Yesterday afternoon, Kanye West became the latest celebrity to endorse the Occupy Wall Street movement by simply visiting with protesters in New York City. Accompanied by the most notable hip hop Yogi, Russell Simmons, a somewhat uncharacteristically silent Kanye worked his way through the crowd, signed autographs, took pictures with supporters, and listened intently as Simmons explained what was happening.
While some were happy to see him, many protesters lashed out via Twitter, saying that Kanye and Russell were a product of the system that they were protesting against, and had no business being there. Others were upset that Mr. West showed up to the event in a flannel Givenchy shirt, a gold bottom grill and several gold chains. Would it have been disingenuous for him to take them off before he stepped out into the crowd?
My take: Our country is celebrity driven. Having Russell Simmons and Kanye West, people who we (the general population) put into power by supporting their artistic efforts, show their support only draws more attention back to the movement. It may have been indirect, but, the mission was accomplished. People are talking about it. Major news gathering organizations have pretty much stopped coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests, unless the peace is disturbed…so having people, no matter how rich, show their solidarity draws the attention back in. On another note…what Kanye wears changes nothing. The truth of the matter is, he is rich, and probably doesn’t shop at The Gap anymore. Whether it’s Givenchy or Old Navy, the fact of the matter is, he was there…and wasn’t bringing attention to himself. As a matter of fact, his wardrobe was a bit subdued from his regular style. You can check out the video below provided by OkayAfrica.com – In it, Russel Simmons is being interviewed about the movement, and Kanye says absolutely nothing (as he’s taken a no press stance lately) Watch:
To learn more about Occupy Wall Street – visit this site.