Column By J1 Reporter Olivia Franklin
In 2022, Kanye West’s mental health issues were brought into question after he made many anti-semitic and racist comments. He continues to make disparaging comments that have severed many of his work and family relationships.
West is most known for his relatable music with unique beats. As a result of this, he gained a large and loyal fan base, but many were shocked after the comments, questioning whether or not they should still support him. How do they hold a celebrity who they’ve looked up to for years accountable and who clearly has mental issues?
West was very close with his mother, Donda West. After her death in 2007, fans noticed a difference in West. His mental health had started to decline and some fans noticed how he smiled less. Many people ignored this because he was still making music and his change wasn’t drastic.
West used his album, “I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome” released in 2018, to showcase his feelings. He was diagnosed with the illness when he was thirty nine years old and even calls it his superpower.
Many people were unsure what to do after he made the comments, some decided to ignore and listen to his music like normal.
Other people, and many celebrities were very disappointed in West and wondered if he had a platform where people would listen and respond to his comments. They wondered if they just ignored his comments, would he stop?
A lot of fans just decided to excuse all of his wrongdoing. This can be harmful because it makes the marginalized groups feel targeted.
Other fans wanted to separate the art from the artist because he wasn’t making these comments when he was still creating and producing good music.
Even though Kanye West is very influential in the music and fashion industry, that’s not an excuse for his actions. His illness also isn’t an excuse but how do we hold him accountable when he is suffering from this?
This is one case that brings into the question of how to deal with mental health. How do we address and help people going through this?
Black men’s trauma and emotions are often turned into memes and jokes on social media. People use their feelings and personality as something to make fun of and make into a meme. This is currently happening with West. Many aren’t taking his illness seriously and ignore that he needs help.