Friday, December 02, 2022

WHY KANYE WEST IS LIKE MASS SHOOTINGS

Kanye West appeared on the Alex Jones podcast yesterday and told Jones that he likes Hitler and loves Nazis. A few hours later, he was suspended from Twitter after posting an image of a swastika inside a Star of David (cribbed from a UFO religion called Raëlism, which uses the symbol), and also after posting an image of a shirtless, pasty, paunchy Musk with Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, whom West has repeatedly criticized in anti-Semitic ways.

The Washington Post's Philip Bump says, "The GOP’s bet on Kanye West has gone very bad" -- but if you want a contrarian view, I can argue that all this makes high-profile right-wing racists and hatemongers look less hateful by comparison. Musk suspended West. Alex Jones urged him to deny he was pro-Nazi. Donald Trump called him "seriously troubled." Tucker Carlson interviewed West last month and chose not to air his most bigoted pronouncements.

Oh, and it's not hate, really -- it's just mental illness. That's the message from many commenters responding to a Fox story about West:
it's very sad watching the breakdown of Kayne or Ye, i pray he gets the help he needs, he is driving off a cliff, without brakes.. i wish the people in his life would care enough to help him

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this has happened before, remember when Charlie Sheen was manic? This is Bipolar illness. They don't have the insight to know they even need help. They cause a lot of chaos in their lives and damage like this

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Ye is seriously mentally ill (bi-polar in the extreme). Public limelight is not where he needs to be. It is hard for those around him to help because he will listen to no one. In a way, being off Twitter is the best for him. It would be equally good it people would just stop interviewing and covering him.

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Kanye is not well. I hope his thoughts clear and his rationality is restored.

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Glad someone else sees it, the negative affect, non-linear thoughts, paranoia, etc. Pretty obvious to me.

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You don't catch mental illness like you catch a cold. Mental illness is genetic. You are born with it. So it's not going to "clear" away like a cold does. And unfortunately, mental illness gets worse the older you get.

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I don't follow Ye. I don't listen to his rap. I don't buy his clothes. From my limited knowledge of his actions and thoughts, I think he needs to get professional psychological help. He's brilliant enough to be richer than some countries, but his behavior is truly bizarre. I hope he gets help.
You might not see anything objectionable in this, but it's the same Get Out of Jail Free card right-wingers reach for whenever there's a mass shooting or other high-profile attack that seems driven by conservative politics. Clearly they're right about West's mental state, as well as about the mental state of Paul Pelosi's attacker -- but delusions have content, which comes from the outside world. If you're pumping right-wing hate into the societal conversation and a mentally ill person acts on it, you bear quite a bit of responsibility for the results, even if the ill or damaged person isn't in full mental control, and thus isn't fully capable of responsibility.

Mental illness happens, but the processing of directing the mentally ill to bigoted explanations for their discontents is in the control of people we'd mostly regard as sane. They don't get a free pass. But they think they deserved one in the case of Pelosi, and they say they deserve one after every mass shooting. Now they're saying it with Kanye. Don't let them off the hook.

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