Kanye West is one of our most unfortunate and disingenuous fame whores — worse even than his brittle fiancé and Baby Mama, Kim Kardashian — and he’s recently been conveniently “caught” wearing, gasp this, a “Confederate Flag” as if he were a modern redneck KKK member from the Deep South, even though he’s just a regular Black man from Chicago!

Oh, the outrage!

Oh, that Kanye!

The trouble with Kanye is that he’s a phony — except when he’s picking on Taylor Swift — then he means everything he says.

This invented Kanye outrage of a Black man wearing the Confederate flag’s only purpose is to promote Kanye and keep him in the middle our bloodshot and weary eye.

Kanye laughably tries to claim the message in the memeing:

Any energy is good energy. You know the Confederate flag represented slavery in a way — that’s my abstract take on what I know about it. So I made the song ‘New Slaves.’ So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It’s my flag. Now what are you going to do?

Kanye’s new ownership of slavery and its most infamous historical icon reminds me of a similar scheme 25 years ago when there was a hard movement in the Gay community to take back ownership of the derogatory term “Queer.”

Several of my Gay friends were horrified they were being encouraged by the younger generation in their own community to publicly self-identify as “Queer” — but, as discriminated-against elders, they understood the point, and wanted to take back the term from those who used the word against them for many years, and it sort of worked.  Instead of saying, “I’m Gay,” they were to say, “I’m Queer.”

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” is probably the most famous public incarnation of a successful take-back and redefinition campaign in the mainstream mind.  Once that cultural win was struck, the community was able to go back to the “I’m Gay” identification.

For some reason, “Fag” never seemed to get the same “take back” traction as “Queer” in the Gay community.

Now I’m waiting for the — “of course!” — inevitable as some Populist Southern Redneck comes forward to publicly take back “Nigger” to redefine it and, once again, claim it as a term of degradation and hatred since the Black community stole it from them and made it an intra-Racial term of endearment in popular culture and rap music.

7 Comments

    1. I think the point of the article is that using “Queer” as an identifier on an application is insulting to some, but the overall arc of the article supports the history I describe in my post.

      “It’s generational,” said Gray. “We understand ‘queer’ is a charged term, but ever since the 1990s, it has been reclaimed by many,” he said.

      Many liberal arts colleges have adapted the phrase “queer studies” to define their broader gender studies programs, and have created “queer” resource programs. This fall, the University of Pennsylvania held a Queer Method Conference.

      … and this…

      Reina Gossett, a 30-year-old transgender woman who identifies as “queer,” said the term is “political” and has a “legacy of resistance.” …

      In the early days of the gay pride movement, those who self-identified as “drag queens” and “transvestites” were “tossed aside” by middle-class professionals, said Gossett.

      “She was literally kicked off the stage in a gay pride rally in 1973,” she said. Gossett said calling herself queer is a way to be “part of a larger movement.”

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      1. I hear. Good points.

        I saw someone on television (Joel McHale, on the hilarious show The Soup) amusingly comment on Kanye’s odd choice by saying that Kanye seems to enjoy taking things that people just can’t stand — and then showed him in a photograph walking with Kim Kardashian…

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          1. He has a better reason to be famous than his (current) wife — she flashed her bits and pieces to the world, made “reality” program after “reality” program, and has made no real contribution. At least he has a few ok sounding songs to his name. 🙂

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