If anyone deserves boycotting, it’s Kanye West.

Just ask Rev. Al Sharpton who is calling for a national boycott of West, the controversial hip-hop artist, over his new clothing line that features the dreaded Confederate flag symbol.

Sharpton’s National Action Network is leading the boycott, saying it will not support any store that sells West’s Confederate flag merchandise.

It’s a prudent decision by Sharpton. West should be called out in the same high-profile way he introduced his racially-charged clothes.

The Confederate flag has remained a symbol of racism for many African Americans since the flag was adopted by Southern states during the Civil War. West may have forgotten that Southerners were fighting to keep black people in slavery.

But in an interview with a Los Angeles radio station, West, 36, explained his warped reasoning for using the Confederate flag.

“React how you want,” West said. “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 West selling jackets with the Confederate flag on them is a disgrace and embarrassment,” Rev. K.W. Tulloss, President of the Los Angeles branch of the of National Action Network, said in a statement.

“Many of our ancestors were brutalized, kidnapped , raped, and murdered during slavery under this flag,” Tulloss said. “It’s inexcusable for West to be promoting and merchandising this flag. We’re determined to boycott and shut down any other stores that attempt to sell this merchandise.”

The boycott against West is significant because there are so many young black boys and girls who don’t know the history of the Civil War, the story of slavery, and the visceral reaction from African Americans to the Confederate flag.

Would you want your child embracing West’s racist Confederate flag-clad gear without understanding the decades-old context?

Ironically, West unveiled his Confederate flag clothing line around the same time the new film, “12 Years a Slave,” was released nationwide. The provocative film tells the story of a free black man who was lured from his home in New York in 1841 to be sold into slavery.

So with all the weighty and painful discussion about slavery and the dehumanization of black people, West decides to make a mockery of black oppression for profit. And, as a black man, West proudly – and oddly – claims the Confederate flag as his own.

“The Confederate flag symbolizes dehumanization, injustice and pain. It is a stark reminder of an era in our history that was defined by the abhorrent practice of slavery,” Sharpton said in a statement. “And it is representative of a mentality that looked upon blacks as inferiors who needed to remain in the shackles of subservience.”

There’s no doubt that West is well aware of the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, but he probably doesn’t care because he stands to make a hefty profit from his clothing line. For West, it’s apparently all about business; it’s all about making money.

And for Sharpton, conversely, it’s all about shutting West down.

Here’s to a successful boycott.

What do you think? Should West’s clothing line be boycotted?

(Photo: Retna)

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30 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: Kanye West Makes a Mockery of Black Oppression for Profit

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  2. Controversy sparks enlightenment on so many levels-and that’s a good thing, however…has anyone attempted to seek an objective stance to what Kanye may be trying to say (in all of his illiterate rantings)? Perhaps what he is trying to express is that he is attempting to take a symbol which for so many decades has represented so much hatred, oppression and negativity for black people and “owning it”. Meaning he wants to desensitize the symbol itself and put it out there as a means of trying to heal. I realize nothing can change the past and those who forget it are doomed to repeat it-but to perpetuate the negativity isn’t going to ever allow our nation to progress. No different than wearing a cross; as a symbol which also very clearly represents a heinous crime, to attest to acknowledging a negative situation which was persevered through and risen above! Just try to see things in a positive light as everything can have an equal and opposite perspective when explored.

  3. All of you are fucking idiots. “They just care about money, they think this because money, they are so stupid and I’m so smart.” Yeah.. totally, because you’re making multi-millions, that’s why you’re commenting here bitching like ass hats… So apparently we, the general public are aloud to have opinions about these celebrities, and furthermore, opinions about their opinions. YET, you don’t accept THEIR opinions. You’re all mentally handicapped. Seriously. Grow up.

    • We can boycott Kanye because he makes his living selling products — either his music, clothes, or concert tickets. As consumers, we can choose to buy none of those things. Also, Are the comments moderated?

  4. Do any of you, including the author, having any sort of education? Do any of you have the capability to accept another way of looking at a situation? Apparently most of you do not. You cannot boycott a fucking human being, for one… Maybe you should try educating your mind instead of your brain. So much fucking STUPID in all of your posts. You’re all the reason people make fun of my generation. Because you’re all fucking stupid.

  5. Gimme ABreak on said:

    Millions of indigenous people were killied, enslaved and oppressed under a false banner of Christianity. Are we going to boycott the Bible or New Testament?

  6. Kanye West should be boycotted until he is forced to apologize to black people like he did to Taylor Swift. What he’s done is disgusting and what’s worse is it could make impressionable children feel like that a symbol of hate is now “fashionable”.

  7. I said it before and I’ll say it again, that boy is a special kind of stupid. He wants to be seen as a business man but has no idea how to conduct business. The stars and bars was never our flag, so why would we want it. “Bless his little heart” which most black folk know as code for “you dumb fool”or “he’s not to bright is he”.

  8. Ssello yes im saying Al Sharpton has contributed nothing then nor now, and If you read the post it clearly says West is crazy. However my question to you is how do you ignore what Lil Wayne said and the fact Al Sharpton partnered with him?

  9. D**M A** how do you change the mean? I never see Jewish people try to change the meaning and symbol that Hitler stood for. To them it was bad and wrong and they will never see it any other way. We get this yoyo talking about he’s changing the meaning he should be beat like a slave what a D**m A**

  10. Kanye West is a lost young man, who loves money so much that he cannot see straight. This confed. flag situation is a real sad example of what has happened to some of our young men. They know nothing about what Black people have had to over come in order for them to be where they are today. I will just say this and then leave it alone,” Kanye West don’t give a Damn about Black people”. Do those words sound familiar?

  11. The thought of Jay “drug slinga” Z being a role model is just as scary as Dumbye comparing Kim Kardashian the human mattress to the First Lady. They are all trash with cash.

  12. While West is crazy black suffering didn’t stop Al Sharpton from taking a book deal with Cash Money Records even though Lil Wayne mocked Emmitt Teal? Al Sharpton is a paid stooge he does not represent black people in the least, he’s just as bad as an ambulance chasing attorney.

  13. I’m interested in seeing how many black people are going to walk around wearing a confederate flag as a fashion statement. Kanye loves attention and he’s getting a lot of attention with this one.

  14. S. Port on said:

    The confederate flag is just a symbol; change the meaning of the symbol and fling it back in the face of the haters. Good for you Kanye!

    • D**M A** how do you change the mean? I never see Jewish people try to change the meaning and symbol that Hitler stood for. To them it was bad and wrong and they will never see it any other way. We get this yoyo talking about he’s changing the meaning he should be beat like a slave what a D**m A**

      • What else can we expect from someone who wants to call himself Jesus and compares a woman who let herself get pissed on to the First Lady?

  15. I think West should have been boycotted long before now. It was just a matter of time before he went to far. Also, Jay-Z needs to sever his ties with West. Jay-Z is a big role model and it’s not funny what West is doing. I think the pressure should be felt by all who back up and hob nob with West. He is a menace to society, who needs to be brought down.

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