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DISCLAIMER: I am a cis-appearing, though non-gender-conforming/nonbinary white woman. Both my recent and tests confirm this conclusively. The origin point of my DNA is like a Venn Diagram of whiteness. As Beavis and Butthead once said of Kip Winger’s teeth: I’m “Hwhite.”

So, this is in no way an attempt to speak to, or for, the Black experience in America. This is just my hot take on Kanye West’s recent visit to the White House, and his support for Donald Trump in general.

A few years ago, I related a personal anecdote about a series of painful past experiences to a friend of mine. I confided to this person how these experiences affected me, and how they resonated down the years of my life, remaining a factor in my sense of personal bodily dysphoria, and my social anxiety and how I dealt with people.

Their advice was, “Just rewrite it all in your mind.”

“What? I asked, not sure I had heard them correctly.

“Just rewrite it in your mind to be something different,” they repeated. “Rewrite it so that it didn’t happen than way. That way, it won’t make you feel so sad. I do it all the time.”

The very concept of this act horrified me. As people, we are in many cases defined by our memories. They are a part of our identity. Yet this person was suggesting – blithely suggesting, as if something as simple and minor as changing the brand of deodorant or dish soap I use – that I effectively rewrite my memory of entire events in my head so it won’t be so traumatic, taking away from and denying something that, for better or worse, shaped me as a person.

In effect, self-gaslighting. And it’s a denial of things that factually, objectively happened, even if my memories of them are subjective – which is just offensive to me.

This was near the forefront of my mind as I watched Kanye West proudly proclaim his support of a racist who is who is widely known and criticized for practicing discrimination against African Americans, whose father was a Klan member whose antics drew the ire of noted antifascist musician Woody Guthrie.

Well, not at first. First, I assumed, as many have, that this is a flagrant attempt by a known narcissist and attention-seeker to seek more attention. Others have assumed, probably rightly, that if Kanye were to join the many voices speaking out against Trump, he would simply be one of a crowd. This way, he gets to stand out and be loud and noticed, the way he likes to be. For Kanye, no publicity is bad publicity.

But then I thought back on his desire to abolish the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution, the Amendment ending slavery in America, that I realized this is basically what Kanye is doing. He talks about how this is because he doesn’t want to be a part of “victimhood culture,” but those words kept coming back to me:

(“Just rewrite it all. Rewrite it all in your mind. That way, it won’t make you feel so sad.”)

What he is talking about is not a rejection of “victimhood culture,” it is basically an erasure of the past. He has re-written the past in his mind to be something different. And this is what reactionaries do. They create a fake past, a golden age. “Reject the future,” they say. “Reject progress. It’s an illusion. Go back to this imaginary fantasia with me, where I and everyone else whom I have not othered/rejected as part of the “out group” in my mind were exalted and had everything we needed.”

This imaginary fantasia relies on everyone else, even (especially) the people they have othered/rejected as part of the “out group” to either play along or disappear, or it doesn’t work. This is what is behind a great deal of the reactionary rage and resentment seen among Trump supporters in America. We aren’t playing their game right, but there is no other place they want to quit to take their ball home to.

Mother Russia beacons, seemingly a white conservative utopia – but that would mean actually having to live there, giving up the rights of Habeus Corpus, Due Process, Right to Assemble, and Free Speech that they enjoy here in America; in short, the lifestyle to which they have grown accustomed. And as they might discover, no utopia is ever really complete without a few crimes against humanity, a few mass graves along the way.

But back to Kanye, and the subject of Post-Modernism.

Post Modernism is usually presented as being impossible to simply define, but I have always interpreted one facet of it as a rejection and/or deconstruction of past values. The things our ancestors once thought of as important are no longer considered part of the crucial makeup of society, and are perhaps even utterly meaningless.

Recently, Conservative, Fascist and “Alt-Right” thinkers on Youtube and beyond have appropriated the word “Post Modern” as a shorthand alongside their other favorite phrase “Cultural Marxism” for what they see as the Left’s rejection of the “good old days”/”The Natural Order Of Things As God Himself Intended.”

Never mind the fact that the Frankfurt School, which currently occupies that same scary place under the bed in the Fascist collective consciousness as George Soros, roundly decried post-modernism as objectionable, a wrong turn in our society’s evolution.

But guys, there is nothing more post-modern than rewriting entire events of the past in our heads – say, the period of slavery in America – to be something different so that it doesn’t make us feel bad. It’s erasure. It’s repression. It’s a denial of things that actually occurred, saying that the actual historical past as it actually, objectively happened is meaningless, that the struggles and suffering of large groups of people are effectively meaningless. And it generally never works out they way we think it will when we do this.

The entire reactionary/fascist mindset relies on rewriting and re-interpreting huge chunks of the past for them to cling to, so they get to postpone the future for just a little while longer.

Meanwhile, if I could build a time machine, I’d go back to the past: to bring back 2005 Kanye so he could confront 2018 Kanye.

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