Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Imma let you finish, but...

Hopefully, this Kanye West thing will blow over soon.

For those who somehow don't know, he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at this weekend's MTV Video Music Awards, to take issue with her victory. Yes, this was mind-bogglingly rude, and easily arguable as sexist. He deserved scorn, and he's gotten it. People will never forget this...nor should they.

However, he has now apologized in several forums, including by phone to Taylor Swift. If it won't be forgotten, it should be forgiven.

And I believe that the punishment has now exceeded the crime.

The reason for that is that is that yesterday, broke the news that President Barack Obama had been caught calling West a "jackass" on a hot mic.

For a Black musician with a passion for racial issues, I cannot imagine how painful this would be, coming from the first Black president. It must have been agony. Simply agony. Agony that the President did not intend for West to have.

Obama did not know that he was being recorded, and thought his statements were off the record. He should know by now, though, that with the press, his words are never off the record unless explicitly stated...and maybe not even then. I wish he'd been more circumspect, considering that West has shown real contrition as he's gone on damage control. Obama may have never done anything so breathtakingly boorish, but he knows what it is to stick his foot in his mouth. (Special Olympics, anyone?)

At this point, I feel sorry for everyone involved: Taylor Swift, Beyonce' Knowles, President Obama and Kayne West.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see someone else saying this about the whole Kanye West thing. Honestly, I rarely gave him much thought before this whole thing, and seeing how he's worked to make amends to the people he actually wronged, as well as make his apologies to the public... well, I have respect for him now I didn't have before.

How many times have we seen other celebrities try to blame their rude or otherwise inappropriate behavior on some outside influence and fail to take ownership for the effect their actions had on others? Dozens, I'm sure. I haven't seen that from Kanye - he seems genuinely sorry, and more than a little appalled to see himself behaving the way he did. Frankly, that's pretty much everything I could ask for in a celebrity apologizing for poor behavior.