Although I am fairly certain it is the first time the all-purpose expression “mother f------” has ever been uttered publicly by someone sitting opposite the president of the United States at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, I totally appreciated Kanye West’s obviously unscripted and extraordinary monologue Thursday.
Strip away the flamboyant theater. Overlooked in West’s free-association rambling is the truth of many of his substantive points on urban violence, trade imbalances, involuntary servitude and prison reform.
There really must be a Trump Derangement Syndrome – a kind of pathology that requires us to believe that Kanye West must literally be crazy to support President Trump.
Isn’t Trump a racist?
CNN’s Dana Bash and S.E.Cupp, along with ABC’s Joy Behar, are among the host of media personalities who cannot believe any black man in his right mind would support President Trump.
My friend Don Lemon went so far on CNN as to compare West’s performance to a “minstrel show” that would cause West’s mother, Donda West, who died in 2007, to “turn in her grave.”
What they cannot see from their lofty moral high ground is what the hip-hop artist shares in common with President Trump – namely, a desire for low black unemployment, plentiful economic opportunity, urban redevelopment and the need to curb black-on-black violence.
No, it is just easier to attribute Kanye West’s embrace of President Trump to mental instability.
How soon they forget how they praised West for his courage to criticize President George W. Bush in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Nobody called him crazy when West said of President Bush: “He doesn’t care about black people.”
President Bush’s second term was shattered by that blunt statement, corroborated by the horror of post-Katrina New Orleans. He never recovered. In my opinion, West was right in 2005 and he is right now. President Trump has been good for black people.
But why in the world is West delving in politics at all? He speaks out because he can, because he has a bully pulpit and because he knows how the media work – sometimes with a not-so-hidden agenda.
Isn’t it instructive how the media praised Taylor Swift when she recently emerged as a cheerleader for progressive candidates, specifically those running in her home state of Tennessee? Would there have been similar gushy reporting on Swift’s turn to politics if she too had endorsed President Trump?
When I interviewed the president on Sept. 23, I brought up his failure to counter the narrative leveled against him of racism and inattention to the needs of the minority community.
I’ve edited a relevant portion of that interview.
Geraldo: I was at the Cleveland Browns game and I was sitting with Jim Brown who you know well, the football great. We were talking about how Kanye West and Tiger Woods and I, all men of color, support you in a way that you're not generally credited. I think you could do more in that regard. You know I was talking to Jim. He's willing to speak out on your behalf.
President Trump: Well, he has spoken out on my behalf and he's great. And I see those old clips of him running. And boy oh boy, what money he'd be making today, nobody like him. I'm a big fan of his. And when he came out, out of the blue, he said I support President Trump, and he's a smart guy. He says African-American unemployment is the lowest it's ever been in history, in the history of our country, the best. Median income is up for African-Americans and for everybody, but it's the highest it's ever been. They’re doing better than they've ever done. And I'll do much better than that. Don't forget, as a group, they are largely voting for Democrats. And you remember my statement. "But what you have to lose? Vote for me, what do you have to lose?"
Get used to seeing high-profile minorities making more impromptu appearances at various presidential events. Kanye’s crazy like a fox.