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Interview on Kanye West in the West Wing – On the Pulse – Transcription

Ivy: Straight facts, I hate watching this thing.

Ben Casey: Kanye West and Donald Trump are both businessmen who are very focused on their brand and have built their careers around their brand more than have, say, their deal skills or their skills at making a fashion line, or whatever. You know, you can see it as they both try to break into new industries using only their brand name and not a lot of expertise.

Ivy: And we have this kind of, like, secondary problem of – I think that it’s very easy to- So Omarosa Manigault, whenever she did her book, she did a couple stops at [MSNBC NBC ABC CNN] she did a round with her book. And, as she went from place to place, when people would ask, “Is the President racist?’ She would say, “well at that time I would have considered him being ‘racial’”. As in- at one point she said that he was “trying to start a race war” and I was like “okay that’s an extreme step,” but also I don’t work in the white house, I don’t know to what degree he said something that maybe does or doesn’t have credence. But, Kanye West, in doing this. I think- I don’t know if this is your thought- he empowers a little bit of that racist tendency that is already kind of intermittent in America.

Ben: Yeah. Well what he is attempting to do is- he’s attempting to bridge the gap and appropriate a symbol that people associate with hate to be a symbol of himself. He tried to do this before. Do you remember when Kanye had the confederate flag with him on tour

Ivy: Yeah

Ben: Made confederate flag T-Shirts? His idea was “This was a symbol of hate but now I’m going to make it a symbol of me and give that symbol power of me.”

Ivy: Which- I don’t understand – it doesn’t seem to be corroborated by anything. It doesn’t seem like he’s looking for- looking to say, “I’m behind this president.” I think he’s looking to say, “I’m behind this president which is proof that he [isn’t racist]”- At one point in the interview- we didn’t listen to the entire clip just because it’s a long clip and we’re coming towards the end- but, in the clip, at one point, he starts kind of spouting this [notion that] “we need to be elevating the president. The president needs to look good and we need to help him look good.” But, it seems very deceptive since the current white house has been on a left leaning media tirade where they say we have the “Fake News” problem. As instigated by Kellyanne Conway, as instigated by people like Stephen Miller.

Ben: Yeah

Ivy: I just think we have a- I don’t know if that’s your take on it

Ben: I definitely agree. And you can see that, you know, Kanye has, in fact, eaten up some of these conservative talking points. Such as, he mentioned that we have to be worrying about black on black crime. Which is a kind of ridiculous- it’s a really ridiculous statement. When you look at crime statistics, Asians also tend to commit crimes against Asians more often than any other race, and white people tend to commit crimes against white people more than any other race even when adjusted for whatever-

Ivy: I see the resemblance to the old Milo Yiannopoulos problem with individuals saying, “well black people kill black people at a higher rate, why are we talking about white people killing black people when it happens to be police officers?” For me, I see that as a – we already know that this problem exists, and we don’t need it to be exacerbated.

Ben: But the main issue- the reason that black on black crime exists is because a lot of African Americans live in communities that are heavily segregated. So any crime that is committed in the community is committed by other people in the community who are other African Americans

Ivy: And, if you’re listening to this, or you go on my website, I’ll try to give resources- try to give proofs to the conversation we’re having. Or try to give you guys a look into what we’re talking about. This is a really hot take, do you have any last words?

Ben: Kanye West is a word I’m not allowed to say on here.

Ivy: Well… Well said.

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