Monday, September 28, 2009

By Popular Demand

A friend suggested that I do a post about the Kanye dustup and race in America. Then another friend said she thought it was an interesting subject too because Kanye has always been outspoken about racial prejudice, which hadn't really occurred to me. So here it goes.

Kanye made himself look like an asshole. If he thought that the award was being given to the white girl because she was white, he didn't represent that opinion very well. In fact, he played into outdated stereotypes of black men as intimidating and uncontrolled...or something.

And I think perhaps Kanye plays into stereotypes of black men, or at least hip hop artists, himself. He's the son of the chair of the English department at a substantial university and he writes blog posts in all caps with terrible grammar (I can't seem to find his actual blog posts). Granted, the blogosphere isn't exactly the most grammatically correct forum, but he pushes the LOL-language to the point of incomprehension. Normally, I wouldn't judge a hip hop artist on their grammar because it seems classist and condescending, but Kanye is known for his clever wordplay and he is obviously educated. Anyway, Lupe Fiasco seems like a good example of being the anti-Kanye in that he addresses racism in a more approachable and understandable way.

I did love "George Bush doesn't care about black people". That was an appropriate event for yelling on national television, and I was incredibly happy that he did it. But stealing a microphone from a 19 year old on national television makes racism worse, not better. I must agree with Obama that he is somewhat of a jackass.

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