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The Cap, Kanye, and the Constitution

Hope K

Rumor has it that Columbia College in Chicago was the last school Kanye West briefly attended before he released his debut album The College Dropout. Though I didn’t drop out, I went there, too. A lot of interesting people did, including rapper Common and comedian Jimmy Dore. Columbia was the art school for outsiders. You could attend a lecture by Joyce Carol Oates while the hip-hop majors danced outside the window. You could study just about any kind of art you could dream up. It was kind of like the posh Art Institute’s scrappy cousin, but it encouraged free thinking. Kanye has an honorary PhD from the Art Institute now, but he’s still got that old spark, if you ask me. I can’t imagine anyone from the Art Institute ever wearing a MAGA hat. But for Kanye, that cap is his Superman cape.

He thinks of it as his way of bucking the system. “They tried to scare me to not wear this hat — my own friends,” he said. Though you might not agree with his politics or even like his music, the man has the right to wear whatever hat he wants. And what does it say about the USA, “land of the free,” where people have conniption fits over hats? It’s like some people are on their knees begging for censorship. They are getting it but not liking it very much. However, that’s another story.

Here’s singer Lana Del Ray threatening to beat up rapper Azealia Banks over, of all things, Kanye West’s MAGA hat. Yes, really.

The sad thing is that I see this type of behavior on a daily basis now. And to be completely honest, most of it is coming from self-proclaimed liberals. Maybe that’s because Team Red is in power at the moment. Whatever the reason, I’ve never seen such division in my life. My mom told me it was worse during the Vietnam War, but I’ll just have to take her word for it. Now people on social media are calling for assassinations like it ain’t no thing. I’m flabbergasted. They’re acting like hysterical helicopter parents hovering over their precious Team Blue kids.

Kanye refers to it as being like red and blue gangs, and, to a certain extent, I agree with him. Things are getting out of hand, and that’s just the way the oligarchy likes it. It makes us so much easier to control.

If you think this phenomenon is just on social media or doesn’t affect children, think again. Here’s a document I obtained from a middle school child (redacted to protect identities):

The text reads:

September 28, 2018, Approximately 12:00 to 1:00 PM. It was hat day for drama class, and one student named [Student 1] wore a hat with the text, “Make America Great Again” written on it. While I was sitting next to him in my science class, the teacher, Mrs. — , told him to turn the hat around because she did not want to see the text. She then threatened to take points off of his grade for the test on Monday, September 31st for wearing the hat. [Student 2] later threw a soap bottle at [Student 1]….”

At this time, October 12, no action has been taken on the student who pelted a classmate with a soap bottle or the teacher who threatened a student’s test grade, all over a cap. TDS has invaded our schools, folks. It’s not pretty.

I see this whole Team Red vs Team Blue thing as being like a kids’ ball game. So I guess in this scenario it’s normal to threaten and harass adults and children over ball caps. And I’m shaking my head as I type this.

Speaking of balls, Kanye said it took a lot of them to wear his MAGA hat. On October 11, former football player Jim Brown, Kanye, and Trump met for lunch. Before their meal, they had a discussion with questions from the press. One of the first things they talked about was Larry Hoover’s case. He was sentenced the first time for drug dealing and homicide in 1973 Chicago, then again behind bars in 1997 for conspiracy and other charges. Kanye was advocating for a pardon because, he said, in another life he could have been Larry.

Earlier this year, Kanye’s wife Kim successfully pushed for clemency for Alice Marie Johnson. I never thought the Kan-dashians would turn into prison reform activists, but I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m saying we must unite with people we don’t like or don’t normally agree with in order to make changes that don’t require bullets. To quote Kanye, “We need to release the love throughout the entire country.” It’s corny, but it’s true.

Kanye actually brought up an important point in the pre-lunch press conference. In his bid for prison reform, he suggested getting rid of the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. That’s the one where they abolished slavery, but they added in a sneaky thing. They said slavery was not legal except “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” You read that right. Prison slavery is constitutional.

Kanye thinks it makes sense to abolish the amendment. After all, buildings don’t have 13th floors, he explained to our real estate president, who nodded and smiled.

It turns out Kanye is moving back home to Chicago and wants to make a difference. He met with city leaders and citizens who told him their biggest problem is stop and frisk policies. President Trump said he was willing to hear Kanye’s argument about stop and frisk and consider it.

Throughout this odd but vital dialogue about prison slavery and police policy reform, the press asked thoughtful questions about these issues. Just kidding!

No, they asked Kanye if the president is a racist and if Kanye supported abolishing the Second Amendment. At one point, he got worked up and bellowed, “You think racism can control me?!” I kind of wanted to stand up and clap at the screen at that point — I won’t lie.

Because as ridiculous as parts of that conversation were between Kanye, Jim, and Donald, overall the meeting was successful. Both Kanye and the president agreed that the energy in the room was very good.

On October 2, singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen’s posthumous poetry book, The Flame, was released. And though he wrote a poem called “Kanye West Is Not Picasso,” interpreted by the press as a diss to the rapper, Cohen had made a comment to the Wall Street Journal in 2014 that shows his feelings toward Kanye might not have been all that negative.

Cohen said of Kanye:

It’s the energy, it’s the resonance of truth, of person, of real experience. When we are exposed to someone’s real experience, it resonates and it invigorates.”

Kanye definitely has a lot of energy, but he says he’s not bipolar, just sleep deprived. The reaction right after the press conference on social media from many people was unsurprising and a bit depressing. This was one day after World Mental Health Day, and people were calling Kanye all kinds of crazy. I guess it’s rude to mental health shame somebody unless you don’t like them.

Perhaps Kanye is crazy like a fox. All that hugging and complimenting Trump might have worked. In a phone call to Fox and Friends, Trump said we do need prison reform, and he even elaborated on it.

I think that’s great, but it’s not like I’m holding my breath or anything. I do give credit where credit is due. At least Kanye West got the president to talk about prison reform, and that’s more than the vast majority of his critics can claim.


Winner of my high school's citizenship award.

16 Comments

  1. Lloyd says

    It feels a little odd to think it, but Trump has done more for world peace than any other US president in my lifetime (I’m 58). And now Trump – of all presidents – will likely make the biggest positive real changes in civil rights.

    God bless Dennis Rodman, and God bless Ye.

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    • The Trump who cut off aid to the Palestinians and threatens war with Iran? I am sceptical of the ability of any American president to accomplish real change in the face of the hegemonic interests. Plus the added barrier of his Zionist handlers.

  2. I’m not surprised that American blacks are the most vitriolic in the attacks on West. After all, these are the same American blacks who mass voted for the war criminal Killary Clinton, due to whom black people in Haiti were looted bare, and because of whom black people in Libya are being literally sold as slaves.

    This isn’t the age of Malcolm X any longer. There is absolutely nothing to admire in what passes for American black “activism” anymore.

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    • Notme2 says

      Raggy,

      Take the Knee?
      Hands up don’t shoot?
      Chris Rock?

      There is plenty – but it is ignored by MSM.
      Their social media platforms are shut down.
      Their kids are fed on drugs and video nasties then locked up forever.
      The families are disrupted and forced into ghettos and bad education and no prospects.

      Don’t forget the afroyanks are supposed to be Americans with ALL the same rights.
      Why shouldn’t they be proud of their identity and culture – western rock and pop that you grew up with and got your first snog with wouldn’t exist otherwise – and a lot of lillywhite boys would have spent their whole lives as monkey spanking virgins.

      Now hush your maff and pray for forgiveness.

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      • What do “lilywhite boys” have to do with Obama bombing us brown people every three minutes for eight years while his sidekick Killary Clinton destroyed Libya and enslaved black people – and both are considered living saints by American blacks?

        As far as I’m concerned, American blacks I admire are the likes of Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Muhammad Ali, and to a lesser extent Martin Luther King Jr. Not the Barack Hussein Obama worshipping, virtue signalling, BLM cabal. Not at all.

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  3. DunGroanin says

    “Whatever the reason, I’ve never seen such division in my life. My mom told me it was worse during the Vietnam War, but I’ll just have to take her word for it.”

    That is and was a GOOD thing.

    The illegal indo-chinese wars and bombings that destroyed millions and left their lands as basket cases; the assassinations of MLK, RFK, MX and the public killing and coup against JFK by the DS followed by decades of controlled ‘opposition’ and ‘leftism’ took the very REAL divisions out of the daily political life.

    The DS is entrenched and they have got used to controlling the narrative, consent and dissent. They pour $$$ into the MSM via their foundations to keep it controlled.

    I have to doff the cap at a ressurgence of grassroots activism that the WH antics are bigging up! ( i’m not a fan of either of their showbiz skills btw)

  4. I do believe it is with this president that lies our last hope. Even uttering the word hope makes my skin crawl after our last president. The left will never let the people speak again after this unless people stand up now. The Clinton crowd will not go down easily. It will take martial law to reel them in and Nuremberg style trials to dispatch them. What are the chances? Near zero. In their selfishness, the American people won’t understand what is happening, no matter what is happening. Then again, what if more real people woke up and realized they have a voice? I actually think I see a slight movement of life in that slumping, distant, discarded and now fetid word……hope. Could it be?.Is it still alive? If so, it is up to us to revive it.

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    • Arthur Cadbury says

      You must never give up hope – for hope is the lifeblood of humanism is a world where evil influences are working to dehumanise others and drag them down into the cess pit of anger and arrogance that is being so openly expressed in the division which afflicts your society over there in America today. It is breeding a “culture of offence and insult” that is corroding the very fabric of your nation. Whilst I don’t look up to people like Trump and West, common sense forces me to acknowledge that they, being symptoms of the cult of celebrity, are the least of all the ills that afflict your great nation which is rapidly becoming the DSA – the Divided States of America. That West should be working for prison reform is something he should be given credit for, despite the fact the like Trump, he appears to many here in the UK to be a self-serving attention seeker. But there again, the same could be said for most of us, including myself.

      • Arthur: I admire your self-deprecation. The fact is, and I don’t suppose there are any figures, but I surmise that the majority of people are NOT self-serving attention seekers …but we live with the cultural hegemony of the ‘I am’. In the main it is a cultural imposition, an extra-biological inheritance, which we have no choice over. We may seek to escape, but escape can lead to ataraxic solipsism or quietism, which is deeply unsatisfactory.

        Being a borderline ‘I am not’ in an ‘I am’ world, if that makes sense, is vexing. The root diagnosis of the world crisis is simple. It is the same as it has been since Buddha sat beneath the Bodhi tree. He declared (though not in these words), as soon as you miscognise and reify an ‘I am’; you collectively create the world as it presents today. The ‘individual’ parakalpita (ubiquitous karmic projection) is an atom (or node) of the mass parakalpita, the world as it presents. If you base culture on the apotheosis of the ‘I am’: guaranteeing ‘individual’ rights and ‘individual’ freedoms …you guarantee the emergence of Trumps and Kanyes (and worse) …you also guarantee hierarchical exploitation, sectarianism, and dehumanisation. The cultural hegemony, its economic expression as turbo-capitalism, and the degradation and destruction of our common habitat are all encoded in the ‘I am’.

        That’s the easy bit, I’m not sure that many people would dispute the prognosis. The cultural hegemony of the ‘I am’ is also a viscous hypertrophy of the ‘I am’. In other words, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The laws of accumulation will create an ever more viscious, deluded, and self-maximal greedy individuals. This is already the case. Enough can never be enough.

        [For reasons I won’t go into: but the mere declarative of an ‘I am not’ is a reaffirmation of ‘I am’. One leads to eternalisation, the other annihilation. Neither is affirmative of life.]

        The question I have, is how do us minimal ‘I ams’ and borderline ‘I am nots’ change this collective parakalpita …for which we all are responsible? Our minimal contribution is not intended as a contribution into a viscously self-centred anthropogenic omnicidal delusion …but that is the result. Pointing out our individual responsibility can prove counterproductive. Not pointing it out is deeply unsatisfactory too.

        The reason I am canvassing opinion is that I have been seeking the answer for 30+ years; with no real conclusion. I have had this conversation with Lamas and Roshis: why is Buddhism not more pro-active and proselytising? I suspect you know the answer, but it is deeply unsatisfactory to wait and see. What I see is the liberational praxis of Yogacara/Mahadyamaka/Mahayana being Americanised into an individual psychotherapy. Bourgeois Buddhism is not for me.

        • What bothers me about ‘hope’ is that by default, is assumes a position of wishful thinking. An acknowledgement of powerlessness. The value in humanity needed to transform the whole is already present in the suppressed. This in part is why they are suppressed. This value is also within the oppressors, and even more so suppressed. It seems this dynamic of human relations has been this way from the beginning. This aspect of ourselves also seems to be weaved into the fabric of our reality. Short of a paradigm shift affecting us all equally, I don’t see anything fruitful coming from a confrontation of our parts. It is likely that there would then simply be a role reversal anyway.
          And then there is Big Bs ‘I am’ paradox. What a mess.

    • Kathy says

      Hope – Poem by Theognis of Megara

      For human nature Hope remains alone
      Of all the deities; the rest are flown.
      Faith is departed; Truth and Honour dead;
      And all the Graces too, my friends, are fled.
      The scanty specimens of living worth,
      Dwindled to nothing, and extinct on earth.
      Yet whilst I live and view the light of heaven,
      Since hope remains and never has been driven
      From the distracted world-the single scope
      Of my devotion is to worship Hope.
      When hecatombs are slain, and altars burn,
      When all the deities adored in turn,
      Let Hope be present; and with Hope, my friend,
      Let every sacrifice commence and end.
      Yes, Insolence, Injustice, every crime,
      Rapine and Wrong, may prosper for a time;
      Yet shall they travel on to swift decay,
      Who tread the crooked path and hollow way.
      Theognis of Megara

  5. philpot says

    Great to read someone who thinks and reasons like a sensible human being.

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    • Savorywill says

      I agree completely. I watched the Kanye West meeting with Trump and thought he was excellent, and his perspective was genuine. I admire his courage, for one thing, to be himself and to be prepared to go against the stereotypes. But, even more inspiring, for me, was Trump’s reaction. He just took it all in, without judgement, it seemed, and was positive and surprisingly open in his response to what Kanye had to say. I really felt he was almost innocent, and childlike (not childish!), at that time.

      I can’t imagine Obama, another African American, giving the space and the platform for Kanye to express himself the way he did. Everything Obama did was so carefully scripted and controlled, including his speeches.

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