Kanye West appeared as musical guest on the 44th season premiere of “Saturday Night Live” wearing the iconic “Make America Great Again” hat President Donald Trump released in his 2016 campaign for president. “SNL,” a show that historically has not been kind to the Trump administration, allowed West to perform with the MAGA hat, but the audience booed him when he delivered a pro-Trump speech after the broadcast ended. The speech was filmed and released online by comedian Chris Rock.
After performing his song “Ghost Town,” West delivered a speech about how he was “bullied” backstage for his choice of headwear:
“They bullied me backstage. They said, ‘don’t go out there with that hat on. They bullied me backstage. They bullied me! And then they say I’m in a sunken place. You want to see the sunken place? Okay, I’ma listen to ya’ll now — or I’ma put my Superman cape on, cuz this means you can’t tell me what to do. Follow your heart and stop following your mind. That’s how we’re controlled. That’s how we’re programmed. If you want the world to move forward, try love.”
It is important that West’s words made national headlines. For many people, especially those watching ‘SNL,’ this is probably the first time they heard anyone defending the president. And if you think about what West said, there is nothing inaccurate.
It is wrong to “bully” someone for choosing to wear something that supports one party or one administration. It does no good to dismiss someone’s beliefs and opinions just because you think they are out of line or that nobody else believes them. People should welcome Trump supporters and engage in debate with them. You never know, maybe one side will flip to the other if both sides engage in civil argument rather than ad hominem and labeling attacks.