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Something to Think About: Speaking Out at The Risk of Becoming “Kanyed!”

Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn –


new michael vaughnAt the risk of being ostracized by my African-American brothers and sisters (or as I say being “Kanyed”), I have to say that I support the verbalization of Kanye West’s support for Donald Trump.

Let me also say that his statement regarding slavery being a choice is not just ridiculous, it is completely WRONG!

Yet, the reason that I have taken this risk to announce my support publicly is because we, as a people (African-Americans), and as a nation, really need to examine why there was so much hatred around an American citizen exercising his right to free speech.

In America, one of the most basic, fundamental, and hard fought rights we have is our right to free speech.

And, while I agree that those who may disagree with Kanye have the right to free speech as well, I completely disagree that they should use that right to personally attack someone for doing the same.

It is a fact that many African Americans do not like President Trump; however, I am not one of them.

And, this preference is a choice that, as an American, I have the right to make.

There are also some African Americans who do like President Trump.

But, when these African-Americans share that fact, they are viciously attacked for sharing what is their fundamental right to freedom of speech in America.

That is a problem we must address.

Some individuals with dissenting views, especially at colleges and universities, are being shut down, and sometimes violently.

We will not truly embrace a diverse society if everyone is forced to think the same thing, say the same thing and support the same issues and ideas.

For instance, I believe the Democratic Party, as a whole, has done precious little in support of African Americans, and I do not support their agenda.

Based on my point of view, there are probably some African Americans who would like to vilify me, and my viewpoint.

Yet, if they would just come down off their emotional highs, they would see that my opinion is just as valid as theirs.

I would not personally attack them, and I believe they should assess why they feel the need to personally attack me.

Personally, I believe that when people begin attacking others, it is evidence that they have felt threatened themselves, or that they realize their opinions have little basis in fact.

Yet, apparently, this has become the new norm, and it is of grave concern to me that the truths we have held dear for a long time in this country are in jeopardy.

We cannot, and should not, turn a blind eye to it.

I realize that those who live for the vilification of others may not agree with my point of view, but that is ok, because they are not my intended audience.

I am reaching out only to those who will think for themselves, and not be drawn in by their emotions.

Soemtimes reasonable people disagree.

And, it’s ok to disagree with someone without getting mad at them, and attacking them personally.

If after examining each other’s viewpoints, we still disagree, that’s ok too.

We move forward!

If we would stop making personal attacks, and listen to what folks are saying, I am confident that we would make progress.

However, as long as we continue to make personal attacks against those with differing opinions, we will be destined to remain divided, both as a people and as a nation.

We must come together, and agree that we will no longer accept anyone being “Kanyed!”

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