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Kanye vs. The Thought Police

Kanye West, the Chicago rapper who is now married to Kim Kardashian, has been on a stream of consciousness tell-all via Twitter the past few days. In his ranting, Kanye has said seemingly unrelated thoughts such as “images are limitless and words aren't. Words are defined” and “truth is my goal. Controversy is my gym. I'll do a hundred reps of controversy for a 6 pack of truth.”


Nobody on Twitter really batted an eye at these messages and dozens of others like them. The artist is known for his unusual ways of communicating. Some might say Kanye’s only desire in life is to achieve greatness though unique messaging. But, Kanye stirred up the pot by showing his support for an African-American conservative by the name of Candace Owens. Kanye tweeted, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks.” 

Shortly there after, Kanye tweeted, “only free thinkers.” 

The conservative responded by showing her appreciation. 

So why did the left take great offense to this? According to some liberals, Candace is betraying her fellow African-Americans by being a conservative. Kanye, in the same vein, is also supporting supposedly racist, white supremacist, and derogatory viewpoints held by Candace Owens. In reality Candace’s only crime is being a black conservative, which many on the left apparently have a problem with. 


Candace Owens responded to these critics by questioning their disgust at somebody who dares to think differently from the group. African Americans are by in large mostly Democratic voters, something Candace says harms her community. 


Owens explained her viewpoints on Fox & Friends Sunday. 

West for his part responded to the ordeal by attacking the "thought police." West claims those who disagree with his viewpoints want to keep him in slavery, if not physically then mentally. 

Some might argue the left's problem here is not with conservative thinking per se, but with Candace Owens herself. But this anti-black conservative phenomenon is nothing new. As Larry Elder writes, some of the greatest political thinkers of the last century, African-American or not, are shut out by the National Museum of African-American History and other outlets simply because they held the wrong viewpoints on government. 

From Larry Elder:

"Clarence Thomas, one of nine members of the Supreme Court and the second black to ever join the Court, is not in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Asked to explain Thomas’ absence, the chief spokeswoman for the Smithsonian said, “The museum’s exhibitions are based on themes, not individuals.”


Left-wing blacks — and that’s the overwhelming majority — feel that black conservatives like Thomas do not just have different or wrongheaded or illogical views. Thomas’ views, to them, damage the black community. Never mind that most Clarence Thomas-haters could not identify a single case Thomas decided with which they disagree.


The African-American Museum’s discrimination against Thomas provides just one example of the black anti-conservative bigotry. Here’s another. Every year, the black monthly magazine Ebony lists its “Power 100,” defined as those “who lead, inspire and demonstrate through their individual talents, the very best in Black America.” Each year Thomas is conspicuously absent. Apparently, as a sitting black justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, Thomas does not “lead, inspire and demonstrate … the very best in Black America.”

Ebony not only excludes Clarence Thomas but also shuts out prominent conservatives Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.

As for Sowell, he’s only an economist and writer whom playwright David Mamet once called “our greatest contemporary philosopher.” Sowell, who never knew his father, was raised by a great-aunt and her two grown daughters. They lived in Harlem, where he was the first in his family to make it past the sixth grade. He left home at 17, served as a Marine in the Korean War, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, earned a master’s degree at Columbia University the next year, followed by a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Chicago.

Sowell, at 87, authored some four dozen books (not counting revised editions) and wrote hundreds of scholarly articles and essays in periodicals and thousands of newspaper columns. In 2015, Forbes magazine said: “It’s a scandal that economist Thomas Sowell has not been awarded the Nobel Prize. No one alive has turned out so many insightful, richly researched books.” Yet, thanks in part to the Ebony shutout, many blacks have never heard of him.

How does Ebony justify excluding economist and writer Walter Williams, former chairman of the economics department of George Mason University, where he still teaches? Raised by a single mother, he lived in Philadelphia’s Richard Allen housing projects. He served as a private in the Army before earning a bachelor’s degree at a state university, followed by a master’s and a Ph.D. in economics at UCLA. Williams has written a dozen books on economics and race, including the inspirational “Up From the Projects: An Autobiography,” and was recently the subject of a documentary about his life.

The exclusion of people like Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams explains why there’s no serious discussion in the black community about government dependency; school choice; the damage done by high taxes, excessive regulation and laws like minimum wage; and why blacks should rethink their allegiance to the Democratic Party.

The failure to acknowledge conservative blacks is a failure to engage their ideas, to the detriment of the community. This is not merely an injustice to them: It is an injustice to all Americans."


It will be interesting to see what comes of Kanye West's recent statements. It should be noted that these comments do not necessarily mean Kanye West is now a conservative voter nor a republican. During a Hurricane Katrina recovery telethon, Kanye infamously said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people" and has given little indication elsewhere he supports conservative ideals. Still, Kanye's recognition of Candace Owens is "refreshing" as Townhall's Katie Pavlich said. Some might even say appreciation of free thinking is "liberal" in the truest sense of the word. 

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