The diabolical kinship between Donald Trump and Kanye West is not a new development. The Chicago-born rapper has openly expressed his support for the president for almost two years. West, a narcissist whose commitment to reinforce his own celebrity is overshadowed only by a paradoxical obsession with the ideal of nonconformity, has transformed the red hat Make America Great Again into something like an intellectual helmet.
Thursday afternoon, a Maga West, wearing a hat, arrived at the White House to have lunch with the president. Along with Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the couple was to discuss a series of topics that the rapper identified as his areas of expertise: criminal justice reform, job creation in Chicago and gang violence in the city. Despite West's belief that it can inspire the "dialogue" between Trump and racial justice activists like Colin Kaepernick, there was no reason to believe that this meeting of minds would result far beyond what Trump and West's union had already created: chaotic news cycles and dissemination of harmful misinformation.
As usual, West stole the show. In a surrounding 10-minute soliloquy, the rapper opined on the scheduled topics, as well as a number of other concerns, including the obsolescence of Air Force One. His comments were disconnected, often meaningless. But in a particularly revealing segment of his iconoclastic tirade, West focused on one of the main motivations for Trump's long-term support:
You know they tried to scare me so I would not wear this hat, my own friends. But this hat, he gives it to me, gives me power in some way. You know, my dad and my mom separated. So I did not have much masculine energy in my home, and I'm also married to a family that, um, you know, there's not much masculine energy going on.
This was not the first time that West alluded to the potency of Trump's masculinity. The rapper said he is neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but he has also taken advantage of multiple opportunities to ridicule the Liberals and the Democratic Party for their alleged attacks on the black family. During a special appearance in Saturday night live In September, West regurgitated the discussion points of the 1960s and positioned himself as a neutral conduit of information: "Actually, blacks were not always Democrats, it's like a plan they did to get parents out of the home and promote well-being, "he said. "Does anyone know about that? That's the Democratic plan."
Although they are demonstrably inaccurate, West's comments reveal a peculiar anxiety about the role of men, particularly black men, as heads of families. It refers to the permanence of Trump in the White House as his "hero's journey", a language that evokes the unquestionable mantle of masculine achievement. West's affinity for Trump, who said last week that he believes the reactions to the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh suggest it is "a very scary time for young men in the United States," is not surprising. In the world of West, as in that of Trump, criticism of the wickedness of men constitute attacks against both the specific man and manhood. Included in your SNL In his speech, West has referred to the criticism of his political opinions, especially those that suggest that he is an accomplice of Trump's racism in supporting the president, as silencing campaigns. It is a disturbingly familiar language.