Kanye West Equates The Struggle Of Celebrity With The Struggle Of The Civil Rights Movement In The US


In July of 2013, Kanye West allegedly assaulted a photographer at LAX Airport which reportedly resulted in a trip to the hospital for the victim. Earlier this year, the legal case against West got underway and Kanye was deposed in an interview by the photographer’s lawyer. If you can believe the insanity that I am about to share with you, Kanye West — the self-avowed “smartest celebrity you’ve ever fucking deal with” — actually tried to equate the “struggle” of being a celebrity to the actual struggle suffered by African Americans here in the US during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. Wow. Kanye West was obviously being combative in his deposition on purpose and we know that he has said idiotic things in the past but this surely takes the cake. Just, wow.

Kanye West swears under oath, “I’m the smartest celebrity you’ve ever fucking dealt with. I’m not Britney Spears.” We got hold of a transcript of Kanye’s deposition in the case where he’s accused of beating a photog and smashing his camera. Kanye explains to Nate Goldberg, the photog’s lawyer, “I’m in the business of trying to make dope shit for the world. You’re in the business of representing scums and trying to make as much money as long as there’s this lapse in the law.” Goldberg grills Kanye about his song, “Flashing Lights,” — a rant against the paparazzi. Goldberg quotes from the song, “Till I get flashed by the paparazzi, damn, these ni**as got me.” At that point Kanye interrupts, “You have to ask for a hall pass. You can’t just say the ‘n’ word around me.” adding, “It offends me because you’re a white person saying ‘ni**a.'” Kanye says there’s a parallel between blacks fighting for civil rights in the ’60s and celebs fighting for theirs today: “I mean in the ’60s people used to hold up ‘Die N****r’ signs when my parents were in the sit-ins also.” Goldberg asks if he equates the struggle of blacks in the past with celebrities today and Kanye says, “Yes, 100 … I equate it to discrimination. I equate it to inequalities.” Kanye goes on, “We, as group of minorities here in L.A., as celebrities have to ban together to influence guys like this — guys trying to take the picture, guys trying to get the big win, guys trying to get the check.” The depo is riddled with Kanye’s sarcasm. When Goldberg asks where he lives, Kanye replies, “Earth.”

It’s not surprising that Kanye can be the saltiest of dickbags when he’s pissed off and wants to be argumentative … but for him to seriously try to equate being a celebrity to the horrible struggle and mistreatment of minorities in this country is not only the most insane thing ever but it is also insulting to the highest degree. A lot of people are focusing on his silly diss toward Britney Spears but it’s such a non-issue, I hate even mentioning it. Kanye equating celebrity to the civil rights movement echoes other moronic statements by other celebrities that have equated their fame and fortune with rape and/or war. WHAT THE SERIOUS, FUCK, PEOPLE?! That people actually say these things is madness to me. I love to laugh off and have fun with most of the ridiculous things that come out of Kanye’s mouth but this time, he’s really lost me. There is nothing funny or clever about his comments here. Ugh.


  • Kiki1976

    Is he that out of touch with reality? Can I have his problems? Please?

    (“The saltiest of dickbags.” I’m gonna start using this…)

    • Natalea

      “the saltiest of dickbags” is so on point, Trent. ;)

  • Mela

    I’m not always a fan of the things Kanye says, but I have to say I don’t think he’s out of line and here’s why. He wasn’t equating his suffering to the suffering of the blacks before and during the civil rights movement. He was saying that during the civil rights movement, black people didn’t have fundamental rights that were allowed white people and that celebrities now have no rights when it comes to protecting themselves from the dangerous and stalkerish behavior of the paparazzi. And yes, celebrities are waging a movement to protect themselves and their children as people did during the civil rights movement. As a black man who’s parents came from the generation of the civil rights movement, I don’t believe he meant to diminish their suffering and that’s why I don’t find his remarks provocative at all.

    • @Mela — I see your point and I commend you for making it but I’m sorry, not until celebrities are hosed down in public streets, not until celebrities have dogs sicked on them, not until celebrities are beaten down with billy clubs and forced into segregation for HAVING THEIR PHOTOS TAKEN when they are in public will I take his comments seriously. Yes, he has a point about how he feels celebrities are “mistreated” but to even remotely try to make an analogy with the civil rights movement is too insulting for words. I just cannot with him right now.

    • Mela

      Yeah, I get it and I don’t think drawing glib comparisons to human rights violations is smart, but I don’t think his intentions were out of line.

      I’ve seen Jennifer Garner and Halle speaking about this issue as well and the fear in their eyes when they talk about not being able to protect their children is real. There are paparazzi who are out there literally trying to make celebrities get into altercations and accidents so that they have a front line view to take photos. It’s not safe and it is dehumanizing. I don’t think they are wrong to feel violated.

    • @Mela — “There are paparazzi who are out there literally trying to make celebrities get into altercations and accidents …” Those people are criminals. Those people should be arrested. The brutalization that happened during the civil rights movement did not come from a few criminals, it was institutionalized and systematic abuse … by state governments. My anger is not toward you, I think you for commenting, but is instead toward the offensiveness of Kanye’s language.

    • Mela

      The respectful back and forth is great. And you just totally shut it down by pointing out that the actions of a few don’t equate to the systematic abuses that were the norm before and during the civil rights movement. I think that’s the most important point you could have made. Kudos.

    • @Mela — I really love our comments section. We may not always agree but at least we can have a conversation that is civil and intelligent :)

    • Krissy

      That is true about Garner and Berry…but the law they were seeking to pass has been signed into law. Senate Bill 606 was signed into law in Sept. 2013 and took effect Jan. 1, 2014.

      I think paparazzi are horrible, and endanger the public and the celebs they stalk. However, it is hard to enforce laws against them when they are also employees of the Kardashian/West family. The celebs that work with the paps make it harder for the celebs that are harassed by the paps.

    • OG Emily

      Jennifer Garner is also a hypocrite … She brings out the young’uns for pap strolls when Ben is up for awards then cries foul when award season is over. It’s like Trent said about Kanye – celebs can’t have it both ways all the time.

    • Krissy

      Mela, I am sorry but Kanye is a victim of NOTHING. His wife has accounts with pap agencies to ARRANGE for her picture to be taken on a daily basis. You can’t claim to be victim of something that you orchestrate! Celebs DO have rights in this area. Laws have been passed. He and his wife CHOSE not to take advantage of privacy rights.

      Additionally, as Trent points out, the civil rights era had people being beaten, hung, attacked by dogs, etc. simply because of the color of their skin. It is like a “Hitler” comparison…very few things in this world will EVER compare to that, so it is incredibly stupid to try. There might be teeny tiny ways in which the situations are similar, but the differences far outweigh the similarities.

  • Natalea

    I know people tend to laugh off his solipsism, but UGH. He’s so ridiculous. Take Mrs. West and go on a LONG vacation. Byeeee!

  • Krista

    I think the full quote needs to be heard before jumping to conclusions. Kanye brought up the civil rights movement, it appears, because the lawyer said the n word while quoting one of Kanye’s songs, not do to the treatment of celebrities. When asked the question by the lawyer the quote begins “Yes, 100…” I am more interested to know what was immediately said after 100 because the rest of the quote is about discrimination and inequality, he does not directly speak to the civil rights movement. I would just like more info before coming to a conclusion

    • @Krista — Well if any lawyer, of any race, decides it is prudent to read the lyrics of a song written by the person they are deposing, I personally believe they do not need a “hall pass” to read words as they have been written. See, that’s my other problem with Kanye’s bullshizz. He can’t have everything both ways all the time. IMHO he continues to present himself as as the most presumptive and entitled asshole of our time. True, a better determination of what he said would come from the reading of the full text of his deposition but based on what he’s quoted as saying here and based on previous experience with what he’s said before, I can believe that he has managed to take things too far, once again.

    • Krista

      I agree the lawyer was right to quote as Kanye wrote, i was just stating that was where the civil rights comment came into play based on the information we have. Kanye definitely has a poor little rich boy complex and says dumb stuff all of the time. And I would expect him to say something like this, but i am not coming to the same conclusion as you at the moment

    • @Krista — I feel you. TMZ may even release the full text of the deposition so we can know for sure.

  • Lauren xx

    Kanye lost his credibility on the topic of celebrity privacy when he married who he married. Mrs. West’s “career” is over when the cameras stop following her around and her name stops crossing people’s lips. She gave up her privacy for a paycheck, and he gave up his privacy by marrying her. You think she is going to move out of Hollywood and out of the spotlight for some privacy? Think again, she ended a marriage already over that.

  • starling1980

    Is there anything this guy WON’T say?

    For a guy who loves the sound of his own voice, you’d think he might listen to what he is saying. Where is that filter between his brain and his mouth??

  • Krissy

    Can we please have a real civil rights activist, who witnessed such horrors decades ago, put Kanye in his place? This isn’t the first time he has said such things. Enough is enough.

  • helen

    Is it me? or is this guy ALWAYS complaining about something/everything??
    Ugh, I’m so over him.

  • Christine Rose Infanger

    While I think the paparazzi go WAY out of line in their handling of getting photographs, Kanye chose a ridiculous analogy. For one thing, he married into a family who tip them off and created their ‘brand’ by filming every (*every*) aspect of their lives and profiting from it. It’s disgusting that paparazzi do what they do, especially when children are involved, yet somehow even when talking about people as deplorable as the paparazzi Kanye manages to out-douche himself and make it difficult to take his side.