Last night’s outburst from Kanye West at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards was not the first of his public speaking shockers. His well documented “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people,” left Americans with mouths agape. Somehow, some believed that it was high-time someone said what many at that time were thinking, but we didn’t really look ahead at how that same behavior - unchecked and encouraged – would become disastrous. Moreover, it’s one thing to feel courageous enough to take on the leader of the free world and something rather cowardly to snatch the microphone from a teenage girl making a nervous acceptance speech. West delivered an apology, but short of using a butter knife to sever his testicles and use them as click-clacks at the end of a wire hanger in front of the same millions who witnessed last night’s VMAs, it was too little too late. This leads us to the real point of this entire article, which is the importance of choosing your battles. It is my opinion that Kanye has a good heart, but because of circumstances unknown to us, he lacks the filter or gate that prevents him from championing every cause he deems before him. You see, he may have believed in his heart that Beyonce was suffering an injustice by having Taylor Swift win the first award for Best Video – Female, but somehow he should have saved his comments for his appearance at Jay Leno’s primetime premiere tonight. The stage would be his and he would be joined by none other than Mr. Beyonce himself, Jay Z. All said, it’s a mistake he will spend the rest of his career – assuming he still has one – apologizing for. Whether he's bringing attention to the folks who suffered at the hands of an apparently ambivalent President or he's taking a stand against-the-grain for millions of gays oppressed by the hip-hop community, West hasn’t always been the bad guy. Unfortunately, this little tirade may have been the greatest lesson of them all for West – Sometimes it’s best to WAIT and ANALYZE a situation thoroughly to insure that getting behind an issue or cause warrants your support. No, Beyonce doesn’t need West to sing her praises – she even went on to win for Song of the Year the very same evening – but not exercising appropriate decorum led West to make a fool of himself and diminish the power of his words. If we’re to learn anything it should be that all battles are NOT ours to fight and that pausing to ascertain which are worth fighting is the difference between being thought of a hero or a coward.
Have you ever thought you were championing a worthy cause only to find out you were stepping out of line where your support was not warranted?
Keep passin’ the open windows…