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Kanye West’s failed attempt to “Make America Great Again”

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Kanye West’s failed attempt to “Make America Great Again”

(Photo: @kanyewest/Twitter)

(Photo: @kanyewest/Twitter)

(Photo: @kanyewest/Twitter)

(Photo: @kanyewest/Twitter)

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From a lunch in the White House to a rant after his Saturday Night Live performance, Kanye West’s open support of Donald Trump has earned him much backlash. On Oct. 31, he took to Twitter to announce plans to distance himself from politics and focus on his creativity.  

West claims he’s stepping back because he spread messages he doesn’t believe in. But it seems the damage has already been done. He’s already been very vocal about politics. He tweeted that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution — the one abolishing slavery —  should be abolished, but later clarified that he meant to say it should be amended.   

In the original tweet, he donned a red “Make America Great Again” hat.

Singer Lana Del Rey responded with an Instagram post of her own saying West’s support of Trump is a “loss for our culture,” and called West a narcissist. She ended the post by subtly mocking the last line of West’s tweet: “Message sent with concern that will never be addressed.”

Del Rey is not alone in her concern — actor Chris Evans also tweeted about West, voicing his fear about West’s support for Trump.

 

With social media and the internet, today’s celebrities have more influence and attention than ever. Many take political stances or speak up about issues they believe in. This would be great if all of them knew what they were talking about, did their research and gave informed, well thought-out opinions —  like how Taylor Swift used her fame to encourage voting.

Unfortunately, some are just not capable of this. Tons of celebrities thoughtlessly tweet or state uninformed opinions, which reach millions of people, many of whom look up to them. This can be incredibly damaging.

Many, myself included, find it hard to swallow that West supports Trump, which West addressed in his unscripted and unwarranted SNL rant.

“It’s so many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, ‘How could you support Trump? He’s racist,’” West said during his rant. “Well if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago.”

While West’s logic is flawed, Trump tweeted in appreciation of his support, commending him for “leading the charge.”

West represents a deeper issue. Uninformed opinions and ignorance have a drastic effect on our society. My personal stance on this issue is very similar to Del Rey’s and Evans’s, but I wanted to know the opinions of other UMass students.

Many students feel that Kanye has always been entitled to his own opinion.

“It’s definitely rare that celebrities share their political beliefs, so it’s interesting that Kanye is so open about his political ideology, and I think that Kanye and Trump’s relationship is kind of immature — at least that’s how it looks from the surface— but he’s entitled to his own opinions,” said Sophie Shapiro, a UMass freshman.

While Kanye may be entitled to believe what he believes, other students said that it’s arguably irresponsible to express ideas the way Kanye does.

“Kanye is the culmination of the fake news story line we’ve all been perpetuating, and his harsh, thoughtless words betray both his past and his culture,” said freshman Agustin Pereira-Martinez, a self-proclaimed Kanye fan.

“His support of Trump is ridiculous, and I feel it goes against what I stand for. I have a hard time supporting him as a person because of that,” said freshman Hayden Latimer-Ireland.

UMass students seem to be split on the issue — while some believe he is entitled to his own opinions, some see his message as irresponsible.

Kanye, of course, is not the only celebrity who can be accused of this. Actor Tom Cruise, a Scientologist, has in the past claimed that psychiatry is a pseudoscience, and the mental health field is irresponsible. This, too, is dangerous, as a lot of people look up to Cruise, and mental health issues are prevalent in today’s society.

Kat Von D, tattoo artist and owner of the Kat Von D makeup line, is a notoriously against vaccinations. She is currently pregnant and has said that she doesn’t plan to vaccinate her baby, because she wants a natural and drug-free home. This is another example of celebrities sharing their uninformed opinions with their millions of followers.

Kanye deciding to take a step back from politics can’t undo the damage he’s already done in fact, it’s hypocritical and  just too little too late. 

Basically, think before you tweet (or speak), even if you don’t have 12.5 million followers on Twitter.

Email Olivia at [email protected], or follow her on Instagram @olivia.amato.

 

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Kanye West’s failed attempt to “Make America Great Again”