Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate? Talk about cringe worthy! Good god—who came up with the idea? Despite our profound political differences, I honestly feel sorry for Walker, the way he’s been put on display for months like the honorary “disgrace to the race.” And the poor guy doesn’t seem to have any self-awareness of the spectacle he’s making of himself. We should acknowledge that people have different talents and shortcomings, but come on, someone running for the U.S. Senate should have a reasonable level of intelligence, and at least aspire to a certain amount of moral virtue.
What we’ve learned about Mr. Walker during the course of the campaign isn’t very virtuous (am I the only one who’s lost track of the abortions and abused women) but watching him struggle has been downright painful, even if you’re rooting for him and his backers to fail. Every time he speaks it’s like gawking at the wreckage of a terrible automobile accident. (Never mind vampires and werewolves, I’m still trying to figure out the relevance of switching Chinese air with American air.)
All in all, Walker seems like a collection of every negative stereotype of Black men conjured up by the Republican Party in an effort to strike a chord with the prejudice of their inevitably racist voters. There are legions of Black men more fit for office than he is (including many who are currently incarcerated, and I’m not being flippant), but most of them, of course, run as Democrats rather than Republican patsies. And if Republicans think African Americans will automatically be attracted to any Black candidate, hopefully this episode will teach them that an awful parody like Walker does more harm than good. If I were an African American, I would find it humiliating to have Walker shoved in my face like a bad minstrel show, a form of entertainment that was amusing to racist white people in the 19th century but, thankfully, long-since out of vogue.
Does “Ye” Even Understand What Hitler Did and What He Represents?
Meanwhile, Kanye West (now “Ye”) has gone completely off the rails, crashing repeatedly in every direction with seemingly no end in sight. It’s a tragedy that he’s ruining an illustrious career, but can we really chalk it up to mental illness? Unlike Herschel Walker, we don’t owe a hateful racist Holocaust denier like Ye any sympathy. This dude is spewing antisemitic hatred to millions of his followers worldwide and it’s just possible that some of them take him seriously. He’s also claimed that slavery for African Americans was a “choice” (well, maybe for the greedy lords of the Cotton Kingdom). The fact that Elon Musk banned Ye from Twitter so soon after he reinstated Donald Trump surely testifies to the gravity of the situation.
Does Ye realize that Hitler was responsible for the deaths of millions of people who weren’t Jewish? Does he realize that Hitler didn’t even consider Black people to be human? Is his fanatical love for Hitler evidence of some sort of bizarre self-hate that’s come to the fore? Indeed, Ye evokes Hitler’s name like an expression of his own nihilistic desire to blow himself up and take the rest of the world with him.
It’s easy to see why the MAGA mindset is susceptible to all the usual antisemitic tropes, many of which have been around for centuries. For most of their ilk, dislike of Jews seems an extension of their learned (and we know who their favorite teacher is!) fear and hatred of “global elites,” “global cabals,” and whatever else they see as a threat to “making America great again.” The similarity between MAGAs who stormed the Capitol on January 6th and the Germans who turned their country over to Hitler in the 1930s is all too obvious and ominous: people desperate for scapegoats to blame for their own unfortunate circumstances will believe anything. Indeed, imagining themselves as victims of a great international Jewish conspiracy is the default position when all else fails.
I understand why MAGAs see themselves at odds with the modern globalized world (“global” represents the perilous future, while “America” represents the safe, comfortable past), but it’s hard to understand what’s in Ye’s undoubtedly sick mind.