December 3, 2022
On October 3rd, while at his Yeezy fashion show in Paris, Kanye West or Ye posted a picture of him and black conservative commentator Candice Owens wearing long sleeve T-shirts with the words “WHITE LIVES MATTER” written across the back. There’s no denying the problematic nature of this stunt. The Anti-Defamation League, or ADL, claims White Lives Matter to be “a white supremacist phrase that originated in early 2015 as a racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement.” Or in other words, The ADL claims that the phrase is deliberately anti-black. Furthermore, the ADL cites the term to have originated in a Texas-based white supremacy group called the Aryan Resistance society. So, it’s likewise a phrase with ties to outright white supremacist fascism rather than just anti-black sentiment.
Often anti-black sentiment and fascism are tied together such as this. This is why the Nazis put black and LGBTQIA people in concentration camps and Jewish people. Fascism has no boundaries. Hateful rhetoric seeks to tear our human connections apart limb from limb on the foundation of our cultural difference. Kanye West wearing that White Lives Matter shirt, as an affluent and culturally significant American black man, brings all these horrors of fascism to mind. This makes one consider, is what he’s going for. It was a fashion show he was wearing that shirt in, after all. Maybe he intended to indicate the horrifyingly pervasive nature of white nationalist-fascist beliefs.
From an artistic standpoint, this is precisely what he did. Ye proved that white nationalist fascism could reach anyone. Including the black man, who is debatably the most important musical artist and producer of the last thirty years. He was making a statement with that shirt, but not a coded one. The presence of Candace Owens and his later comments made this apparent.
This fashion show was the beginning of Kanye’s spiral. He claims a lock has cost him 2 billion dollars and any dignity he retained as an artist to this point. From this fashion show onward, Ye continued to espouse anti-black and antisemitic remarks and ideas. He said things like: “More Black babies are being aborted than born in New York City at this point. Fifty percent of death in America is abortion,” “Jewish people have owned the Black voice,” and “the Jewish community, especially in the music industry…they’ll take us and milk us till we die.” Of continued troubling comments like these, Kanye has been banned from Twitter and Instagram. He is attempting to buy the third-party social media app Parler, a known organizing point for right-wing conspiracy and militia groups like the proud boys and the Oath Keepers.
There are plenty of other seriously questionable things Ye has done between his purchase of Parlor and the present day, but none of these things stray from the intention behind the white lives matter shirt. Kanye has flushed himself down the toilet and found himself crammed into the tight, rusty lead pipes of the alt-right pipeline. And his bathroom must have good plumbing because he is making his way through the lines fast.
Recent events suggest that he is far enough into the sewage system that he might soon be the one maintaining the pipes. He is hiring new plumbers by sucking them into the lines with his vast platform. Kanye might have recently moved from anti-Semitic/ Nazi adjacent to full-on Nazi. I say this because lately, the ones keeping him company and supporting him have been neo-Nazis. I’m of course, referring to Milo Yiannopoulos and, more notably, Nick Fuentes. Two plumbers who are young but experienced in crafting and maintaining the pipes of the Alt-right. The lines of white supremacy.
Milo Yiannopoulos, or Milo Andres Wagner, is a British Alt-right commentator. His specific subset of hateful speech tends to focus on Islam, social justice, feminism, and political correctness. Or in other words, he is a bit more anti-woman and Islamophobic than he is anti-black and anti-Jewish. This is not to say that he’s neither anti-black nor anti-Jewish; he is undoubtedly these things. He has compared Hollywood actor Leslie Jones to an ape, which is deplorable. Likewise, as an editor and writer for Breitbart news, he wrote and gave the go-ahead on many blatantly anti-Semitic, black, and Muslim articles. Just by his proximity to white nationalism, he proves to be bigoted in a multi-faceted way.
But it’s not as much his thing to say that the holocaust is faked or that the black vote is the n-word vote; that’s more Fuentes’ thing. His specialty is more to say something like: “birth control makes women unattractive and crazy,” and “Muslims are allowed to get away with anything in this country,” and perhaps most notoriously justifying the pedophilia of his high school catholic priest in episode 702 of the Joe Rogan podcast.
He is the victim of this pedophilia, so I want to leave room for trauma. But the irony of him criticizing another writer’s piece on pedophilia while simultaneously claiming he gave legal consent to a priest he performed oral sex on when he was 13 is striking. This is not to say that Todd Nickerson’s article “I’m a pedophile but not a Monster” does not merit criticism. But, Yiannopoulos said, about himself, “Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is an attraction to children who have not yet reached puberty….” On said podcast. Likewise, he criticized Nickerson on the same podcast just 14 minutes before. Both are bad; one is certainly a hypocrite.
This incident got Yiannopoulos fired from Breitbart News, an accomplishment in its own right. This firing happened in 2017, and nothing of note happened to Yiannopoulos between that time and now. Or, in other words: the pro-Nazi, pro-pedophilia, anti-black, anti-Muslim, antisemite hasn’t had a platform for the last five years.
Fuentes is worse than Yiannopoulos and, more notoriously, a white nationalist Nazi. At 24 years, Fuentes spent the entirety of his late adolescence and early adulthood spreading and supporting Alt-right Nazi movements and beliefs. As early as high school, he’d done work in broadcasting. He used a local radio and tv station to expose mainstream conservative views. This amplified in college, where he started a white nationalist broadcast called America first.
He dropped out of college the same year he joined, in 2017. This was because he attended the famous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was an Alt-right rally organized by self-proclaimed Nazi Richard Spencer. Its participants marched around the town and campus of the University of Virginia, UVA, and chanted things like, “You will not replace us,” “Russia is Our Friend,” and “The South will rise again.” All of these chants are far-right dog whistles to white supremacy. “You will not replace us” refers to replacement theory. This is not a theory; it’s a pseudo-science that claims that the so-called “loose” US immigration policies are an attempt by the US government to replace white working-class people with, assumedly, black and brown immigrant workers. This theory is popularly used by fox news host Tucker Carlson in his Tucker Carlson broadcast.
It's unclear what the “Russia is our friend” chant means. But considering Russia’s alleged ties to former President Trump and Former President Trump’s apparent ties to far-right militia groups like the Oath Keepers and The Proud Boys, who both claimed to be at the rally, one can assume those groups have some involvement in that chant. “The South will Rise Again” is about dixie chants from the confederate side of the civil war.
In any case, Fuentes was at the rally, advertised that he was at the rally on his show “America First,” and still maintained an avid audience until 2020, when he was finally banned from YouTube. Losing his platform didn’t stop him from being a Nazi, though. He faded into the background a little after losing his show, but that didn’t prevent him from participating in the January 6th insurrection. On January 4th, 2021, Fuentes said,
“What can you and I do to a state legislator—besides kill them? We should not do that. I'm not advising that, but I mean, what else can you do, right?”
On January 6th, before the attack, he said:
“It is our ancestors that created everything good that you see in this country and us. All these people have taken over our country—we do not need them… …It is the American people and our leader, Donald Trump, against everybody else in this country and this world... Our Founding Fathers would get in the streets, and they would take this country back by force if necessary. And that is what we must be prepared to do.”
If it’s unclear, Fuentes is using the sentiment behind those chants at the “unite the right” rally to galvanize these likely white republican voters to storm the capital building, which is precisely what they did.
This is not to say that Fuentes was the only one doing this or that he was the most effective. Fuentes doesn’t have enough clout to be the head of the galvanization of these insurrectionists. However, this is to say that Fuentes is the only one of the far-right people actively hanging out with and inspiring Kanye West.
Kanye has, at moments, had more clout and a bigger platform than anybody else on the internet. Despite his colossal ego and recent bouts of insanity, Kanye is one of the most, if not the essential musical artist of the last 30 years. Likewise, most people would agree that his music was, and somewhat remains, excellent. That’s why it’s so heartbreaking and terrifying to see him walk the path he currently walks on.
Kanye is a contrarian artist who almost certainly acts like a fascist out of some contrarianism. Or, in other words, he’s likely, saying Nazi propaganda, praising Hitler, and Hanging out with Nazis to get a rise out of his audience. The problem is that he’s not acting for work right now. He’s not doing the role for money. He’s operating under the Kominsky method. He’s larping a fascist, which means that he is a fascist. His platform is still ginormous, and Yiannopoulos’ and Fuentes’ platforms just got significantly bigger because of it.
Kanye will likely grow out of this fascist phase he’s going through. But that doesn’t change the fact that he will be one of the ideologically damaging white nationalists the US will see for some time. Because of Kanye, people with fascist tendencies will feel more emboldened to act on them, and confused Americans will see a more accessible slide into white nationalist ideologies. It’s time to forget who Kanye used to be and see him for what he is: a deranged, mentally unwell fascist.
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11 months ago by Jb1966
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