – as if that will undo the damage he's already caused

Not everyone can hide from the world’s problems inside a $60m mansion, as West will be if times get rough

Louis Staples
Tuesday 06 November 2018 17:35
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The most bizarre moments from Kanye West's meeting with Donald Trump at the White House

When it comes to Kanye West, keeping up with the adopted Kardashian’s political views is practically a full time job. First, he was an Obama-supporting Democrat. Then he became a Trump fan, proudly embracing the tangerine overlord himself in the Oval Office wearing a Make America Great Again cap. But after realising that his overpriced trainers probably don’t sell when he’s associating with a man who called some white supremacists “very fine people” and locks children in cages, West has pulled back.

Making his exit from the Trump train, West posted a number of cryptic tweets, suggesting that he had been “used” to spread messages he doesn’t believe in. He then said his eyes are now “wide open” and pledged to distance himself from politics, as we all took a collective sigh of relief.

But unfortunately for my blood pressure, West’s commitment to steer clear of politics didn’t last long. According to The Chicago Tribune, he has given a total campaign contribution of $200,000 to Democratic Chicago mayoral candidate Amara Enyia. He donated $73,540 to Enyia last week, but followed up by donating a further $126,460 to her campaign.

West appeared alongside Enyia, an activist and former journalist, at a rally last week. Enyia also has the support of Chance the Rapper, who has spoken at a number of her rallies. But Kanye didn’t grab the mic from Chance and say “Imma let you finish, but Enyia is gonna be the best mayor of ALL TIME”. In scarily rare form, he stood silently in the background.

It’s little surprise that a fad-obsessed egomaniac celebrity like West found himself in Trump’s camp. Both make a living through convincing people to buy into things they don’t really need and exaggerating their abilities. Kanye preaches about “American jobs”, but his Yeezy trainers are made in China – remind you of anyone? But while a pair of these shoes will set you back a few hundred dollars, Trump’s brand of neo-fascism has the potential to set America, but specifically African-Americans, back decades.

Like his in-law Caitlyn Jenner, Kanye appears to have learned the error of his ways. But West’s change of heart – just days before potentially generation-defining mid-term elections – is a case of too little too late.

In his highly publicised love-in with Trump and the Republicans, West suggested the 13th amendment, which effectively banned slavery, should be abolished. He was also alleged to have designed clothing for the “Blexit” movement, which encourages black people to abandon the Democratic Party, though he has since refuted these claims. Still, following his rumoured association with the movement and endorsement of the Republicans, orders for this merchandise are reportedly pouring in. Following an appearance in a MAGA hat on Saturday Night Live, Trump even tweeted that West was “leading the charge!”

Sorry Kanye, but your sheepish “reformed sinner” act isn’t fooling anyone. The images of West snuggling up to Trump in the Oval Office, as his “daddy dictator” – sweaty, leathery and misshapen – beckoned his prized puppet towards his lap, have done far more damage than a quiet donation to a down-the-ballot candidate can reverse. The fact that West has the nerve to stand behind Enyia, after tweeting to 28 million people that “nothing in Chicago changed” in eight years of the Obama presidency, is maddening.

West was indeed “used”. In photographs of his White House visit, Trump is practically salivating at the musician’s idiocy. But he bears sole responsibility for encouraging black Americans to embrace a movement that has potential to devastate their basic human rights. Not everyone can hide from the world’s problems inside a $60m mansion, as West will be if times get rough.

As New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon put it, African-Americans are the “cornerstone and back bone” of the Democratic Party. Black women were largely responsible for stopping far-right Republican Roy Moore, who was accused of paedophilia, from entering the Senate. With 98 per cent voting against Moore while a shocking 63 per cent of white women still voted for him, they saved white Americans from themselves.

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If even a small fraction of African-Americans have been swayed by West’s incoherent, anti-Democrat ramblings and Trump apologism, it could tip the balance in the closest midterm contests. In the gubernatorial race in Georgia, Stacey Abrams is battling a systemic campaign of Republican-led racial suppression to become the first female African-American governor in American history. State-wide polls are currently within the margin of error, but if Abrams loses, West should hang his head in shame for endorsing a party whose elected officials have deliberately tried to prevent black people from voting.

After associating with Trump’s toxic brand, West now resembles an accessory suddenly cast out of fashion. But this mess is entirely of his own design. If he wants to make himself great again, he’s going to have to do much more than donate what is essentially pocket change to excuse his dangerously uneducated, reckless interventions.

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