Adidas cut ties with Kanye West, ending what may have been his most significant corporate fashion partnership after he made antisemitic remarks.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 25, 2022
*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.
Did you know there’s a specific formula one can follow to get canceled, no matter how high you sit perched on the influencer tree? Or how much money you have?
There’s a couple of personality traits you need to possess and then some actions you need to take to guarantee your own personal self-cancelation, regardless of being an influential billionaire.
I know this because as a f*ckgirl, I have haters and have experienced consequences for having confidence, zeal, ambition, and success with a checked ego, while I watch those with male privilege get away with unchecked egos and hate crimes for long periods before they ever see any consequences or ramifications.
Like Donald Trump, or avid Trump-supporter, Kanye “Ye” West, you need this special trifecta of:
Abject Ignorance: Just because you have the totality of human knowledge and all of history’s wisdom in your pocket 24/7 does not mean you should use it. Critical thinking is optional to you, not detrimental.
Raging Ego: Be sure to keep your ego raging and unchecked. Do not allow one ounce of humility or humanity to infiltrate your solid domain of self-absorbed dumb-assery. Claim to be a Christian or align yourself with some acceptable spiritualism to hide your true religion: navel-gazing and controlling the masses.
Graceless Passion: Keep your negligent passion stronger than both your ego and ignorance combined. Now you’re going places! Not good places, just canceled places that can’t even be revived with apologies, denial, fabrications, and an endless supply of loyal, incompetent followers or all your money.
With your ignorance, ego, and passion full-throttle, become a master at spewing ridiculous sentiments whenever there’s a microphone in your face. Feel free to abandon etiquette, interrupt others, vomit fear-mongering and discriminatory hate speech, steal the show, trespass anywhere and break laws.
Then roll your eyes at the legal ramifications for your actions, because you’re above the law, obvs.
Continue living in a fog of delusional and hyper-privilege, long after you’ve been canceled, mocked, and replaced. You still have some followers, some money, and somewhat of a platform. Be totally blind to your hard and public fall, following your toxic rise.
This is how you get canceled in the 21st century: by being an out of control and negligent narcissist, drunk and high on your own pseudo-power and poisonous platform.
It turns out that influencer is actually a neutral term. Not good and not bad. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an influencer. Adolf Hitler was an influencer. Trump is an influencer. Taylor Swift is an influencer who hits back at other powerful influencers with her art. I wonder if her song “Mad Woman” helped influence Ye and Kim’s divorce after she called them out so skillfully, artistically, and eloquently?
In one of Ye’s video comments, a fan writes, “People on Twitter really think you can cancel a billionaire,” which I think sums up the deeply polarized political parties in the United States. One party thinks Ye, Trump, and those like them are infallible because they are ultra-rich, except for the undebatable fact that our actual value is dependent on us and our actions…and our mouth.
One party values money, fame, and power packaged as “God-loving” or “Christian,” over real values, virtues, morals, and principles. The war we are fighting comes down to money. And money and fame seem to have gone so far to Ye’s head that he bragged that he was uncancelable to his sponsors, and more specifically, to us—the general public and the consumers of his sponsor’s products.
I hope it was a sobering lesson to Ye (and us) that consumers as a whole will always be more powerful than any one influencer. But the fear is that, like Trump, he won’t learn the lesson or be humbled by it.
When it comes to Ye, I feel like attention-whoring takes priority over integrity and ethical pursuits, no matter how much I liked the song “Ni**as in Paris.” In fact, his discriminatory antics aren’t anything new—they’re tired, recycled, micro- (and macro)aggressions. Is he that desperate to stay relevant, post-separation from his billionaire-influencer ex-wife and competitive to his rivals? (Did you notice how Ye’s gross antics coincided with the release of Swift’s new album?)
Before Ye’s most recent anti-Semitic tweet attack, he and Candace Owens appeared at Paris Fashion Week to promote Ye’s new collection, which featured a “White Lives Matter” shirt, and selfishly over-shadowed the creators, designers, and fashionistas who worked hard to bring us new art that under normal circumstances would have received a soufflé of attention and career-boosting accolades. When questioned in interviews about what the shirts meant, Ye struggled to give a straight answer and babbled on about God, coming back around to say that “white lives do matter.”
You get the sense that the concept of the Black Lives Matter movement is utterly lost on him, along with many conservative Americans. It’s as if they can’t wrap that level of compassion, or emotional intelligence, around their brains and hearts; their internalized and ideological oppression can’t be penetrated.
It requires compassion and empathy to understand racism. And empathy requires education and awareness. And it takes our collective gratitude for the brave, ethical influencers of the past to see that it’s a privilege to be a historical advocate for “wokeness” today. It is by far more difficult to include all and make sure nobody is standing outside the human circle than it is to be a hateful, mean, and divisive bully serving haterade.
The key to comprehending racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Critical Race Theory is understanding the types of oppression and how they operate:
1. Ideological Oppression (beliefs/philosophy/theory)
2. Internalized Oppression (conditioning inside the individual)
2. Institutionalized Oppression (systems in public and private sectors)
3. Interpersonal Oppression (platonic and intimate personal relationships)
Humans are the most intelligent animal species walking the earth upright in bipedal fashion as the top, apex predator. And our evolution has survived because of this one virtue: cooperation.
Our ability to work together as teammates enabled us to take down other apex predators and ensure our survival when food sources were scarce. We work most efficiently in tribes, meeting challenges that a solo human being simply cannot accomplish alone.
And while our eating habits have changed drastically, one thing has not—our survival still rests on being a cooperative human tribe. We can cooperate under a platform of hate or love, which the Trump administration clearly taught us.
I am appreciative and proud of the companies and businesses that have taken a solid stance for equality, justice, love, and inclusivity over hate. And my advice to influencers, from a f*ckgirl, is to get crystal clear on what their values are before they go out to influence the masses…and most of all, themselves.