“Is Kanye the New O.J. ?”: The Real Haters Appear, In Order To Protect Taylor Swift’s White Womanhood From the Rape…Uh, the Rapper.


Will hip-hop vocalist / producer Kanye West, as one blogger has insightfully observed, become the next African-American male to live his public existence as a symbol of the race divide’s vitriol? Will he become a scapegoat for white obsessions over the threat Blackness purportedly represents?

The virtual flood of racist, expletive-laden tweets that followed the artist’s brief rant at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards suggest a strong “Yes.”

As many know, West interrupted singer Taylor Swift during her “Best Female Video” honor and acceptance speech, taking the mic to tell her, and all watching, that, “Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’m gonna let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all-time. One of the best videos of all-time!”, referring to Knowles “Single Ladies,” which had also been nominated.

West’s rude and abortive outburst drew loud, droning catcalls from the audience, while an embarrassed and stunned Swift stood, shocked and still, before being escorted gently from the stage.

As stated on MTV’s web site,

kanyeisabitchblackAccording to reports from inside the house, once cameras cut away from the action, West flipped off the crowd and returned to his seat. Wale then said to the crowd, “You can’t blame a man for speaking his mind.” His words were met with boos, and Wale then said, “Kanye, I tried.” During the next commercial break, Pink walked by the rapper and appeared to shake her head in disgust before security escorted her away. West remained steadfast amidst the commotion as he kissed his girlfriend Amber Rose.

West was, shortly afterwards, ejected from the awards show, as he should have been. Later, on stage, Knowles graciously brought out Swift, to let her finish her interrupted statement. (Knowles ultimately won the evening’s Video of the Year award.)

West issued an apology on his blog, which was captured and posted by this journalist before the site, perhaps overwhelmed by visitors, was taken offline.

Apparently, though, the mea culpa wasn’t nearly enough. A “Kanye West is a Bitch” T-shirt, above, made an almost instant appearance on the web. (Given his penchant for self-referentialism, my thought was that West might be the first person we’ll see wearing one.)


Far more troubling, however, were racist tweets that began to pop up on Twitter, the popular social networking site, posted, as one person observed, by those “ODing on digital courage”; emboldened by the physical distance and, often, anonymity the internet provides. (Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher has also blogged about this topic, in a post that quotes this writer.) Some, like the one above, represent second thoughts by those that wrote them. Removed from Twitter’s web site, presumably by the authors, they were captured, nonetheless, by caches in other places and then saved by MEDIA ASSASSIN.


Many, though, are still up, and new ones are being added, like this post, above, offered early this afternoon, in which 40-year-old David Gerds, of Hayward CA, asks someone to kill Kanye.

Is it legal to urge the murder of another person? Some of these posts call for West to be lynched. All of them refer to West as a “nigger.” History has frequently demoed that, when you add a blond, blue-eyed, white female like Swift to that mix, whose honor the mob is duty-bound to protect, somebody Black will inevitably water the courthouse lawn with his blood.

klarson5150-rotatedWhat is most provocative, though, is not that this is taking place in the “post-racial” age of Obama. It’s that it’s taken so little to move people to use this kind of language, and to do it so unashamedly. “Kayla Larson,” right, purportedly of the Bay Area, looks like the type of sweet, friendly, neighborhood girl that’s a cashier in that teen fashion store in the strip mall near you. (In fact, judging by the background of her headshot, she may, in fact, do just that.)

I could be wrong, but in her wording and dress, she doesn’t strike me as worldly. Certainly, she doesn’t come off as sophisticated enough to momentarily recall that, unless she’s working for her parent’s business, and plans to do this the rest of her life, posting the kind of statement she has, atop this one, is like posing nude and drunk on Facebook—the sort of activity future employers don’t want to see on your resumé.

That someone apparently so doe-like would engage in speech so rancid, though, should hardly be shocking to Black people, based on experience. As well, I suspect that those white people who say they are surprised by this level of cancer in their holds are, mostly, acting. Race is not a subject people tend to discuss truthfully in mixed company.

So, what to do about this?

Well, certainly, there’s the question of the degree to which any of these tweets violate Twitter’s own terms of service. As well, people on the service can confront, write, or write about these people.

My ongoing call, however, is for non-white people to develop an understanding of race that is meticulous, logical, and systematic. Racism has a sole, functional expression: White supremacy. Racism is not historical. It’s futuristic. It is not going away. It is being refined. It is weaponized through deceit, secrecy, and violence, in that order. Its chief tools are not clubs, bullets, or nooses, but words.

d1gitalx-01Most of all, however, those white people who say they are not racists, or that they are against racism, should be clearing race from the paths of Black people, like snowplows going through highway drifts. By doing nothing, or doing nothing effective, they cast racist suspicion on themselves through their inertness. The practice of white supremacy is a system, and it involves people giving all kinds safe harbor to racists—physical, social, financial, emotional, relational, hierarchical, psychological, etc.

6a00d834a2a48453ef01156f58f31f970b-800wiA commonly noted form of psychological harbor is given, for example, when one white person refuses to confront another white person who tells a racist joke, right, while not in the company of Black people. I’ve been in situations where, later, say, after a lecture, a white person will relay details of this, or some other sort of racism they’ve observed.

“What is the name and title of the person who did this?” I say. “Um…well, I don’t really want to say their name,” they respond. “Who are you trying to protect?” I might then ask. In other words, this is just one way that secrecy works in the system of race: White people covering for each other. There are many, many, many more.

Some will offer that, if there is any consolation in any of this, it’s that most of the twitterers putting up these statements are sparsely followed. (Kayla has 16.) Of course, the fact that white people are the planetary minority, yet the racists dominate everything non-white people think, say, and do should tell you that some minroities are the Effective Majority.

I’ve collected some of these tweets for your study. This sampling, of course, is by no means exhaustive, for the web, generally, or even for Twitter. As Mediasite notes, the first tweet they were able to find was posted sometime around or after 9 pm, Sunday night. I’m fairly certain the earliest one I obtained was sent hours after that. In any event, Kanye, watch your back. As for the rest of you, like they say at the VMAs, enjoy the show.






















#1 Ken on 09.19.09 at 1:52 pm

I don’t understand what Kanye did was so racist? He stood up against the powers that be (media-wise), expressed his opinion, and in turn came off like a giant douche. His embarrassment should be enough, he has apologized, what more do you want him to do? That is basically the most he can do. He has talked to Taylor himself, apologized personally, and she has accepted it. Thats it. Game over.

#2 ivan n. on 09.19.09 at 10:49 pm

It’s sad that the VMA and MTV even exists. Most of these celebrities are uninspired commercial products. You can’t even call them artists. It even more sad that we need to use this crap as evidence of racism. I thought it was obvious. I see racism everywhere. It’s systematic and so ingrained… I take it back, it’s not obvious at all. I see people being racist and not even realizing it. It’s disgusting. I really hate how defensive white people can be. It’s such an overwhelming problem.
People also don’t realize that racism doesn’t work the same way when it’s a minority being hostile towards the person of privilege. There’s a power dynamic that will never shift.

#3 Gerard Spinks on 09.20.09 at 3:07 am

White people and others will never stop their closest hatred because they hate themselves first and foremost. Not all but the ones spewing all this nonsense. You only have the propensity to hate to the degree at which you hate YOU.

So, the Filipinos and others who have launched into racist tirades only prove that they are highly dissatisfied with themselves and their own lot in life. If you love Taylor Swift, cool. Why lash out so destructively?

I hate Joe Wilson but I never dreamed of calling him out of his name and hurling insults his way. White people are quick to bring out their true selves. I never trust them fully.

#4 Mr.Walks on 09.20.09 at 6:51 am

interesting….i wonder how people would of responded if it was a black girl……

#5 Mr.Walks on 09.20.09 at 7:00 am

meaning a black girl instead of taylor….

#6 Saladin on 09.20.09 at 10:10 pm

Two things from a random Arab man observing this:

a) Kanye NEVER would have pulled this nonsense f it had been a dude. Not just a Black dude, but any dude. If John Mayer or somebody had won that award Kanye would have just sat there. There was a clear ‘hold on, now, little girl, a *man* wants to talk’ vibe there — which, to indulge in some sexism of my own, is eminently a bitch move.

b) The reactions on Twitter aren’t a contradiction to the “new” Obamerica, they’re part and parcel of it. What do you expect when even ‘liberal’ white America gets all weepy and feels ‘so proud again of the greatest (still warmongering, still world-raping, still torturing, still young-Black-man-incarcerating) country on earth’ b/c *almost* half of them manged to vote for a safe-as-hell, not-descended-form-slaves, not-mad-at-white-people, not-indicting-the-US, pro-imperialist, pro-death penalty politician who jumps at the chance to abject himself by selling out REAL community leaders via lying about their ‘distorted’ racial bitterness,
and most of Black America, rather than calling said politician a sellout, compares him to MLK and Malcolm (!?)

#7 Johnny on 09.21.09 at 7:20 pm

There are an estimated 1.5 million Black men in prison and another 3.5 million on probation. Black males make up more than 70 percent of the total prison population, even though they make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population.

Although blacks are 12% of the population in reality it is just 2% of the blacks that commit 50% of the murders and a greater percentage of other crimes. Consider: black females – 6%. Blacks from zero yrs. to 12 yrs. and black males from 50-100 years commit an infinitesimal percentage of the crimes. Therefore we are left with two percent. If we eliminate crimes committed by this two percent from the U.S. statistics our country compares very favorably with all Western countries. Fact — blacks kill 7 times more than whites kill. Fact — blacks kill whites 20 times more than whites kill blacks. Fact — blacks mug or commit group crime against whites 50 times more than whites commit against blacks. Fact — blacks rape white women 2000 (yes 2000) times more than whites rape black women. In New York City, about 300 white women are raped by blacks every year BUT there has not been a black woman raped by a white male in anybody¢s memory (going back over 20 yrs.) Consider: Al Sharpton had to go upstate New York to find a hoax and that was almost 20 years ago. (Source NYT 4/22/05)

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 2004 report (released May 2006), blacks commit 54 percent of the homicides in America even though they constitute only 12 percent of the population.

An individual black male is seven times more likely to commit murder than an individual white male. It so happens that black felons commit 43 percent of aggravated assaults, 66 percent of armed robberies, 27 percent of rapes and 85 percent of interracial crimes of violence, mainly against whites (this last figure from a Justice Department report 2003). However, it’s not just in the United States. The greatest dicators in recent years have emerged in Africa. People like Idi Amin of Uganda, Hastings Kamuzu Banda in Malawi, Mobutu Sese Seko, in Zaire, self-anointed Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Republic, Mohammed Saidi Barre in Somalia, Sani Abacha of Nigeria, Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe — the list is endless

#8 Kakae on 09.22.09 at 1:49 am

Sorry but blacks deserve the hate they get, I don’t hate anybody and I know I shouldn’t generalize a whole group of people but stereotypes exist for a reason, black people are known to be the most intolerant race out of all the others, they bash whites, latinos, asians and discriminate against basically every other minority like gays for example, they sure hate on other groups, but when they’re being hated on like here, they cry racism and “don’t understand” why people react the way the do. Hell, the same day Obama won, the black community was crying and celebrating this victory, talking about how CHANGE was made, how we came together as a society, about EQUALITY blah blah blah, yet 80% of them voted YES on prop 8, denying the rights of gay people. Kind of funny.

#9 europeanindividual on 09.22.09 at 11:10 am

the world of entertainment with people looking at this girl (Swift’s) career more so then her individual self, talking about her moment was taken away from her, I think she has been taken to the next level and no ones really seeing it like that..saying kanye west stole her spotlight, Really!? your obviously all blind, she’s just been given global status whats crazy is she’s just been promoted to new heights in shorter time then her record company could have even imagined.
saved them a lot of money I guarantee.

that was as obvious as he’s overall action as playful as it was i thought it was actually funnily/embarassing and in some moral space wrong, but he actually spiced up what would have generally been another boring glitteratti bash again people always need something to nag about and of course the race card is always the obvious one to surface very fickle & Uneducated individuals indeed. also i think people need to stop hiding behide social networking platforms i.e (Tweeter) and come out into the real world and discuss these topics where they can actually get a one 2 one reaction. but thats half the problem people just can’t talk about racial topics unless youv’e been on the recieving end of abuse which narrows it down to the ethic casts mainly.

so much more to say but I’m hungry ..lol & great work harry at least provocating topic which is essential reading compared to most fibble topics on TV.

#10 Jennifer on 09.22.09 at 7:58 pm

Me, I was *disappointed* by Kanye West’s rudeness at the VMAs this year.

Sure I didn’t like his badmouthing getting an education earlier, but I also thought his later bringing more public attention to the issue of blood diamonds was *awesome*! I already gave up wearing anything that even looks like a diamond, but it’s always good to see someone with so much more of an audience than I speaking up about important stuff. So when I heard Mr. West interrupted Taylor Swift like that, I just thought “noooo, someone on my side hurt his own credibility!”

Then when I saw a video rerun on a news site of Beyoncé Knowles’s award acceptance speech and how she gave Ms. Swift a chance to finish her speech, I just thought Ms. Knowles was the classiest person there.

p.s. I’m white

#11 Moose on 09.23.09 at 1:07 am

A couple of black kids in my dorm were laughing and calling Kanye a nigger. We were all laughing together and dissing him because he did something mean and unprofessional. Some vitriol may have been unleashed simply because he was black, but young people may also just have a different understanding of what the word nigger means.

#12 REALIST on 09.24.09 at 5:29 am

What would you say about 13% of the population committing 85% of crimes?

#13 true story on 09.26.09 at 7:20 pm

yes moose im sure all the twitter users were calling him nigger because they are young and they have a different meaning of the word…right

#14 Cassandra on 09.27.09 at 4:26 am

What srry people,

vince- what does being Asian supposed to mean. Like you have some kind of higher superiority cause you lived in Hawaii. I’m from the Bay which is pretty diverse and recognize the some of the names and Tweet accounts. I’m white, does that mean that I hold others that are white to the same degree. No. Because people are individuals. It’s sad though, but we all can’t share the same view. Anyways, that dosent mean all these people get off without punishment. They obviously are feeling guilty that they got caught up. Like the poor girl Kayla, obviously the writer blasted her pretty hard but she seems like she dosent know who she is. I’ve seen her before in the Brentwood strip mall, I’ve wanted to say something. But I won’t. Cause you don’t fight fire with fire. Pretty dumb though in this day of age if you ask me.

I would suggest reading a book, none of the above blasted people don’t seem very smart.

#15 Anthony on 09.27.09 at 4:41 am

No, there is no different understanding or definition of the word Nigger. It holds lots of repression, things that no one in this day of age can comprehend. Reguardless how this word is misused it is negative. Just because people-white people spout off I have a black friend, “they say it’s fine” does not mean you get a free pass. That’s like me saying I know a cop I can commit a crime- or drive his squad car. I dosent work like that. Really the reason why people use it is because they have no Idea how to understand that there are some really stupid people in the world, but tht dosent mean to be so negative. They just don’t know any better. How can you ask someone who has no self respect to respect others and to be a bigger person. Thumper said it best if you can’t say anything nice don’t say it at all. When will we learn that the only way to make a change is to be positive. And yes what kanye west did at the awards was very rude and backed with his own racism. But if you who claim to be so non racist see this you should do the opposite, feel sorry for him all you want- he deserves it- he is a sad individual with great music. But don’t sink to his level or any level thereafter. You will rise above and be the smarter person so long as you pick you battles and your words. I hope this reaches out to someone. Because if we ALL tries to make a little improvement on how we treat people the world will be just a little better for it- and you will feel a change.

#16 Julie on 03.14.10 at 7:22 pm

We are all prejudice. We evolved to be that way, to make judgements as a means of survival, to favour ourselves and social group. Prejudism is natural. It is part of our ‘animal’ brain. Humans also have a highly evolved ‘reasoning’ frontal cortex– it is this part that is rational– the thinking part. This is the part that liberal minded people tap into. They however cannot escape their animal brains (hence liberal people who think they are not racist still are but they try to overcome it– like having the devil on one shoulder and angel on the other) a person can be non-racist and racist at the same time. It is an internal battle in the mind of an ‘educated’ person. Also prejudce is part of our culture and very few of us are independant minded enough escape that influence. We are like sheep — we are really just products of our culture– individuals are not ‘evil racists’ they are simple ants in a giant ant nest acting as one. That is why a hundred years ago if I was living in the south i would be an overt racist. Because of where and when i grew up I am not.

I think it is important to have a deeper understanding of racism and stop pointing fingers if we are to get anywhere and break the cycle.

It is hard to read the n word comments but we must assume that these people are simply ingorant (or just using the n word to vent their own general hostilities– we tend to use the most abusive language possilbe to strike back and inflict the deepest wound) and there are plenty of ignorant people in the world– hence you will ALWAYS be able to point to examples of overt racism.

I think to say it is a white supremicist plot is damaging to black people who might believe that BS. you sure aren’t hurting white people by saying such things. You are simply perpetuating the negativity that hurts the mind of a black person who internalizes it.

#17 DeeJay on 08.16.10 at 11:14 pm

I sat here and read all of this crap. ALL OF IT.
I mean…damn, it’s like, Harry wrote this to shed light on the fact that, Black or not (and yes, I capitalized it, you gonna crucify me too?), racism is still VERY alive and deep in American roots. One of many reasons why I’ve considered leaving this country, but one of the same many reasons why I’m still here. Kanye didn’t interrupt her because she was White. He didn’t interrupt her because she has a vagina. He interrupted her because he believed Beyonce deserved it more.
To the person who spewed that nonsense about Taylor selling more than Beyonce…I mean, do you know who Beyonce is? You really think she has to worry about competition from Taylor Swift? From a 19-year-old (funny, she’s my age) girl who appeals to 1 1/4 audience demographics (75% of her audience was jacked by Mr. Bieber, I promise) whereas she remains one of the best-selling female artists, and one of the best selling recording artists in general, of all time? REALLY? HA.
To the people who are bringing up race and all that jazz…uh…isn’t that the reason this article was written? So that it’s known that there’s a lot of this nonsense going on, not just towards Black people, but towards every demographic (except Southern Christian Republican voters, strangely…haven’t heard one negative thing about them in my existence and I’ve been alive for almost 20 years now)? Racism is alive, and you’re only perpetuating it.
To Mr. Allen, I must say that, although you bring a lot of interesting points to the table, your argument seems quite biased. You’ve got to look at all sides here.
To that random guy who posted those jail stats, I’ve got something for you. While all of your stats are true, you must also remember that broken homes are predecessors to a lot of issues that some (and probably many in your sample statistics) minorities have these days. Speaking as a minority from a broken home myself, I can tell you that it is common. I’ve watched people I went to school with get shot, get detained by police; I’ve witnessed police brutality, drug deals, drug busts…my own father sold drugs, that’s why he was never around. My mother raised me, and I have to say, being where I am in life (a working, successful college student in the process of completing his bachelor’s degree and making plans to continue his education)…I’m blessed to have made it this far. The thing is…you’re looking at your stats, but a) your stats are outdated (the MAJORITY of them are from 2004 or earlier, I’m going to need you to update those to about 2008 or newer because many of those numbers have decreased WORLDWIDE) and b) just because some people chose the wrong path doesn’t give you the right to dismiss all minorities as a whole. We’ve got a Black president (who, in all honesty, isn’t doing that well…but this never would have happened 30 years ago), a Hispanic Supreme Court justice, Asians all over the place…who am I missing…well, there’s a ton I’m missing but I’m not going to research any further because I have to go to work in the morning and don’t really have time to deal with this.

So, in the end, what I’m really trying to say is…Kanye had a taste too many of liquid courage and made a stupid decision. Does that give you the right to knock all minorities, including Jews and homosexuals? Absolutely not. Are you allowed to voice your opinion? If you so wish. Just don’t complain when you’re uprooted from your high horse by the forces of change.
Racism exists, and won’t ever go away. However, it can be dealt with in only one way: us minorities need to stop fighting, band together, and do the right thing. Only by doing that will we remove the grand scale of this problem. Sure, we’ll have a bunch of old geezers who will want to talk a lot about how horrible Mexicans/Black people/Hispanics/Jews/\gays\ are…but we’re all people, with opinions, views, and beliefs. We were brought together on this land to bring that together and do something good with it. If we use it for hate…well…we won’t be able to say a damn thing if, you know, God decides to pull a Katrina on the entire world one time and removes us. He put us here to exercise control over the animals (through fair and non-violent means) and to set things up for His kingdom. If you let hate get in the way of that, then the American Empire, let alone the world, is in a lot of danger.

#18 DeeJay on 08.16.10 at 11:16 pm

Kanye apologized. Taylor stopped PMSing about it and got over it. (Though, I must say, Taylor isn’t the same person she was a year ago…and I’m not liking the change. She’s much snobbier now. No bueno.) I suggest we do the same and focus more on making the world a better place and less on spreading hate.

#19 coop0309 on 09.06.10 at 3:42 am

why white people? why?

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