Kanye West

Alex Skelley

Kanye West! There’s a lot to say about him. He can be called one of the most narcissistic celebrities alive, with quotes like “My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live”. He’s also known widely as one of the greatest musicians of our time, and a pop culture icon that may rival even Madonna. These are all cool, but what he’s done that has really had a great effect on the community and the country, is reminding us to think for ourselves. I guess you can say he’s not really the voice of a generation, just the man who reminded us to use ours.

Over the past 2 years, Kanye has come under fire for vocalizing his support for president Donald Trump. He’s been repeatedly slammed as an Uncle Tom, a race traitor, and a mindless idiot. In response to this, Kanye has doubled down on his support of the president, and has launched a campaign of the idea of thinking freely. He has rebutted the claims of being a race traitor by pointing to the fact that just because someone supports the Republican Party, it doesn’t mean they’re racist. He’s come out and said he won’t go with the herd when it comes to supporting the democratic party like most African Americans do, bringing it up in his recent meeting with president trump, “You know, people expect that if you’re black you have to be Democrat”. He even shared the following tweet in which he praises Trump, and stresses the right to independent thought.

Whether or not you agree with his political beliefs or not, the message he’s sending is the basis of american democracy: We can all think how we want. To many people today will vote only based on how their family, friends, or even racial and religious group votes, instead of voting based on what political ideology that their beliefs line up with. Just last week, I ask my coworker why she votes the way she does, and her only response was, “Because my parents vote that way, and I don’t want to disappoint them”. People will vote one way, because they’re scared of the response and reaction from family, friends, and peers if they vote the other way. Kanye has stressed the blacks don’t have to vote for democrats just because other blacks do, and that they should instead vote based on economic and social beliefs. He wants people to educate themselves on issues, and come to their own personal conclusion. He’s right, in that what is democracy, if people don’t vote for what they believe.

This message has resonated with many people all over the country, and even in the CVHS community. Students are now rethinking their political beliefs, and are even becoming more willing to share beliefs that may create a backlash among their peers. Just a few weeks ago, I was listening to a student name Hunter Bell, who said “I think i’m ready to jump on the trump train, they even got Kanye!”.

More people are now waking up, and thinking for themselves about what they believe, and applying that to who they support politically. People are learning about the ins and outs of issues, and deciding for themselves what they think about them. They’re realizing that following the herd may lead them to supporting things that they don’t actually agree with. The effect that this had on the country, and the political system, is monumental, and has truly reignited the flame of true american democracy.