A radio station in Detroit has placed a ban on all things Kanye West. According to the Detroit Free Press, msn.com and others, 105.1, a hip-hop station, has begun using the hashtag “mute Kanye” because of his recent comments about slavery, in which he claimed that black Americans chose to be enslaved. West has stated that because slavery had gone on for 400 years, it had been a choice. The comments have not set well with members of the public, and the radio hosts at 105.1 are just the latest to respond harshly to the rappers’ remarks.
The radio hosts, Shay Shay and BiGG have decided that enough is enough from West. They reportedly told the New York Post that “Kanye has gone too far.”
The Detroit Free Press explains that the ban, as part of “mute Kanye” will extend to the entire radio station and will include songs that West has produced or that he is a featured artist on.
Kanye West and free speech
West is not the first celebrity who has gotten in trouble for what has come out of his mouth. Often, defenders of those who say offensive things cite the First Amendment as the protection for those offensive things.
However, there are consequences for saying things that upset an entire demographic. And the ban by 105.1 is one of those consequences. For those who have not availed themselves of the entirety of West’s remarks can hear some of them here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_M4LkYra5k.
West’s comments are not just offensive because he blames enslaved people for their plight, but also because he posits himself as someone who would be like Nat Turner or Harriet Tubman. Because he hasn’t experienced slavery, it isn’t a claim he can make without some scrutiny. Not to mention he has degraded generations of black Americans by implying that it is through some lack of personal fortitude that people were kept as slaves.
For many, West’s conduct has grown increasingly problematic and they miss the good old days when he used humor and truth to perform a song like “Gold Digger.”
It is unclear whether or not other radio stations are picking up the hashtag “mutekanye.” In addition, Shay Shay and BiGG haven’t said how long the ban will last.