KANYE West fired a shotgun of inconvenient truths at the liberal-Left political and cultural establishment. Invited to the White House by Donald Trump, Kanye opined on the plight of black communities in the USA, blaming the very people who claim to be saviours. Wearing a MAGA cap and hugging Trump after his verbal volley, he triggered progressive commentators and group-think celebrities, who have reacted with spitting fury. One voice on CNN denigrated Kanye as ‘a negro who doesn’t read’.
‘Racism’, according to Kanye, is manipulated by middle-class progressives to control black people. Who benefits most from identity politics? By conferring permanent victim status, privileged whites exploit disadvantaged blacks as pawns in a culture war against the common people and their traditional, patriotic values. Virtue-signalling is a performance, gaining social, occupational and economic rewards for the signaller. White supporters of the Black Lives Matter campaign have limited interest in changing the harsh realities of the ‘projects’. Indeed, their rhetoric on race causes harm to black communities, tainting the police as brutal racists, thus reinforcing the distrust that deters effective policing in areas plagued with gangs and drugs. Do these cool activists care about the death toll in Chicago or Baltimore? Kanye doubts it.
The man seated opposite during his ten-minute sermons has ended the long run of ‘business-as-usual’ presidents (Bush senior to Obama, a line that nearly continued with Hillary Clinton). For decades Washington has neglected the former industrial heartlands, northern cities to which millions of southern blacks flocked in the 1950s and 60s. The Rustbelt exists because of a liberal elite who neglected their own nation’s poor for loftier globalist ideals. Take a walk along Broadway in a city such as Gary, Indiana, and ask yourself: how is this devastation possible in a rich, supposedly civilised country?
Today, everything is made in China – why? As Kanye observed, previous presidents have been more interested in signing international agreements (often at American expense) or winning awards for statesmanship. Trade deals have put American workers on the scrapheap, causing social malaise, drug dependence and suicide: cheaper goods from abroad cheapen lives in Michigan.
But Trump has turned the corner. After years of decline, black employment has surged. He is bringing back the jobs, and it was not merely an electioneering slogan that ‘Trump digs coal’. His policies have reopened the mines, fired the steel mills, pumped oil, and sounded the factory hooters. To people unaware of this revival (which includes most readers of British media), it would be inexplicable that Trump’s support among black voters has increased to 36%.
An important message from Kanye was on leadership. Trump is respected by a large proportion of the American public because his strength in the face of concerted opposition from vested interests is a stark contrast with his predecessors. His pledge to ’drain the swamp’ is cutting through to the electorate, particularly among those who feel least served. The blatantly political use of the #MeToo movement to stop the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was Trump’s biggest fight yet, and he won. Which other Western leaders would have withstood the media storm and hysterical protests as he did?
Massive crowds appear at Trump’s rallies: halls packed to the rafters, with thousands locked out. His supporters know that the Deep State will do whatever it can to destroy him. But he’s their man. A multitude of American people, many of whom had stopped voting in disillusionment, feel the contempt towards them by the mainstream media, schools and universities and politically-correct politicians. The ‘deplorables’, as Clinton called them, are not all white. Trump is transcending the old divides and attracting voters of all ethnicities, ages and gender not only in the flyover states, but closer to the seats of power on the seaboards. Perhaps the most humiliating loss for Clinton on election night was Pennsylvania, which she thought was in the bag.
The opprobrium for Kanye is because he is black. White progressives thought the likes of him were in the bag too. Similarly, female Trump supporters get more than their share of abuse. Madonna, after the shock result reacted to a demographic profile of vote by declaring ‘Women, you have let me down’. Identity politics does this, making assumptions about people and marshalling them into groups of like attitude, thereby denying individual choice and freedom of thought. Anyone who goes against the group is a traitor, who (in Madeline Albright’s words) deserves a ‘special place in Hell’.
We have the same phenomenon in the UK. The Conservative Party candidate for the next London mayoral election is Shaun Bailey, a highly experienced inner-city youth worker who can see the folly of apologetically liberal policing and the secularist ideology that has decimated the family. Young black men have suffered most. The authorities seem more interested in promoting Islam than tackling the social depredation that their policies have nurtured. For his troubles, Bailey has been attacked by the Left with the typical insults of ‘Uncle Tom’ and ‘coconut’.
This is the tolerant and progressive class that Trump is confronting. For expressing his support, Kanye West has been cast as mentally disturbed. But the real madness is in the turkeys voting for Christmas.