TheGrio Daily

The 7 Kinds of Kanye

Episode 60
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Kanye West isn’t the only Black celebrity who’s gone to the dark side. Michael Harriot analyzes several others in the public eye who are being used by conservatives to harm Black people. TheGrio Daily is an original podcast by theGrio Black Podcast Network. #blackcultureamplified

[00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, Black Culture Amplified. 

Michael Harriot [00:00:05] Hello and welcome to another episode of theGrio Daily. Today we’re going to talk about a topic that, you know, everybody is talking about. Everybody’s talking about Kanye West. Is he, you know, mentally ill? Has he gone over to the dark side? Did somebody give him a red pill? Now that I think about it. Let’s not talk about Kanye West because everybody’s talking about him. Right, he don’t need no publicity from us. But I think it is important to talk about the people like him. Like that rapping shoe salesman who, you know, have gone over to the dark side, who become tools for Republicans or conservatives or people who oppose Black people. 

Michael Harriot [00:00:51] So welcome to theGrio Daily, the only podcast that is willing to tell you about The 7 Kinds of Kanye. I’m Michael Harriot iworld famous wypipologist and this is theGrio Daily. Now, before we begin, you know, let’s get one thing straight, right? When we talk about this rapping shoe dude, you know, we’re not mad at him because he has conservative ideas. Right. And the thing that I want to point out about all of these people in these categories is that they have one through line. It is not their conservatism because some of these people you’re going to see aren’t very conservative. But the thing that they have in common is not their political ideology, but how they use whatever they think against Black people. And more specifically, what they do is they say not that this idea is right, but what they usually say is that Black people are wrong. White people are right and therefore Black people to get ahead or to get free or to gain equality, what they need to do is to act more like white people. To become more like our oppressors. Let’s talk about the first kind of Kanye. 

Michael Harriot [00:02:22] The first category in the seven kinds of kind of bootstrap was. And you know who these people are, the people who, you know, always think that their success is because they worked hard, they focused on education and, you know, they adhere to family values. And there’s nothing wrong with that because I think those things are important. But what that insinuates is that the Black people who, you know, are subject to inequality, who are subject to white supremacy and racism, it’s because they don’t work hard. It’s because, you know, they have some kind of moral lack of moral values or because they don’t value education when that’s simply not true. And so one of the best examples of this is, lets see who is a good example of this? Well, let’s take, you know, one of our favorite bootstrappers, Tim Scott, right. Tim Scott is one of those people who believes that America is not a racist country and that all Black people have to do is just work hard and do all the things that white people do and we can get ahead. And so what he’s saying is that there is something inherently wrong with Black people, that we are not doing that, even though we’ve lived around all of these white people for 400 years. Apparently, we hadn’t learned how to work the system that this society provides. 

Michael Harriot [00:03:54] And and that presumption leaves out the fact that they created and structure the entire system in an entire Constitution. And the history of this country shows us that why white people manage to get ahead was because, first of all, Black people work for free. So that, you know, dismisses that Black people need to work hard. Like all of a sudden after we were emancipated, we start working hard or like we risked our lives to learn how to read. And we attended inferior schools during Jim Crow. But all of a sudden now we’re supposed to believe that Black people don’t value education and, you know, we don’t have moral values, even though there are studies that show like all of the studies show that Black people attend church more, we give more to religious institutions. We are less likely to be atheist, but somehow we lack religious and moral values. So these kinds of Kanye, as you can see are, you know, easily dismissed. 

Michael Harriot [00:05:01] The second kind of kind that we see are what I call dummies. I mean, there’s really just no way to put this. There are some people who are just not intelligent. Right. And my mama always told me, like, nobody thinks that they’re dumb and nobody thinks that they’re ugly, but let’s just say that some people lack the intelligence that other people have. Right. Because my momma also said that if there is such a thing as average intelligence, that means that half of the people by the law of math have to be below that. And some people are dumb, like Kanye says proudly, that he doesn’t read. 

Kanye West [00:05:43] Also, when you said I hadn’t read this book, I actually haven’t read any book. Reading is like eating brussel sprouts for me and talking is like getting the Giorgio Baldi corn ravioli. 

Michael Harriot [00:05:56] So what are we supposed to think of that? And when people don’t know things, it’s easy for them to become tools for which Republicans and conservatives or anti-Black people, because this is not really about political ideology. But anti-Black people use people who don’t know things to advance the agenda of whiteness. And that’s why the second kind of Kanye is so dangerous, because these people have large platforms, they have celebrity, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. 

Michael Harriot [00:06:30] Now, the third kind is a group that I call clowns. And I know you probably think like clowns are a lot like dummies, but like clowns or people like 50 Cent who they know what they’re doing. They do it for the spectacle. Right. So when 50 Cent said that he supported Donald Trump so he didn’t have to pay so much in taxes, he really admits that he doesn’t know about politics. Right. 50 Cent’s whole thing is effing with people, you know, being spectacle, staying in the limelight. So there are people like clowns like like Diamond and Silk who white people don’t give any credence to and Black people don’t give any credence to. 

Michael Harriot [00:07:14] And then there are the fourth kind. And I like to call these people counterfeits. Right? They are grifters. They not only do they not know things, but, you know, their whole thing is that they are getting something in exchange for advancing the agenda of white supremacy. Like Candace Owens. Candace Owens doesn’t have an education in political politics. She doesn’t, you know, have any experience. She doesn’t have any expertize. But she is lining her pockets by becoming essentially a mascot for white people to use against Black people. Right. Because is Candace Owens says something, then it proves that, like not all the Black people think like this. So counterfeits, grifters, hucksters, con men, they are a kind of conduit. 

Michael Harriot [00:08:14] The fifth kind of Kanye is a group that I like to call Opps. Everybody knows who the Opps are right. People who oppose Black people. And some people aren’t just on the side of whiteness. They despise Black people. Right. Here’s a good example. You know, when you fight all of the Opps and you have to fight the big boss, you know, you have to fight, right. The King of the Opps, Clarence Thomas. I mean, Clarence Thomas hates, he despises people who look like him. He’s an Opp. He’s probably the highest ranked Opp in the country. Right. I know Tim Scott is a senator, but Tim Scott is just one of 100 senators. You know, Clarence Thomas is one of nine Supreme Court justice. And everything he does advances the cause of whiteness. He has never voted in favor of voting rights, even when the Supreme Court knocked down Roe versus Wade, Clarence Thomas was like, You know this. That’s fine, but the majority opinion isn’t racist enough and don’t even have any racism in it. So let me write my own. So Clarence Thomas is a kind of Opp. 

Michael Harriot [00:09:37] Now, the sixth kind is what I call counter-revolutionaries. And these people aren’t even conservatives, but they are used by conservatives to beat Black people over the head. And again, as I said in the beginning, the thing about counter-revolutionaries is that they appear to be pro-Black. They appear to be in favor of Black people. But their whole agenda, everything they say, is focused on criticizing Black people. Take Killer Mike, for instance, right. Killer Mike. I don’t even think that Killer Mike is against Black people. I think he genuinely wants to advance Black people’s agenda. But, you know, when Killer Mike was called to a group of activists for a convention, Killer Mike told them, look, I don’t believe any one of you are ready for to bring down white supremacy because you are as much in favor of these systems as white people. 

Michael Harriot [00:10:43] Killer Mike, there’s nothing wrong with Killer Mike stance on Black people owning guns. Why I own a gun is fine, right? But to advance that position. Killer Mike went on the most anti-Black platform that you could imagine. The NRA channel. Right. There’s nothing wrong with Killer Mike wanting Black people to get involved in politics. But how did he demonstrate this? He went and sat down with Brian Kemp, who is called the Wizard of Voter Suppression. Right. And when Killer Mike wanted to talk to to Herschel Walker, there was nothing wrong with that, right? Because we should talk to everybody on every side. Right. But when Killer Mike sat down with them, he didn’t ask Herschel Walker anything about the GOP’s white nationalist agenda. And instead he used that interview to criticize Black people for not having an open mind. And that advances white people’s agenda, then advances the GOP’s agenda because in a sense, it makes the GOP look attractive because of Killer Mike, this bad, big, bad revolutionary didn’t say anything about the GOP’s racism then they must not be that bad. And that’s why counterrevolutionaries are a kind of Kanye. 

Michael Harriot [00:12:12] And the last kind of Kanye. And this is the most important point. The freethinkers. Everybody knows these freethinkers. Right. There are people who will tell you that they do their own research because they own the Democratic plantation. You know, and whenever you present them with facts, they’ll tell you that’s what they want you to think because they don’t really know things either. But free thinkers are so narcissistic that they think that they’re smarter than all of the scholars and the activists and the thinkers who actually work on helping Black people. Nah, free thinkers are smarter than them. And not only do they think they’re smarter than them, they think all of the other white people are smarter than them, because they’ll tell you that, you know, white people do this, but Black people don’t. Right. Perhaps the best example of a freethinker is your boy, Stephen A. Smith. I mean, Stephen A. Smith is a long time conservative. You know, he doesn’t necessarily promote his conservative ideas, except, you know, for when he told Black people that they should vote for Donald Trump in 2016 or except for that time when he said that Colin Kaepernick was wrong and he shouldn’t be in NFL. Right. Or except for that time when he attacked Malika Andrews for stating the obvious. 

Michael Harriot [00:13:31] Or, remember before long before he told Black people to vote for Donald Trump, long before he continually excused Donald Trump’s racism, Stephen A. Smith told Jamele Hill, who was disciplined by ESPN, the same network that he works for, to stay in their lane, to stay in her lane. Right. Because he’s a freethinker. So he’s smart to Jemele Hill. He’s smarter than the rest of us. Right. Stephen A. Smith, who has no political background, who talks about basketball and football, is a freethinker. He’s smart. And that’s why he is a kind of Kanye. And that’s why you have to beware of all of these people. That’s why you have to subscribe to theGrio daily. You have to download our app and watch our streaming service. And that’s why we always leave you with a saying. And today’s saying is “George Bush don’t care about Black people and neither does Kanye.” Thank you for watching theGrio Daily. If you like what you heard, please give us a five star review. Download the real app, subscribe to the show and share it with everyone you know. Please email all questions, suggestions and compliments to podcasts at theGrio dot com. 

[00:15:01] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, Black Culture Amplified.