On Friday, the last five words I wrote about Kanye West were, “Try not to embarrass me”. I was directly referring to his eye-roll inducing tweets masquerading as philosophy but it was also a plea for Kanye not to do something stupid like this: 

I’ll come back to Kanye and Candace Owens and why this tweet is not only embarrassing, it’s dangerous and woefully irresponsible. First, let’s focus on Kanye West.

Since Kanye re-emerged on Twitter, I’ve been wrestling with my affinity for this artist whose music defined much of my youth, who started much-needed conversations about masculinity in hip-hop and who once stood up for the black victims of Hurricane Katrina on live television when no one else would. I’ve been wrestling with my love for the Old Kanye and my frustrations with the New Kanye, someone who is still a musical mastermind but also has clear mental health issues. I’ve written before that I hoped Kanye’s past support of Donald Trump was just his illness talking. I hoped that this artist I’ve loved for so long doesn’t actually support a notorious bigot and an administration that doesn’t give a sh-t about black and brown lives – or trans lives or the lives of anyone in the LBGTQ community or any lives that aren’t white, rich lives. Well, that hope seems to be lost. Kanye may still be struggling with his mental wellbeing and I do truly hope that he’s healthy and lucid, but I don’t think that can be an excuse anymore. 

After Kanye tweeted about Candace Owens, many people voiced their concerns that he supports a right-wing commentator who has called Black Lives Matter protestors “whiny toddlers” and written op-eds called “Black men getting shot by police isn’t about racism.” She’s been called the Black Tomi Lahren. (Click for a refresher on my thoughts on Tomi Lahren.) She’s come out hard against Colin Kaepernick and called Jay-Z a fraud for his stance on mass-incarceration. Candace Owens’ views are vehemently anti-black and ignorant to the issues affecting black Americans. Just because Candace Owens and Kanye West are black themselves does not mean that their views are not harmful to the black community. See: Stacey Dash. Since the election of Klan President, debates across party lines in the U.S. are no longer just about politics. A new Trump administration plan wants to cut back on health care protections for transgender people. We know how the Trump administration feels about police brutality and immigration. This is not just politics. This is life or death. The stakes have never been higher. 

The backlash to Kanye’s tweet came swiftly and Kanye being Kanye hit back with a rant about “thought police.” 

For f-ck’s sake. Where are Kanye’s friends? Where are the people who should be telling him to put his goddamn phone away? 

Last week, I got an email from a reader who loves Kanye. She wrote that she loves him because “he is authentic, even in his mistakes.” She wrote that she loves Kanye for being messy, imperfect and a work in progress. Her point was that I should basically give Kanye a break for his questionable views.

Listen, I used to love Kanye for all of these things too. But how long are we going to let a grown-ass man be messy, imperfect and in progress? How long are we going to let Kanye West, a black man with one of the biggest platforms in the world, spew rhetoric that is detrimental to the safety of black kids who were just like him once, growing up in the south side of Chicago? Kanye has clearly lost touch with that kid. He’s spent his whole career chasing wealth and greatness and idolizing rich, white men. And now, this idolization looks like it has transformed into a full embrace of white supremacist views. 

White nationalists are always calling black people out for “self-victimization” and using bullsh-t terms like “thought police.” Kanye sounds like an alt-right troll. What is f-cking happening? A few of you tweeted me over the weekend that Kanye has always been problematic. Kanye has always had problems and I can go point for point on the issues of Kanye’s past if you want but his issues have never run this deep. He’s never gone this far.  

As for this “self-victimization” crap, no one is playing the victim here except for Kanye West. He wrote something on a social media platform and people responded to it, as is their right. Sure, Kanye is allowed to think whatever he wants but that doesn’t mean people can’t call him out for it, especially when those views are in line with actively homophobic and racist public figures. Sure, Kanye West is allowed to make mistakes. I think that mistakes can be a really great tool for learning but when you're an artist with the power and influence of Kanye, it's important to own those mistakes - especially when his mistakes include some very dangerous figures and rhetoric. I don't ever want Kanye to stop being Kanye, the messy, imperfect, authentic man that he is but I also can’t stand behind him as a fan when he’s standing WRONG AND STRONG (shout-out to Traci Melchor for that phrase) behind the literal worst. I can’t stand behind him when it looks like he’s turning into one of those humans himself. 

Along with all of the problematic crap Kanye tweeted this weekend, he also joked that he’s been producing from the Sunken Place (why does he still have to be funny though? Dammit Kanye!) and revealed that he’s working on Nas’s new album as well as all of the previously announced records from Kid Cudi, Pusha T and Teyana Taylor. Throughout the years, I’ll admit that I’ve given Kanye more slack than I probably would have any other artist because of the music. This time is different. Talk to me in June but even if the new tracks are incredible, I don’t think I can let this sh-t go in the name of some dope songs.