Frustrated by his tweets, students still voice support for Kanye West

While many students are frustrated by recent controversies surrounding Kanye West, they are split on how much impact it will have on his career. 

“I will continue to listen to his music. He is talented,” said Nicole Stokes, sophomore Nursing major. “I can separate the man from what is a flawed message … Silencing Kanye, regardless of how you feel about what he has to say, is … cancel culture and I’m very against it.”

West, who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021, has recently attracted attention for several statements. After saying George Floyd died of a drug overdose and was not killed by Minneapolis police, Floyd’s family filed a $250 million lawsuit alleging defamation. A Minneapolis policeman was convicted by a jury of murdering Floyd.

He was also recently blocked by both Twitter and Instagram because he violated their hate speech policies. Early this month, he attracted attention when he wore a shirt emblazoned with the words “White Lives Matter” at Paris Fashion Week. In 2018, he sparked outrage when he said slavery was a choice.

“I don’t look to Kanye for anything other than music,” said Luke Bruner, senior Communication major. “I can separate the man from the message and for that reason if he ever did put out something that I would listen to I wouldn’t turn it off.”

Karina Farfan, sophomore Communication major, agreed that she will stay a fan.

“I personally do listen to Kanye,” she said. “But I definitely think that other people will … stop supporting him because his behavior is very questionable.”

Alyssa Harris is one of those people

“I will not support Kanye in the future because I don’t agree with how he is acting in the public eye,” said the freshman Criminal Justice major. “I am offended by this behavior because he is incorrect. I am mixed [race], black and white, so I’ve experienced racism in a plethora of ways. His comments about slavery being a choice and making white lives matter t-shirts aggravate me because it is pure ignorance.”

Drucilla Williams, senior Marketing major, also said she’s put off by West’s comments

“With his recent actions and statements, I don’t think I’ll be supporting him in the future,” she said. “I don’t think he’s wrong for having his opinions, but I think there’s a better way to communicate that. Until he learns how to communicate his views better without offending people, I will not [support him].”

Cassie Vickers, sophomore Human Resources major, believes he should face consequences.

“It goes a lot deeper than unruly behavior,” she said. “Kanye has become an influencer in fashion, music and religion. He is huge in the zeitgeist. As a result, he has tentacles, and we forget that tentacles have suction cups that can hold many different impressionable minds at once. We would not call them influencers if they did not have a wide range of followers.”

Lexy Griswold and Nicki Rucki contributed to this report.