The Kanye vs. Candace skirmish
In the bout between Kanye West and Candace Owens, Chicago again takes it on the chin. West needed to realize before he entered the Oval Office of the presidency that talk is cheap and action is hard. Sitting beside him, quietly taking it all in, was a fighter, football great Jim Brown. Brown knows that confronting the violence and corruption in cities like Chicago is a daunting task, yet there he was. While Brown remains in the fight to better the lives of his fellow citizens, West reportedly has withdrawn from the fray. His disenchantment is reportedly based on a perceived betrayal that has compelled him to forsake all things political.
Within weeks of his White House appearance, West charges that Ms. Owens made claims that he is part of the growing BLEXIT movement, where many blacks are rejecting the Democratic Party. Instead of amiably clarifying the matter with Owens over who designed BLEXIT tee-shirts, West has reportedly bolted from the political arena back into the safe realm of music and design. That is not a problem, except for the people of Chicago.
West was a momentary ray of light as someone who might rescue Chicagoans from the horror in their streets and work with them to provide safe harbor for themselves and their children. Many held hope that West was their knight arriving to save his hometown from poverty and violence. Supporting positive change brings hope. Failing to deliver brings despair.
In fairness, do not fault Kanye West. Witnessed was his heartbeat for the people of Chicago. Unfortunately, West's exhilaration in the spotlight appears dampened by the reality of the task. The skill set needed to clean up Chicago is larger than just caring. These are hard lessons learned by a guy with good intentions.
Candace Owens is the William Wilberforce of her generation. Wilberforce was among the first to oppose the heinous slave trade that spread from Africa to other parts of the globe. Owens seeks to free her fellow black Americans as she advocates for freedom of thought without retaliation. Here, West represents Exhibit A. When West called for freedom of thought for blacks and highlighted the history of broken promises by Democrats, he faced an onslaught of retaliation from the left. Will West ever again feel free enough to state ideas in conflict with liberalism?
Owens calls out the Democratic Party. She challenges black voters to think for themselves and judge who has better served them: Republicans or Democrats. The Democratic machine has controlled Chicago for decades. Black communities have suffered greatly. The question is, at minimum, will the Democrats who control Chicago work with a Republican president who seeks to bring jobs and relief to the people as the rest of the country benefits from an historic upsurge in the economy?
Where does this leave Chicago? By just showing up and bringing the issue into national focus, Kanye West has had a positive impact. That West is passionate is not in question, but it is follow-through that matters. A repeat of cold, hard facts is not novel; the acceptance of cold, hard facts is. Minorities in Chicago must take heed. There is no one else to blame. The beginning of change depends on whether or not Chicagoans will accept personal responsibility for what is happening in their own families and neighborhoods. Chicagoans must stop making bad political choices and elect politicians who will deliver safety, jobs, and a better life. It is up to the voters of Chicago to end the cycle of despair that has long been perpetuated by the Democratic machine. In lieu of minorities accepting the endless cycle of poverty and violence as their future, Owens and BLEXIT offer the citizens of Chicago a different choice. Truth begins with freedom of thought and then marches boldly to the ballot box.
Sharon Sebastian is a columnist; commentator; author; and contributor to various forms of media including cultural and political broadcasts, print, and online websites.