Why If You're Making Fun Of Kanye West You're Part Of The Donald Trump Problem
If you gave someone fighting cancer $1 million, could that make it go away? What about $10 million? Maybe $100 million? David Bowie had a net worth of $230 million. And his fight against cancer still ended tragically.
And if you gave someone dealing with mental illness $100 million - or any amount of money - could that make it go away? Unfortunately, some of the most qualified people to answer that question have already taken their own lives.
Of course for cancer, mental illness, or any sickness, there are therapies, medicines, treatments and so on that only money could buy. But if money were always the solution, David Bowie would likely be writing a song about that right now. And some of the world's most beloved entertainers would still be entertaining us.
This week news broke of Kanye West's hospitalisation in the psychiatric ward at UCLA, for "stress and exhaustion." This came after a week of outbursts and erratic behaviour on stage, along with the cancellation of his tour. If you follow his song lyrics, they have included stories on bipolar and mental health issues. To attribute these lyrics to his real life can make sense, but it's also speculative.
You can speculate about many things concerning the hip-hop artist. Is this an insurance scam to get out of a tour without the financial obligations? Is this a publicity stunt? Is this even worth speculating about? No. Because this is not really about Kanye West.
Here we are, deep into the month of November, almost better known as Movember now - "a month committed to changing the face of men's health" - and littered through my social media feeds, I see posts from the men and women who are supporting this important month. I also see posts from these same men and women littering all over their advocacy by making fun of Kanye's situation:
"I'm too tired to tour. Boo hoo."
"Kanye West 'hospitalised in Los Angeles'. Our thoughts and prayers go out at this difficult time to the hospital staff."
"Lets see what's new in the world: Kanye is still crazy, Trump is still a pig."
Calling yourself a mental health advocate and mocking Kanye West is like calling yourself a vegetarian and eating meat.
Look, I'm the last person to stand up for Kanye. But this isn't about standing up for Kanye. This is about taking a stand for the roughly half a billion people in this world suffering from some kind of mental illness ... and the billions of people it affects both directly and indirectly.
If you're keeping track - that's pretty much ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.
And that includes you too.
If you're tearing down Kanye, you're tearing down your friend, your neighbour, your family member ... Because, inevitably, more than one person whom you care about deals with mental health issues. And to be clear, the same way EVERYONE has physical health, EVERYONE has mental health. And the same way everyone needs to care for their physical health, everyone needs to care for their mental health.
So please, mind your own fitness.
At a time when so many people question the values of a world where "someone like Donald Trump" can be president, we also tend to overlook our own values when we try to deflate anyone else's value.
You don't have to stand up for Kanye. But stand up for something, instead of knocking things down.
Maybe you won't get as many likes on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, but at least you won't be spreading hate.
11/25/2016 04:40:41 pm
11/25/2016 05:05:16 pm
You have written a wonderful blog! I will share it on Facebook. I miss hearing you on the radio!
11/25/2016 09:08:47 pm
Yes. Mental illness paralyzes you. I'm so saddened by the reactions of people. Great blog.
11/26/2016 08:55:09 am
Very well said Dalia! Thank you for writing about this!
7/25/2020 01:44:10 pm
Never more true in these trying times. We need less finger-pointing and blaming and more empathy and caring. Thank you for what you do, Dahlia!
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