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Kim Kardashian's husband, Kanye West, was the musical guest for the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live," and y'all had to know it would take a turn to the odd. Kanye can't even manage to wear shoes that fit. You think he's not going to embarrass his kinfolk on live TV?

Wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, which somehow made him look sillier than when he'd danced around earlier in a Perrier bottle, Kanye closed out the show with his third musical performance. Hold up -- third? This is why I don't mess with "SNL" anymore. I don't want to hear the guest's whole album. I tune in for "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer" (yeah, it's been a while). Anyway, Kanye delivered a rambling pro-Donald Trump speech, most of which was cut for time and human dignity.


"Actually, blacks weren't always Democrats," he started. "It's like a plan they did to take the fathers out the homes and promote welfare. Does anybody know about that? That's the Democratic plan."

Did Dinesh D'Souza send Kanye a copy of his film Death of a Nation? I thought we'd covered all this. The modern Democratic and Republican parties are similar only in name to their 19th century counterparts.

"It's so many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, 'How could you support Trump? He's racist.' Well if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago. We don't just make our decisions off of racism. I'ma break it down to you right now: If someone inspires me and I connect with them, I don't have to believe in all they policies."

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West's diatribe received sparse claps, and some members of the audience booed. Donald Trump Jr., his soul mate in stupidity, defended West against liberal "bullying." He proclaimed that "despite the BS they preach, the left isn't tolerant of any view that differs even slightly from their own." Fredo seems tense. Maybe he hasn't shot a defenseless animal recently. It's also possible that the audience didn't want a half-baked political rant from someone they expected to just sing for them. Aren't conservatives normally opposed to political expression from celebrities? Where are the calls for Kanye to shut up and rap? I'd probably join them. I love "Flashing Lights" and "Black Skinhead," and Kanye's antics have ruined them for me.

I think the issue here is that conservatives define "being political" as advocating for any change in the white supremacist patriarchy we have going here. Embracing the status quo or "traditional values" or whatever dog whistle you want to blow is by default "non-political." Wearing a MAGA hat when performing on "SNL," a show whose breakout star is gay, is not seen as deliberately offensive. Kate McKinnon isn't a veteran so conservatives aren't appalled on her behalf like they are when NFL players kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Tucker Carlson wondered why Stephen Colbert would wear a "divisive" Black Lives Matter bracelet during the first week of his "Late Show." That was playing politics. Kanye is merely showing his love for Russia America. No matter how much overt bigotry and child abduction the Trump administration promulgates, conservatives will demand that we "tolerate" everything a MAGA hat represents just like they sort of tolerate minorities existing.

Kanye took to Twitter to provide an explanation for his Trump love and boy was it dumb. I am including Captain America's response to it because it was wonderful.

That's what's so frustrating about Kanye. He's not Andy Kaufman in blackface trying to provoke an unfiltered reaction from us (although that would explain a lot), he's just ignorant ... of the past, the present, and how shoes work. How do you even engage this? It's standard Isolationist America-first Trumpism but with a steaming pile of WTF? The 13th Amendment, for all the literates in the room, is what banned slavery in the US. Did Trump, Stephen Miller, and Jeff Sessions forget Kanye was in the room during an "infrastructure" meeting, and Trump just shrugged and told John Kelly not to kill him because who's going to listen to Kanye?

It's possible Kanye just completely misunderstood Ava DuVernay's Oscar-nominated documentary 13th (if you haven't watched it already, you should really soon). DuVernay, a proud black woman, has no time for Kanye's trifling ass and isn't interested in teaching any remedial Negro courses. She says bluntly, "I can't do nothing for him."

Fortunately for Kanye, conservatives are eager to adopt him as their new favorite defanged, spayed and neutered pet. Charlie Kirk said Kanye's "SNL" speech was a "profound cultural moment." He argued that Kanye's pro-Trumpism symbolizes the "free thinking" that makes America the "greatest country in the world." Yes, Kirk also is opposed to NFL players peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights. But Kirk and most conservatives totally support Kanye promoting Trump-ism. You'd think they'd want a cogent spokesperson, but a lack of coherence or awareness of facts haven't kept them from supporting Trump himself.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He recently fled Seattle, where he did theatre work for Book-It Rep and Cafe Nordo.

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