Kanye's Declaration of Independence
Don't believe legacy media – the Kanye brand is strong enough to move voters toward Donald Trump. Whether they will move toward the GOP as a whole remains to be seen.
I grew up in Philadelphia, the revolution city. A gritty, blue-collar town filled with people with strong opinions. Black and white people, Eagles and Flyers people. From South Street to Rittenhouse Square, the people at the street level support Kanye West speaking his mind and are starting to feel the Trump economic boom. I was there last week. I asked the people. They answered. Trump has already won Pennsylvania once.
If President Trump is a "racist" – the tedious smear constantly leveled at him by the mostly affluent white liberal elites in Hollywood, D.C., and San Francisco – how come he's getting more and more support from black voters, including black celebrities such as Kanye West?
The mostly white audience at the season premiere of Saturday Night Live booed Kanye when he spoke favorably about Trump – but rather than catcall, they might ask themselves why a heavyweight multi-millionaire black celebrity is speaking favorably about Trump.
And they might ask themselves what it says about them when they talk down to a successful black man for deviating from what they consider to be in his best interest. Why does the Manhattan audience of a sketch comedy show know what's best for Kanye, or for black people?
They can't accuse Kanye of being a racist. So they accuse him of being a fool. But Kanye didn't get to be arguably the most influential artist of his generation – as well as a music mogul in his own right – by being a fool.
A fool supports blindly; a fool never questions; a fool lets himself be taken for granted. Kanye – and a growing number of urban voters – is getting tired of that.
The Democratic Party has done exactly that for several generations – ride the dissipating fumes of '60s-era support for civil rights legislation, confident that rhetoric will always be enough to lock up urban voters. And it was.
Then along came Trump.
Instead of talking about helping black Americans, he actually did. The black unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent, lower than it has been since the early '70s and lower than it was during the eight years of Barack Obama's presidency. In less than two years, Trump has done more for inner-city folks in terms of actually improving their lives than Obama talked about doing over the course of eight.
The overall unemployment rate is under 4 percent for the first time in a generation. More people are working again – both black and white and everything in between.
Kanye – and other black Americans – have noticed this.
They have also noticed the destruction of the black family – which was mostly intact prior to generations of big government policies that presume that black folks are best served by paying them to sit quietly and keep on voting for Democrats. Kanye dared to speak of this – while wearing a MAGA hat – in front of a live national TV audience. For a second, the Earth stopped spinning.
It drove the stacked audience batty – perhaps because Kanye's words hit too close to home.
"The blacks weren't always Democrats," he correctly observed – and went on to mention the unmentionable fact that the Democratic Party's political support depends on multi-generational dependence. He spoke of "... the [Democrats'] plan ... to take [black] fathers out of the home and put them on welfare. Does anyone know about that?"
Yes, lots of people know about that – many of them the victims of the Democratic Party's vicious presumption of black helplessness and the congenital inferiority this implies.
Kanye himself refused to conform to this ugly stereotype.
He focused on making himself great – something he says almost anyone with some gumption can emulate. Gumption – rather than grievance – is the key thing. "If I was concerned about racism," he told the SNL audience, "I would have moved out of America a long time ago." Meaning he wasn't helpless. And that "racism," while it still exists, shouldn't be a crutch – or an excuse.
That attitude is a dagger aimed at the statist policy of perpetually low expectations – hence why Yeezy got booed.
What will matter in the end is the voting. Democrats who dismiss Kanye and millions of other black Americans who have dared to stray from their party line do so at their own peril.
You won't hear it on CNN – which has become hysterical in its daily emissions of Trump-bashing – but support among black Americans for the president is rising. USA Today reporter William Cummings reports that a new Rasmussen poll shows the president's that support among American blacks has doubled in the space of just one year to 36 percent.
You'd think this would be a huge story. It ought to be a huge story. It indicates a sea change in attitudes that had been cemented in place for decades. Democrats had a lock on black support. That lock is starting to crack.
Black Americans – and not just Kanye West – are growing tired of the same old, same old. In two years, black approval could double again. Kanye and Kim might campaign with Trump. Imagine the reaction among the media and the Democratic Party!
Trump and West come from different places – both wild individualists, declaring independence from conventional wisdom on a daily basis.
A.J. Rice is the CEO of Publius PR. In his media career he has produced or promoted Laura Ingraham, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Monica Crowley, Andy McCarthy, Steve Hilton, Janice Dean, Melissa Francis, George P. Bush, Coach Howard Schnellenberger, and many others. Find out more at publiuspr.com.