jessica tholmer
July 24, 2013 4:00 pm

SPOILER ALERT: I am about to defend Kanye West, and I know how you guys hate when I do that.

I will defend Kanye West in pretty much all regards, because I am a loyalist, and that is what I do. I defend the ones I love, and boy do I love my Ye.

But this one is a little different. This one hits a bit deeper on my defense scale.

In case you have not yet heard, West is under a bit of controversy (what else is new?) for attacking a paparazzi the other day. The man, who goes by the name of Dano, is supposedly considering pressing charges against West for “attempted robbery,” which is much more criminally serious than the usual “battery.” Dano was the paparazzo involved in the 2007 incident with Britney Spears and the umbrella. As far as I know, Dano did not press any charges against Spears, though he did sell the umbrella and the SUV that she dented for sale on eBay, raking in something like thirty thousand dollars.

Sounds like he kind of needs to shape up or ship out, in my opinion, though I also think being a member of any paparazzi group is pretty much the lowest job in society… though I will save that rant for another time.

Dano has built a career out of intentionally angering celebrities to their breaking points. He is almost literally asking to be treated the way he has been treated. He pushed West to the point of no return, and like many many many celebrities before him, West lashed out physically. Why should West be charged with attempted robbery–for taking Dano’s camera from him, though I can guarantee it was not for his personal use, pretty sure West can afford a camera without stealing one from the paparazzi–instead of battery?

Why West? Chris Martin beat up a paparazzo. Bjork did too. Avril Lavigne spit in the faces of multiple paparazzi after they irked her too hard at her concert a few years ago. Spears beat up a car with an umbrella when she was mad. Hugh Grant threw baked beans at a photographer’s head! Sean Penn chose rocks instead of beans, and I am pretty sure he has attacked them more than one time.

So what’s the problem here? I am not condoning the attack of paparazzi (well, I’m not really condoning it), but I am apt to say that I do not think this is a fair assessment. We are so used to being angry at West that even when he acts out in a familiar way–right or wrong–he is still blamed a little harsher than his peers.

For years now, and especially as of late, the media has tried to make West out to be an “angry Black man.” Yes, I have read those words. I know that I personally like and respect West, but even if you do not care for him or his music, he has not done much to be considered all that “angry.” His Taylor Swift rant (that really should be water under the bridge now) was comical at best. Yes, he hurt her feelings, but he was not angry. He was (I am assuming) drunk and silly and definitely rude, but not angry. When he claimed that George W. Bush didn’t care about Black people, I am sure he was angry, but he simply spoke the sentence, and life went on. And you know what? George Bush doesn’t care about Black people. Not to mention, West was working for a good cause when that came out of his mouth. Why do we not remember that? Why do we only remember how awkward Mike Meyers felt when he stated that?

It is ridiculous that Dano, or anyone else, would try to paint the wrong image of West just because he is A) a kind of annoying egotistical public figure and / or B) because he is a Black man.

The angriest I have seen or heard West, besides when he was pushed to attack Dano recently, is in his music, and not much of it is all that angry. I am also going to make an assumption here and say that I guarantee the ones quick to point the finger at West’s outlandish, “angry” behavior have not listened to much of his music to back themselves up.

FREE KANYE. This is ridiculous.

Featured image via GQ, Dano attack image via rap-up, Jay and Kanye image via yahoo

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