Saturday Night Live returned last night with a blistering recreation of Brett Kavanaugh’s whiny temper tantrum in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The season opener also featured musical guest (and recent MAGA convert) Kanye West whose clashing fashion choices included a “Make America Great Again” hat and Colin Kaepernick sweatshirt.
West performed an eyebrow-raising rendition of “I Love It” while dressed as a Perrier bottle and launched into a nonsensical pro-Trump rant after the show.
Chris Rock’s Instagram story captured Kanye West going on a rant about Trump after “SNL” last night. Cheering and boos can be heard from the audience. pic.twitter.com/aXmG9JirrM
— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) September 30, 2018
The rambling speech wasn’t aired but was caught on the internal feed and Chris Rock’s Instagram. In it, West complains of being “bullied” and mentions something about taking fathers out of homes and promoting welfare, going on to say “That’s a Democratic plan.”
It’s a decades-old right-wing talking point that Democrats are the real racists, keeping African-Americans on the government “plantation” by providing federal assistance to the unemployed and working poor in exchange for votes. Part of this nefarious plot, the story goes, is that government assistance obviated the need for a traditional family structure since women could accept government money instead of relying on a male breadwinner.
Of course, this falls apart when you realize more white people than black people are on government assistance and that poverty in African-American communities is not due to government attempts to remedy it, but rather to a host of disadvantages black people in America have faced for decades—from underfunded schools to unclean drinking water to unequal access to affordable housing—which can be summed up by the phrase “systemic racism.” Also, if the GOP had their druthers they’d just as soon do away with the social safety net or regulate it into ineffectiveness to “shrink government.”
Trump, who claims not to watch SNL even though he’s a frequent critic of the show, took notice and tweeted his appreciation for West’s diatribe.
And West tweeted his own pseudo-defense. A picture of himself in his MAGA hat along with a message regurgitating Trump talking points on the economy and (bizarrely) something about abolishing the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery.
West seems to believe that a life lived sheltered from right-wing propaganda has left him with only half the picture of what’s going on in America (he criticized major news outlets of all being “liberal,” another right-wing fantasy). And that any attempts to dissuade him from repeating GOP spin and outright falsehoods amounts to “bullying” and “thought control.” In reality, he’s demonstrating just how effective the Republican campaign to delegitimize the press and substitute their own narrative has been.