‘Kanye for President’ Exposes GOP Disdain for Blacks

Betting we’ll vote for him just because he’s Black underestimates us.

Image for post
Image for post
Kanye West and President Donald Trump at the White House in 2018 (Photo: YouTube)

I have no problem admitting it. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s comfortable lead against President Donald Trump in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election polls doesn’t hinge on his vision, which is well short of breathtaking. It has more to do with Trump’s failure to effectively manage the COVID-19 crisis (160,000 deaths and counting), a pandemic economy, and racial unrest in the United States.

If Trump were a more effective leader, Biden probably wouldn’t get away with saying something as spectacularly tone deaf as what he said at the end of a radio interview with “The Breakfast Club” host Charlamagne Tha God in May: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”

The problem wasn’t so much what Biden said (he isn’t not right), but that he was the one who said it. We the Black people don’t need an old White guy telling us how to be Black. Apparently, though, Republicans also think they know what makes a Black person Black: ride-or-die Blackness that would support a mentally ill rapper for President, just because he’s Black.

He’s their great Black hope. It’s a leap of faith that presumes Black gullibility and stupidity.

If current conjecture is nailing it, the GOP are masters of the puppet that is Kanye West, rapper/mogul-turned-spoiler Presidential candidate, and GOP activists are working behind the scenes to get him on the November ballot in a number of U.S. states, to siphon Black votes from Biden. He’s their great Black hope. It’s a leap of faith that presumes Black gullibility and stupidity.

Nothing has been confirmed, but in a text interview with Forbes that ran on August 6, Kanye seemed to suggest he’s still working within the Republican Party’s system. “I’m meeting with [Secretary of Education] Betsy DeVos about the post-Covid curriculum,” he revealed. Hmm … Since COVID-19 isn’t likely to be “post” anytime soon, Kanye is clearly counting on a Republican Party victory.

But wait. What about his candidacy? Well, failure is pretty much a done deal. It’ll be virtually impossible for him to get on enough state ballots to acquire the 270 electoral states required to take the White House. Loss is a foregone conclusion.

But wait (again). Isn’t Kanye West all about winning? Why would he embark on a Presidential campaign if he has zero chance of becoming the 46th President? Some have suggested he might be off his meds again. If he is, that would make using him as a political pawn exponentially more icky.

Where does Trump fit in?

“I like Kanye very much,” Trump told reporters at the White House on August 5. “No, I have nothing to do with him getting on the ballot. We’ll have to see what happens.”

Trump’s actions over the last four years have proven that to him, you’re either with him or against him, so I don’t buy this breezy attitude. But what’s in it for Kanye? It’s frightening enough to imagine someone so misinformed about history having a say in education, but “Secretary of State Kanye West” has an even more horrifying ring to it.

We all know what’s in it for Trump. His prioritizing economic concerns over saving American lives from COVID-19 already shows he cares more about winning than making America great — or safe — again. His tacit endorsement of a Kanye candidacy underscores it in bright red.

But if Trump and his fellow Republicans believe Kanye’s candidacy could help them by attracting Blacks they assume otherwise would vote for Biden by default, they’re making an even more egregious assumption about Black intellect than the Vice President did.

Rather than spending time developing a platform that appeals to Black voters, the GOP is pushing a spoiler candidate to steal votes from the competition.

Their actions imply that they think Black people are idiots. It assumes Democratic and undecided Blacks will forget Kanye’s friendship with Trump, his comment that Black people historically chose to be slaves, and his disparaging of Harriet Tubman, one of the most respected Black women pre-Michelle Obama, and vote for Kanye simply because he’s Black.

It’s an insultingly gross underestimation of Black intellect and the ability of Blacks to grasp current events. It turns my race into the infantile children White America has historically depicted us as being.

Rather than spending time developing a platform that appeals to Black voters, the GOP is pushing a spoiler candidate to steal Black votes from the competition. That is the sign of a desperate political party that not only doesn’t care about Black people (to borrow from Kanye’s old summation of former Republican President George W. Bush) but one that doesn’t respect us either.

Sadly, they’ve underestimated Black people, as usual. At 43, Kanye has never voted in a Presidential election (or any election, for that matter). The only Blacks I can imagine supporting him in droves are ones who have as little respect for the American political process as he apparently does. Unfortunately for Trump and the GOP, those Blacks are as likely to vote in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election as Kanye.

Written by

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store