“Kanye West may have triggered a national conversation as to whether or not African-Americans should continue to tow the Democratic Party line,” said Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Monday night’s “The Ingraham Angle.”
The rapper certainly sparked a national debate recently when he announced his support on Twitter for conservative commentator Candace Owens as well as shared his backing of President Donald Trump.
While his support for free thought seems something that would be celebrated, not everyone is pleased with his disdain for Democrats right now — he likened the Democratic Party to a plantation in his latest rap song, “Ye vs. the People.”
In a Washington Post op-ed, Danielle Wiggins, a PhD history candidate at Emory University, argued that West is wrong. She said free thought is what has led African-Americans to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats and that Republican policy is not beneficial to her race.
“While Kanye West touts an individualist notion of freedom, his fellow black Americans are voting with their eye toward freedom for all Americans — something he sadly doesn’t seem to understand,” she wrote.
In the article, she also correctly pointed out that more black Americans identify as moderate (44 percent) or conservative (27 percent) as opposed to liberal (26 percent), according to the Pew Research Center.
Despite that, Wiggins attacked black Republicans by writing, “Since the 1980s, the most visible black Republicans have adopted a bombastic brand of conservatism, one that generates provocative headlines far more often than substantive critiques of the Democratic Party.”
On Monday night, Bishop Aubrey Shines, founder of Glory to Glory Ministries, made an appearance on “The Ingraham Angle” to discuss the matter. He’s not a fan of West’s music, but he appreciates what West has accomplished with a few tweets.
“While I don’t agree with all of the misogyny Kanye has put out … in the past, I’m glad that he’s having an epiphany,” he said. “And guys like myself, we’ve been doing this and this isn’t our first rodeo. But when I hear about this freedom from the Post and other super left-leaning organizations, it’s super insulting.”
“The Democratic Party is the one who kept blacks on the plantation, gave you the KKK, gave you slavery and gave you Jim Crow laws,” added Shines. “I’m glad that there’s a dialogue and if Kanye is a part of it as well, that’s good. I’ve been a part of this dialogue for a long time, and I’m just glad we’re having it.”
In a recent piece for Real Clear Politics, Shines said President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration is something that especially benefits African-Americans. Undocumented immigrants — according to PolitiFact — comprised 75 percent of federal drug possession convictions, five percent of federal murder convictions, 30 percent of kidnapping convictions, and 18 percent of federal drug trafficking convictions in the U.S. in 2015, he said.
“Blacks are being adversely impacted by the failed policies of the men and women that they have unwisely elected,” he wrote. “Often, instead of hearing the clarion call of Dr. Martin Luther King to never judge an individual by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, they continue to elect individuals whose only interest is to keep them on the plantation called ignorance, while they cloak themselves in the garments of emancipators.”
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.