By now, everyone has heard about Kanye West’s most recent rant after the 2015 Grammy’s. To provide a brief summary, Mr. West expressed frustration with Beyonce’s loss to Beck for Album of the Year. Initially, I thought to myself, “Can you please stop perpetuating the ‘angry black man’ stereotype?!”
However, I eventually acknowledged my own hypocrisy. On numerous occasions, I have said to my students, “it’s okay to be angry.” As a caveat, however, I always follow up that statement with, “as long as you direct that anger into something positive.” Accordingly, I am asking Mr. West to channel his frustration into something that would be of benefit to the collective good – and not just Beyonce’s trophy case. So, here are a few other things that Mr. West could be angry about instead…
- Gender Inequality – Disparities between sexes continue to pervade just about every sector of society including health, labor and income, educational pursuits, etc. As the father of a baby girl, why not help to ameliorate, or even eliminate, these disparities before she becomes an adult and has to experience them for herself.
- Houdini Handcuff Suicides – Multiple Black men have died in the custody of police while handcuffed. Police personnel in each case contend that the suspects killed themselves, but evidence suggests otherwise.
- ISIS – Do I really need to expound? I’m sure you’ve seen the videos.
- The Kidnapping of Hundreds of Nigerian Girls – I remain befuddled as to how we can find one man who was essentially the proverbial needle in a hay stack, but we cannot locate numerous kidnapped girls. Perhaps, a little celebrity spotlight on the issue will remind the powers that be that hundreds of families have not held and/or spoken to their daughters, nieces, sisters, cousins, and/or aunts for months.
- The Murders of Innocent Children of Color – Yes, I am bringing this up again… (And I will continue to do so until they stop…) Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Tamir Rice, and Heaven Sutton are just a few children of color who have been killed due to gun violence. As a parent, I cannot begin to fathom the loss of a child. I am sure it is even worse when the killer is allowed to go free as in the case of little Ayanla.
As others have pointed out, Beyonce seems perfectly capable of speaking up for herself. I have no doubt her trophy case is quite full considering she is an amazing talent and known globally. Besides, if I recall correctly, her husband referred to his last Grammy award as a “sippy” cup for their adorable baby girl. Consequently, I am confident that they will press on without one more music award. In fact, his statements somewhat reflect recent comments made by Mrs. West in which she noted that you, Mr. West, keep your music awards in a drawer in the laundry room… (*sigh…) Therefore, Mr. West can you please utilize your passion and enthusiasm on more pressing social matters including, but not limited to, those identified above? Pick one. Any one…