Rapper Kanye West was met over the weekend with backlash for a seemingly innocent tweet.
In it, he said, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks.”
Owens he is a young African-American woman who supports President Donald Trump. She is also the communications director for Turning Point USA, a non-profit organization organization geared toward promoting conservative values on college campuses.
Some of West’s fans were not happy with his positive words about this person.
Twitter itself didn’t seem happy about it, either; the service went and labeled Owens as “far right,” implying she was a dangerous extremist.
Although plenty of celebrities have quickly backed down when their right-leaning values were challenged, West did not back down. Instead, he went on a vague Twitter rant to accompany with his initial tweet.
Some of these tweets included: “Constantly bringing up the past keeps you stuck there,” “We have freedom of speech but not freedom of thought” and “The thought police want to suppress freedom of thought.”
The entertainer did not even say he fully supported everything Owens thinks; he essentially said he appreciates that she is able to think for herself. But, of course, the leftist mob had to attack both of them.
In the past, West has also expressed mild support for President Donald Trump, also to the dismay of leftists. In November 2016, Kanye West said he would have voted for Trump had he voted in the presidential election. A month later, the two had a brief meeting and photo-op at Trump Tower in Manhattan. According to his own Twitter feed, West wanted to meet with the president-elect to discuss “bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums, and violence in Chicago.”
Although he’s not a Republican (he was a George W. Bush critic and an Occupy Wall Street attendee), Kanye West seems to stick up for what he believes even if it brings out those who disagree with him. This seems to be a rarity in pop culture these days, an industry dominated by left-wing viewpoints.
Canadian Shania Twain even felt the need to apologize for telling The Guardian she hypothetically would have voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election had she voted. Cue the leftist outrage.
After receiving backlash, she fired up Twitter on Sunday night to backtrack and say she shared “no common moral beliefs” with the president.
In a political climate where intolerant people on the Left try to shut down anyone who disagrees with their agenda, some people feel reservations about discussing their beliefs publicly. Yet unlike some others who have the spotlight, West does not feel the need to back down when his ideas are challenged.
Plenty of celebrities aren’t radical leftists. But many are afraid of the backlash that would result if they shared their ideas. Perhaps Kanye West’s actions can set an example for others in similar industries that it is acceptable to hold different beliefs than every other loud leftist out there.
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.
(photo credit, homepage image: Kanye West, CC BY-SA 2.0, by rodrigoferrari / Candace Owens, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore; photo credit, homepage image: Kanye West @ MoMA, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Jason Persse)