The Daily Illini

Kanye West was never ‘used’ to spread political beliefs

Musical+artist+Kanye+West+speaks+in+the+Oval+Office+of+the+White+House+during+a+meeting+with+President+Donald+Trump+to+discuss+criminal+justice+system+and+prison+reform+on+Thursday%2C+Oct.+11%2C+2018+in+Washington%2C+D.C.
Musical artist Kanye West speaks in the Oval Office of the White House during a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss criminal justice system and prison reform on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

Musical artist Kanye West speaks in the Oval Office of the White House during a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss criminal justice system and prison reform on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

Photo courtesy of Olivier Douliery

Photo courtesy of Olivier Douliery

Musical artist Kanye West speaks in the Oval Office of the White House during a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss criminal justice system and prison reform on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

By Jaime Watts, Columnist

Kanye West has consistently made headlines regarding his political beliefs and controversial statements. Earlier this year, he first caused controversy by saying slavery was a “choice,” but die-hard supporters of the 41-year-old rapper and fashion designer quickly let it slide and still supported his music.

A couple of weeks ago, West visited the White House to discuss prison reform and many other topics with President Donald Trump. West seemed to have ranted on in the meeting, and President Trump himself seemed like he did not even know what to say.

Trump barely spoke during West’s rambling. In a pause between West talking about “Yeezy Centers of Ideation” and infinite universes, all Trump could say is, “I tell you what, that was pretty impressive … that was quite something.”

The meeting went nowhere and was a waste of media coverage.

Now, West claims he was used for political gain even though he was the one that started voicing his politics.

West is an adult. He needs to take responsibility for his political views and the power his influence has. Most importantly, he needs to educate himself before speaking about politics and controversial topics. People, especially his fans, should not look up to him for political advice, and the media must stop adding to the already immense coverage he has. West does not deserve it.

I was a fan of Kanye West. I liked his music and admired how outspoken he was. I no longer support him.

When he visited the White House, it was all over the news; but at the same time, Hurricane Michael was making its way through Florida, which is more of an urgent media topic and more of an urgent matter for the President — not Kanye West’s ramblings.

After this meeting where almost nothing of substance was discussed, West tweeted saying we should abolish the Thirteenth Amendment, the Amendment that abolished slavery. Either West does not fully understand the horror behind the Amendment, or he actually believes slavery should be legal again. I am leaning more on the side that he is uneducated and ignorant about this.

West then dropped this tweet early last week: “My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!”

I do not understand how he was used when he supports President Trump and has made numerous political comments regarding him.

In the series of tweets, he also discussed accusations that he designed “Blexit” shirts, which is a campaign for black voters to leave the Democratic Party. He did not design the shirts, but if he was referring to him being “used” to push the “Blexit” agenda, this only goes against the sentiment as he has made clear he publicly supported Trump.

West carried on tweeting about things he does support: prison reform, common sense gun laws, people seeking asylum — the list goes on. These are not things evidenced that President Trump supports. Kanye West’s messaging for politics makes no sense. Hence why we should not be looking to him for educated political advice and why we should not give him attention unless it is actually for the betterment of politics.

Maybe I am giving Kanye West’s influence too much credit. For all we know, West could have been sporting the MAGA hat for nothing more than to stir the pot.

Jaime is a junior in LAS.

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